Archive for the 'Apple' Category

Apple announces new Macbooks – what does it mean for pricing?

April 14th, 2010

Apple announced some shiny new stuff overnight. What can we work out about pricing for the iPad from these?

They all work out about the same, so let’s look at the 13″ MacBook Pro.

  • Australian Price: $1,499

  • Subtract the GST: $1,362.73

  • US Price: $1,199

  • Implied exchange rate: 0.88

(Other exchange rates vary from 0.86 to 0.90).

That either suggests some strong marking up on a lot of models to hit the nice neat round ’99’ prices, or an exchange rate markup a bit higher lower than the last three months (which average at about 0.90).

And what would that mean for the iPad if it used the same exchange rate? $629 for the base model, $879 for the 64GB model, $1,039 for the 64GB + 3G model.

iPad pricing in Australia: some educated guesses

February 4th, 2010

The iPad is coming. How much will it cost in Australia?

Looking at the products on the store right this second, the exchange rate being used for iPods ranges from 0.817 through to 0.833 (that’s after correcting for the GST). So if they price the iPad using that range, what could we expect?

Australian pricing, including GST, for an 82 cent exchange rate.

| | 16 GB | 32 GB | 64 GB |


|Wi-Fi | $669 | $804 | $938 |

|Wi-Fi + 3G| $844 | $978 | $1,112 |

After a bit of Apple Rounding (they have hardly any prices that don’t end in ‘9’), I’d guess it’d look more like:

| | 16 GB | 32 GB | 64 GB |


|Wi-Fi | $669 | $799 | $939 |

|Wi-Fi + 3G| $839 | $969 | $1,109 |

Hopefully we’ll see real soon now.

The exchange rate according to today’s Apple announcements

October 21st, 2009

Apple announced some shiny new things today. Given that the Australian dollar is around 92 cents, we’d hope for a good exchange rate. What has Apple actually done?

  • iMac 22-inch: US $1,199, AUS $1,599

  • iMac 27-inch: US $1,699, AUS $2,199

  • Mac Mini Base: US $549, AUS $849

  • MacBook: US $999, AUS $1,299

  • MagicMouse: US $69, AUS $99

  • Apple Remote: US $19, AUS $25

It’s important to remember that the US prices are before sales tax, so I’ve taken the GST (10%) off the Australian prices to work out the exchange rates.

When we do that, the exchange rate ranges from 71 cents (on the Mac Mini, which is sad because that’s the one I want to buy) to 85 cents on the MacBook. The average is pretty much 81 cents. Clearly there’s some rounding going on to hit nice price points.

Why is it so much lower? Because Apple (like most other companies) isn’t silly. They know that the exchange rate fluctuates, so they don’t set prices based on what it is this week. Rather they look at longer run averages. And if you look at the average exchange rate over the last six months (excluding October, as they would have set prices a few weeks ago) it’s also around 81 cents.

MacWorld recap

January 16th, 2008

OK, how did the predictions go? Not so good…

  • Something unguessed: Nope, not really.

  • Micro laptop: Yes. You want to know what’s cruel? I can’t buy one for a month or so. Stupid FBT ‘one laptop a year’ limit – don’t they know it’s Macworld?

  • iPhone SDK stuff with other things: kinda. New firmware version with new features, and a mention of the SDK for February. Also some updates for the iPod Touch – which I can’t buy yet, darn it!

  • Software announcement: I could try and claim ‘movies are software’, but nope.

  • Nothing much: very much no…

So the other bits:

  • Time Capsule: an Airport with a built in hard drive. I’ll be buying one, depending on Australian pricing. I need a backup drive, and an 802.11n router would be very nice.

  • Movie rentals. Pretty stunning to get all the studios in the first release. But not available here yet.

  • HD Apple TV. The game changer they meant to release on the first go, I think. But without the rentals it’s pretty pointless for Australia.

But oh, the Macbook Air. As you can see in the advert, it fits into an envelope. Not that I’ll be doing that with mine when I get it. I still miss my poor deceased 12″ Powerbook, of course. Now if they can launch some things in Australia (like rentals. And oh, I don’t know, iPhones?)

Waiting for Apple

January 15th, 2008

Some wild speculation about the Apple Macworld keynote that happens Tuesday morning (late Wednesday evening Australian time).

  • There hasn’t been a lot of information to leak out of Apple for this one, so chances are everyone guessing is very wrong – one of the big announcements will be something nobody anticipated.

  • That said, a lightweight notebook (“Macbook Air?”) seems like a pretty good guess. I hope so, I want to buy one.

  • It would be strange to announce an iPhone SDK (or, rather, the software from it) here, but something really needs to be announced soon. My guess is that it’ll be coupled with other announcements about new features. Quite possibly related to the Macbook Air.

  • There will be a software announcement, but that can’t be iLife or MacOS X. Probably a rev to iWork and maybe a new app.

  • There’s a pretty significant chance that “nothing from Apple” means there’s nothing to announce. There’s been a fair bit of hardware updating already in the past 12 months, none of the software is at the right point of the cycle, and the iPhone is the new big thing. Maybe Steve will spend 90 minutes talking about what a crazy year it’s been?

We’ll see how I do after the speech.

The strange, strange world of tax

January 18th, 2007

As I mentioned below, I just got a new laptop. Despite the fact that it

cost twice as much as a desktop. Why?

