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Cynical Apple gouges UK with 20 per cent price hike

Wait... That's more than sterling's devaluation

By Andrew Orlowski, 28 Oct 2016

Apple has taken advantage of a more competitive sterling exchange rate to hike its computer prices – by far more than sterling fell. Cupertino raised some UK prices by as much as £500.

Apple had already raised the prices of its iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch products.

Sterling has fallen some 15 per cent from its 1H 2016 average of around $1.45, but Apple's computer prices have risen 20 per cent. But then it wouldn't be Apple if the Apple Tax didn't have an additional Apple SuperTax.

The 12in MacBook started at £1,049 yesterday – today the same model starts at £1,249. The most expensive 15.4in MacBook Pro was £2,499. Now it's £2,999.

While fanbois rummage down the sofa, economists see the exchange rate correction as a boost for the UK. Sterling had been artificially high for years, with Deutsche Bank last December predicting Sterling would fall to $1.15 in 2017... without Brexit.

The IMF's former deputy director Professor Ashok Mody, who negotiated the rescue package for the Irish Republic, and former Bank of England Governer Lord King have both welcomed the more competitive exchange rate. Both point out that the UK economy should be less distorted as a result.

"The pound had been driven up to nosebleed levels from 2011 to 2015 by global property speculators and the banking elites acting in destructive synergy, causing serious damage to Britain's manufacturing base and long-term competitiveness," said Mody, cited in the Telegraph (a must read). "History is going to judge that Brexit at last broke the political-economy lock of a British elite wedded to banking interests, even if it happened completely by accident." The UK had a version of Dutch Disease, with an over-reliance on finance capital, and credit-fuelled import consumption.

Guardianistas weeping over the fate of the City of London has been one of the stranger aspects of Brexit. But Apple price rises? Not so strange. ®

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