Apple Apps drop in price but what about their computers?

This mornings’ announcement that Apple will be dropping its app prices to better reflect Australian exchange rates was a welcome move for many local Apple users.

But no word yet on the pricing of other Apple products, like hardware and its movie service. So after months of complaints from consumers, journalists and politicians alike, Apple has confirmed that its app pricing will drop between from 17 to 25 percent.

The news was announced by the Federal (ALP) member for Chifley, Ed Husic, who has campaigned for most of this year to get Apple to justify its local app prices- which are higher in Australia than in the US, even though the Australian dollar has been stronger than its US counterpart since the end of last year.

Husic now wants Apple to also lower its hardware prices, which too are higher in Australia than elsewhere. And considering they are all made in China, the old excuse of shipping costs was one that was wearing pretty thin with many Australian Apple users.

For example, after adjusting for currency differences, a 13-inch MacBook Pro costs about $1200 in the US and about $1400 here. The same goes with iPods, with the 8 Gb iPod Touch about $240 in the US and nearly $290 in Australia.

Just how much Ed Husic influenced this price drop is also unclear, as Apple lowered its app prices in many other parts of the world at the same time and it remains to be seen whether the company will price its soon-to-be released Lion OS 10.7 upgrade downwards in Australia or if the old higher prices for Australia mantra will still apply.

According to a press statement from Husic, “The worn-out observation about the internet is that it has made the world a much smaller place. Clearly, it has brought before people’s eyes the fact that others are getting a better retail deal. Besides shrinking distance, let’s hope it has a similar effect on price differences too”.

But it’s not just Apple that is guilty of price gouging local consumers. Sony for example sells its PS3 console for some $200 more in Australia that in the US- and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

As recent events in the Australian retail sector have shown, consumers are sick and tired of paying more for living Down Under and are voting with their mouse and buying directly from overseas.

Even if the shipping charges are factored in, items such as books, movies, shoes and T-shirts come out a lot cheaper when they are purchased online from companies such as Amazon.

When it comes to digital products such as apps, then the higher local prices are really unsustainable, as many observers have long pointed out.

Could this be the beginning of a new era in Australian tech pricing parity?- only time will tell, but it is a good start.