Apple raises computer prices in UK

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Apple has increased the prices of its laptop and desktop computers in the UK by hundreds of pounds.

On Thursday, the company unveiled new Macbook Pro laptops, with prices similar to the US after currency conversion and addition of UK VAT.

But the company also increased the prices of its older computer products, including the three-year-old Mac Pro, by hundreds of pounds.

One analyst said consumers should expect further price increases.

“Apple has to recalibrate prices after significant currency fluctuations, and since the EU referendum, UK prices are out of sync with the dollar,” said Patrick O’Brien, analyst at the Verdict Retail consultancy.

“Apple has taken the hit up until now. While price increases won’t look good to the consumer, it’s difficult to blame Apple.

“Once you strip out UK sales tax (VAT) and the currency conversion, the new UK prices could still be viewed as fair.”

Macbook pricingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionA new Macbook Pro now costs almost as many pounds as dollars

A number of technology companies have increased their prices in the UK, reflecting the lower value of the pound.

Apple’s least expensive laptop – the 13in Macbook Air, last updated in March 2015 – now costs £949, up from £849.

Its Mac Pro desktop computer – last updated in December 2013 – now costs £2,999, up from £2,499.

“Apple suggests product prices internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, local import laws, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business,” the company told the BBC.

“International prices are not always comparable to US suggested retail prices.”

Mac ProImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionApple’s ageing Mac Pro now costs £500 more than it did a week ago

Rival Microsoft has already announced UK price increases for some of its business services.

Earlier in October, the company said some service prices would go up by 22% in 2017, reflecting the pound’s weakened value against the euro.

“We periodically assess the impact of local pricing of our products and services to ensure there is reasonable alignment across the region and this change is an outcome of this assessment,” the company said.

Mr O’Brien said it was “inevitable” that more companies would increase the prices of products and services.

“Retailers are struggling with increased costs to import goods, and it’s something they cannot afford to swallow themselves,” he told the BBC.

“We will definitely see further price rises, so if people are in the market for big-ticket items such as laptops, it might be a wise idea to buy now rather than later.”

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