Australian Parliament Wants To Know: Why Are App Prices More Expensive In Australia?

Why do apps delivered over the Internet, through App Stores, cost more in one country compared to another? It seems that the Australian Parliament members want to know just as much as customers at this point. Both Apple and Microsoft have been invited to explain to Parliament why Australians pay more for digitally distributed media and applications through iTunes and other digital stores.

It seems that politicians in Australia aren’t the only ones looking for answers from Apple and Microsoft:

[quote]Consumer advocate Choice, which had been lobbying for an investigation of the price differential, welcomed the inquiry … The excuses overseas technology companies used to justify the higher prices, such as the small size of the market, the cost of setting up support centres and the imposition of local taxes and duties, were not acceptable, Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said. — SMH[/quote]

While the explanation lies around exchange rates in countries, and drastically fluctuating currency, there’s never really been much said on the topic by Apple. Heck, the price differences extend well beyond the digital app stores, and directly to the price of Apple’s hardware in various countries around the world. As a point of comparison, the new iPad is expected to cost 1,399 BRL for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only model. The exchange on that Brazilian Real currency to American puts the price of the new iPad at $732.92, a drastic increase over the $499.00 the same device costs in the US.

But here’s the difference: import taxes and other costs contribute to a hardware difference, at least on some level. But, where’s the added costs on digital downloads? It’s not as clearly cut.

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