Section 58X(2)(h)

of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986, which says:

each of the following is an eligible work related item : […] a notebook computer, a laptop computer or a similar portable computer;

Which sounds fair enough, but compare it to 58X(3):

A mobile phone or a car phone is only an eligible work related item if the phone is primarily for use in the employee’s employment.

Yup, that’s right – laptops count as a eligible work item (and are FBT exempt) even if

there’s no business use at all. But desktops aren’t covered at all. So

what’s the result? Well, my very expensive laptop is going to cost me

less than the desktop that costs half as much retail.

On related ‘strange policy impacts’ news, Apple will be [charging

$5 to enable a chip already in their computers]( Why?

The reason for the fee, Jeremy Horwitz reports for iLounge is that “the Core 2 Duo Macs weren’t advertised as 802.11n-ready, and a little law called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act supposedly prohibits Apple from giving away an unadvertised new feature for one of its products. Hence, said the Apple rep, the company’s not distributing new features in Software Update any more, just bug fixes. Because of Sarbanes-Oxley… It’s about accounting. Because of the Act, the company believes that if it sells a product, then later adds a feature to that product, it can be held liable for improper accounting if it recognizes revenue from the product at the time of sale, given that it hasn’t finished delivering the product at that point.”

So far it isn’t clear whether or not this is really true (or just)

a convenient excuse for Apple. But if it’s true then it’s a prime

example of the unintended consequences of policy. They wanted to

make sure that companies recorded their revenue properly, but

obviously the wording (either in the act or the regulations of the

SEC) just isn’t tight enough.

My shiny new laptop

January 17th, 2007

Shortly before Christmas my old Powerbook laptop started doing two

distressing things. Firstly, it started getting really, really hot

and was working really slowly. Secondly, and even more worryingly, the

hard drive was making funny noises every time it got used.

So I very quickly stopped using it, which is the other excuse that I

have for not posting very much lately. But this left me without a laptop,

and my desktop Mac (a G4 iMac) just isn’t up to a lot of the applications

I want to run. So a new computer was in order.

For funny reasons relating to tax policy (which I’ll discuss in another post soon),

a laptop is a much better thing to buy than a desktop. So, after relatively

little shopping around and a lot of work to fit it into the budget, last

week I got myself my shiny new toy:

Macbook pro

It’s a MacBook Pro 17″. It’s a

simply lovely computer. Really fast, runs windows

right next to Mac applications. Lots of memory, and a huge pretty screen.

On the downside, that’s the last big gadget purchase I get to make for a while…

So very,very wrong

January 10th, 2007

Last night I very nearly posted a long rant about how it’s ‘Macworld’, and not ‘iPodworld’ or ‘iPhoneworld’.

Good thing I didn’t…

Apple only announced two big new products at the Macworld keynote, neither of which are computer hardware: the Apple TV and the iPhone. The phone looks very, very nice, but there’s no word about when it will be out in Australia yet.

Oh, and Apple changed its name to ‘Apple’ rather than ‘Apple Computer’.

Oh well, at least I can buy a shiny new toy a little more quickly…

A blast from Apple’s past

October 17th, 2006

Via Peeve Farm is this video from the 1997 MacWorld, with Steve Jobs announcing the deal with Microsoft.

It’s fascinating watching Steve – he’s so clearly hating what he has to announce, but he has to as it’s the only way to save the company. When the introduction of Internet Explorer as the default browser is announced the reaction from the crowd is almost savage. And how often does ‘non-voting shares’ turn out to be a big applause line?

(Of course, the reaction to Bill Gates makes anything for Steve look kind).

Really interesting to compare this to the Intel announcement, which was (in some ways) as big a cultural shift, but it didn’t cause anything like as much reaction.

The WWDC is coming

August 1st, 2006

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference is on next week (7-11 August), and starts with Steve Jobs doing his annual sermon to the faithful. Traditionally he’ll be announcing some shiny new products. This is then the appropriate time for wild speculation about what will get announced. Here are some guesses and thoughts for myself [Updated to add the results]:

  • No iPhone. At least, not yet. Why announce this to a bunch of developers? They’re not the key market, and they probably all have Treos anyway. If this is going to happen, it’ll be at a special press event or MacWorld. [Correct]
  • Similarly, no new iPod. Just not the right audience, and not the same opportunity to build up a ‘buzz’. [Correct]
  • New Macs, without a doubt. I will be astonished if they don’t announce the new Mac Pros, it’s such a clear gap in the product line up. Plus this is a big chunk of the main target market. [Correct]
  • Probably a bump to the specs for the MacBook Pros. The gap between the Pro and consumer laptops is a little small, so I guess something will happen here. [Nope]
  • A bunch of OS X stuff, obviously, but I’m not across the details of the rumors here. No virtualisation, no new finder, but some new feature no one even realised we’d need (a la Dashboard) would be my guess. [Yep, I’d count Time Machine as meeting that]
  • Finally, in the ‘no one else is saying anything’: Apple may finally get around to the tablet PC that they’ve clearly been doing R&D on. Why now? Because they’ll need developers to work on new apps for it, to take advantage of pen based interfaces. This is a very right field prediction, but I really hope its true. My pre-order will be in by the end of the day if it is! [Sadly, nope]

I’ll get back to you with how accurate I am after the keynote on the 7th (8th August Australia time).