Australian consumers will be slugged about $100 more for the new whizzbang iPhone 6 than those in the US when it arrives in stores later this month.
Apple’s iPhone 6 16GB model is being advertised for $US649 on its US site, or about $708 in Australian dollars. But the same phone in Australia will set customers back $869 Australian dollars. Allowing for 10 per cent GST, that leaves Australian consumers more than $90 out of pocket.
For the iPhone 6 Plus 16GB model US customers will pay $US749, or about $817 Australian dollars. But Australians are looking at a price tag of $999 Australian dollars.
The cost discrepancy appears across the board and increases depending on the data capacity of the phone.
A parliamentary inquiry into IT pricing held last year set out to explore why Australians pay more for content and products.
Angela Daly, Research Fellow in Communications Law at Swinburne University of Technology, says the iPhone 6 launch illustrates another example of Australians paying more for the same products.
“This seems to be another example of the Australia tax,” she says.
“Companies feel they can charge Australians more for the same thing.”
Ms Daly says findings from the parliamentary inquiry exposed the issue.
“There wasn’t a justification based on the higher costs of doing business in Australia. It just seemed to be a pure premium that was being gouged from Australians because there was this perception they could and would pay more.”
Ms Daly says Australian consumers “are getting fed up” and that it’s time the government revisited recommendations made in the report.
“This seems to be an enduring problem and no one seems to be doing anything about it.”
Apple Australia’s director of corporate communications, Fiona Martin, claims there is little difference in cost when factors are taken into account.
“The unlocked price on the US Apple online store is excluding taxes and duties (due to the different variants by State). The Australian [price] includes GST and Shipping.
“When calculated incorporating government taxes, this presents an almost direct comparison.”