In the past week Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, gave three interviews and the company sent out a new “Why iPhone” email campaign – both timed perfectly around the announcement of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. Some have called it out as Apple going on the defensive, others have said it's Apple on the offensive. I’m not sure that you can categorically say it’s one or the other – it doesn’t really matter much.
#MacStoriesDeals – Wednesday
Chatology Review: Flexibits Reinvents Messages.app Search
The iOS 7 Summer
iOS 7: Thoughts and Questions
Apple Releases New MacBook Airs, Previews New Mac Pro Design
By now you’ve probably heard and read everything you need to know about the iPad 2. The second generation tablet that’s thinner, lighter (not so much, after all), has cameras and also happens to come with fancy (some people say revolutionary) Smart Covers to protect and clean your device without putting it entirely into a case. Pretty much as I wrote in November, this is the iPad upgrade I was expecting.
But is this the iPad 2 I was hoping for? Or rather, was March 2 the iPad 2 event I was looking forward to? I would say yes, and no.
I’m going to get an iPad 2 from the United States on March 11. 16 GB WiFi model with a $39 Smart Cover. I guess that’s what most consumers will end up with, and I’m happy to stick with my last year’s choice of “just” 16 GBs of storage considering how it’s possible that Apple will slowly move to cloud storage, always available at any time with a simple Internet connection. Which brings me to the second point: the geek in me was hoping for a brief mention of iOS 5 at the iPad 2 event which, you might have seen, didn’t happen. I can see, though, why Apple decided to keep iOS 5 for a dedicated event in Cupertino. (more…)
Over the weekend I curiously started investigating whether Australians had been getting a progressively worse deal for their iTunes purchases as the Australian dollar rose from USD$0.60 to parity whilst iTunes prices stayed constant. The answer is most definitely a yes but it doesn’t just apply to Australians, and the extent of the price disparity is larger than I had thought.
Whilst Apple is entitled to have different prices for different regions, it doesn’t really need to. Furthermore the extent to which there is price disparity is very extensive for the music section of the store and this article aims to bring the inequity to light. Apple has previously been under similar pressure but the exchange rates reverted back, I would hope Apple again reconsiders their iTunes pricing system now when exchange rates have pushed the disparity to a very high level.
This turned into a bigger article than I had expected so here are the key things I cover and keep reading after the break for a full run down with tables, graphs and more.
- iTunes uses fixed prices (i.e. $0.99, $1.29 etc.) and for stores outside the US these price levels were converted using a very conservative prediction of the future value of a particular currency
- The price levels in non-US stores seem not to have been updated in a long time, yet the value of the non-US currencies have mostly appreciated since then. As a result people purchasing from most of the non-US iTunes Stores are now paying more than US customers and Apple is earning more from those customers
- The conversion rate is different for the App Store and Music store (and likely the other stores too), the App store conversion rates are much more appropriate and the price disparity is less extreme.
Updated on April 27 2011 – see end of article for revised figures and comment.