back to article Microsoft gouges Australia lightly on Surface

Australian punters frustrated by the fact they pay more than their North American brethren for Apple gadgets, despite the Australian Dollar currently buying more than one US Dollar, can now get just a little bit mad with Microsoft too, after the company today announced prices for its Surface tablets that exceed US prices. …


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  2. Enno

    a further problem not considered...

    The real problem is that for any sort of ordinary tech toy, a US shop buys from a manufacturer or wholesaler at a wholesale price and then offers it with whatever markup they see fit plus any taxes if applicable. Most of the price comparisons here are done on the odd assumption that our local distributor has to buy at US retail price before shipping the items here and attempting re-sale to we unhappy locals. In contrast if _we_ hop on a plane to defeat the unreasonable markups (or phone a friend or something) we will have to buy at retail... assuming anyone actually pays full whack for anything there.

    Interesting of course to consider companies who don't have a wholesaler in the fulfillment chain, mostly those who manufacture and sell directly to the end-user... which includes Apple and seemingly now Microsoft amongst others. In this case they presume a build cost, a fixed markup and then set their retail prices. The attempts to wring more out of, to them, foreign customers just represents a poorly thought out strategy of passing on extra costs (like shipping from California regardless of where its built) directly to those customers. As the brand stores here have discovered, customers are happy to find ways to access goods at the cheapest price they can see it anywhere in the world, anti-competitive restrictions notwithstanding (and clearly we're becoming more and more adept at working around those too).

  3. Mark 65


    I wouldn't call $42 markup on $747 a gouge of any description. Using your table the fx rate only has to move from 1.02... to around 0.98 for all markup to be removed. Have a look at the way the rate swings around (0.96 to 1.06 in the last 5 months) and I'd call this contingency for currency fluctuations and that's ignoring if there are differing warranty obligations between locales and other ancillary costs.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Gouge?

      PS I'm no MS fan but this would seem a legitimate pricing based on the US retail price assuming the product is sold in the local market. The real villains are often the software download vendors - I bought my Adobe software from their UK store as it was less of a rip-off than the AU one.

  4. hitmouse

    Better than Apple's iTunes gouging who charge as if shipping your digital download files from Cupertino on diamond discs packed with saffron.

    1. Webcrowd

      Australians get gouged by everyone!

      Exactly the point I was going to make. While they can argue shipping and costs of local supply / labour, it doesn't make sense that anything I buy online as a digital download is still being loaded up way above the equivalent US price.

      One of the worst for it is Adobe. In the US, the price for the full CS Master Collection is $2599, In Australia it is $3949 EX GST. Thats a whopping $1350 premium before you even add taxes. Now considering there is no discount for selecting the electronic delivery, how on Earth can they justify that!!!

      As you pointed out iTunes is no better with the same songs costing more in the Australian Store compared to the AUS, even allowing for currency fluctuations.

      In the case with the Surface pricing, it doesn't appear to be as severe as we are used to, and if you take into account currency fluctuations it seems pretty reasonable.

      1. gisabsr

        Re: Australians get gouged by everyone!

        Dear Webcrowd.

        I am concerned that your post does not direct a sufficient amount of vitriol, hyperbole and, indeed, any kind of histrionics towards Apple, instead picking on poor Adobe, who are a force for good and awesomeness and, err, open and stuff.

        Please correct this oversight to better fit in with the other posters on el Reg. Thank you, and have a nice day

        Going back to the matter at hand - if you really want comedy overcharging gold in Australia, check out car pricing over here. And how even 'standard' euro brands like Opel, VW, Peugeot and Citroen are positioned as premium brands, and charge accordingly. It's really quite irritating.

        1. kiwimuso

          Re: Australians get gouged by everyone!

          @gisaber Even better, in OZ & NZ Heineken is also positioned as a 'premium' beer.

          In the Netherlands it's just the equivalent of your everyday quaffing beer, like VB or Lion Red.

          If you want premium, you either buy Grolsch for local, or better yet, a Belgian beer!

          There are other local beers in Holland, but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

          Icon is not a premium one, just the nearest one to hand - preferably one which has not had the flavour frozen out of existence.

  5. Beritknight


    Also worth noting that the Australian price apparently includes two years of warranty.

    (in the Details section of the page, go to the Warranty tab).

    The US price is a tiny bit cheaper, but only includes 1 year.

  6. YankDownUnder62

    Gouging - stabbing, slashing, ad infinitum

    $700 for an MS product (regardless of market)? Sorry; don't think so. I am left to wonder, after this product hits ANY market, what the general public's assessment is going to be when they realise that the product is unsafe, insecure, slow, buggy (rushed to market) - and what is going to be Steve Ballmer's response after the truth about this product comes to light...

    Thank you very muchly, I shall stick with my iPads and Android devices.

    1. mathew42

      Re: Gouging - stabbing, slashing, ad infinitum

      The response will be the same as Blackberry and WebOS. Two questions will be asked:

      1. When will the fire sale occur?

      2. Can we root it and put android on it (or for more geek points debian)?

  7. zimblade


    Why would i use a operating system that really reminds me of ubuntu. There are many similarities except that ubuntu is free and is not overpriced. Oh and i really object paying extra to be an Australian. SICK OF BEING ROBBED FOR TECH.

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