I know what you’re thinking. “Name some names, Tera.” OK. Apple comes to mind first because Apple makes drool-worthy products that somehow make the iPad Pro or Mac or Watch or iPhone that was purchased just last year seem old, stale, and outdated.
They’re not, of course. But they fell like it when compared to the latest and greatest from Apple. This year Apple rolled out plenty of new hardware. Three new iPhone models. A lust-worthy Apple Watch Series 4. A desirable new MacBook Air. A long overdue Mac mini that should satisfy the Mac faithful at both ends of the spectrum. A new line of iPad Pro models with Face ID.
What do they all have in common? Apple Tax inflation.
Apple + Tax, referring to the Apple corporation.
Apple Tax (plural Apple taxes)
(slang) the price premium paid by Macintosh users over that of a Wintel PC of comparable power and features
(slang) by extension, the price premium paid by consumers of Apple consumer products over comparable devices from competitors
(slang) the large cut of the gross paid to iTunes from every sale on iTunes by content providers, over how much a cut is given at other online retailers
What’s going on?
Is Apple greedy? Is Apple simply following typical capitalist society rules by charging what the market will bear? Is Apple merely differentiating the company’s product line by price?
All of the above. Apple is the richest company on planet earth and charges more for similar products than any major competitor; yet customers line up to buy the latest and greatest and while unit sales of major products haven’t grown much in recent years, the iPhone maker figured out a way to extract more money from returning customers.
Apple Tax, meet inflation. The new MacBook Air seems to have defied gravity with a $200 price increase. iPhone Xs Max can be more than a MacBook Pro at $1,449 (and probably faster performance, too). Watch Series 4 with heart rate monitor and electrocardiogram built-in is more expensive than last year’s Series 3.
What about those drool-worthy iPad Pro models?
With a Smart Keyboard Folio case and Pencil you’ll see $2,227 added to your Apple Pay card and you’d damned well better spend another $6 a month for AppleCare because it could cost you as much as last year’s iPad Pro just to get it repaired out of warranty.
We’ve been paying the Apple Tax for many years. Now we have to deal with inflation. From Apple.