Steve Jobs has purportedly twice again responded to customers, this over concerns about international iPad pricing and why its typically higher than in the US. To the UK customers, Jobs replied:
Please educate yourself. UK prices must by law include VAT, which is around 18%. US prices do not include tax.
MacRumors did the math and figured out:
The standard VAT rate in the UK is 17.5%, meaning that the £429 base price for the 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad in the UK is actually only £365 in "pre-tax" pricing. At current exchange rates, this corresponds to approximately $540 in the United States, or an approximately $40 premium for U.K. customers. While the price difference is not insignificant, it is considerably smaller than it might appear at first glance.
For Germany, Jobs replied:
Blame your government. Germany just added a new copyright levy for computers.
Which is something TiPb linked to yesterday -- Germany has introduced 15 EUR surcharge to computers for "copyright". Sigh.
As to why iPads and other consumer electronics cost more outside the US in general, companies typically attribute this to higher transport costs, union fees, and general business expenses.
But do Steve Jobs' classically terse emails make those price differentials any easier to swallow?