Many have criticised Apple for selling the iPad 2 with a hefty margin in the UK compared to the US, so we looked closely at the matter to verify whether this is actually the case in the UK and across Europe.
The prices of the six versions of the iPad 2 in the US are as follows; $499, $599, $699 (Wi-Fi Only) and $629, $729, $829 (3G version). Using Moneysavingexpert's Travelmoney (rather than Google's rather optimistic rates), we get the following rates prices without taxes; £309.94, £372.05, £434.16 (Wi-Fi only) and £390.68, £452.80, £514.91 (3G version) respectively. This compares to £332.50, £399.17, £465.83 (non 3G) and £415.83, £482.50, £549.17 (3G version).
That's an average price premium of seven per cent across board which is up to £35 on the most expensive iPad 2 version but way less than the 20 per cent that some national newspapers were clamouring.
How does that compare to French? Well, they are paying between 10 and 14 Euros more than their other European counterparts. Excluding VAT and the "private copy" levy, French are paying £351.63, £424.69, £497.75 (for Wi-Fi only) and £439.65, £512.70 and £588.97 (for 3G version) for their iPad tablets.
In other words, once taxes are removed from the equation (remember, Apple doesn't (yet) control our governments so the taxes do not go in their pockets), prices in mainland Europe are actually seven per cent more expensive than in the UK. Our higher VAT and our tendency to compare ourselves to our distant US cousins means that we fail to grab the bigger picture.