Steve Wozniak Slams Apple’s “Horrible” Prices Down Under

Steve Wozniak Slams Apple’s “Horrible” Prices Down Under

Woz admits he wouldn't like to buy Apple products down under.

During a recent radio interview with ABC Sydney, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak slammed the Cupertino company’s “horrible” prices down under, which force consumers to pay large premiums for its latest devices. Woz’s comments come after several technology giants have come under fire from Australian consumers and its government over price discrimination.

Woz feels that companies like Apple “shouldn’t have boundaries between countries,” and that products should be priced fairly across the board.

While he was keen not to enter a political discussion during his interview, Woz did say that “it’s just horrible” that some countries must pay large premiums for devices when companies are now able to ”ship anything anywhere in the world for almost nothing.”

Woz continued:

The large duties in Australia I’m sure I would not favor. Maybe in some countries the people are very happy and feel very well off because of the protections… but I just think it’s horrible.

The Next Web notes that the price of an unlocked iPhone 4S in the United States costs $649, which seems expensive until you consider that consumers must pay A$799 down under. When you convert that figure into U.S. dollars, it quickly turns into $803, which means a large difference of $154.

But fortunately for those in Australia, the government is hoping to crackdown on price discrimination on digital goods, with investigations to determine why Australian customers must pay more than those overseas for devices, software, and music from companies like Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft.

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  • JoostLeemereise

    same as in europe 599 euro equals 775dollars for an iphone 4s 16gb

  • joevitti

    In Turkey, iphone 4s 16gb is 1050 usd.

  • Takeo Apitzsch

    So Woz flew all the way to Australia to find out about it? /sarcasm

    But obviously it’s still decently priced compared to other countries around Europe.
  • Christian Marker

    why dont Woz stop complaining and go back to Apple and make the stuff better ?!

  • ralphd10995

    the A$799 include the VAT.  In the US, it is $649 plus tax.

  • Ciro Anunciação

    Here in Brazil we pay $1331.45 for an iPhone 4S 16Gb

  • drblank

    well, if the dollar conversion sucks because they aren’t mfg in that country, then Apple has to figure out if it makes sense to begin mfg in that country, but it is probably going to affect the competition the same.

    Sometimes, I take Woz with a grain a salt.  He hasn’t worked for Apple in a long time, and his own endeavors haven’t exactly been that successful and he doesn’t really have a business background.
    Remember, his technical expertise was used in the Apple II generation products, not the Mac or iOS devices.  He also has very little connection with the corporate mentality, he is more experienced in the K-12 market from his work with buying and implementing K-12 schools with Macs.
    He spends a lot of time collecting games with his kids.
    Australia is a big island that is kind of far removed from the rest of the world. Not much in the way of technology comes from Australia, but they are trying to get more high tech companies in that country.  There biggest industries are mining, sheep/cattle, seafood, fruit, wine, grain, tourism.  They are coming up, so to speak, in terms of industries like technology, but it isn’t that much. They have deserts and rainforests and a lot of aborigines, which I don’t think are going to be smartphone or tablet customers any time soon.  They also make beer, Barbies and shrimp, and lots of Kangaroos and crocs, etc.
  • drblank

    Woz, before you open your mouth, maybe find out WHY the iPhone costs more in the other country and if Apple can actually do much to prevent the higher prices.  They do have minimum profit margins they want/need to make.

    Other countries have other considerations.  Taxes, tariffs, shipping, money conversion rates, cell carriers agreements, etc.
    DId you know that in other countries, the price of gas is less than a dollar a gallon.  Woz, try to figure that one out.  Things have different retail prices for a variety of reasons.
    Hey Steve, maybe that would be a great company, go and start up an exporter of iPhones for Apple and import them into Australia, maybe you can make some profit and undercut Apple.
  • drblank
    Anyone that will fly themselves to Japan to buy the latest game that’s released is a little eccentric.  I don’t know if Woz still does that but he used to that stuff all of the time.  Not exactly what NORMAL people would do on a regular basis.
    Hey kids, XYZ game just got announced in Japan, I guess we have to go away for the weekend so we can be the first to have it in America.  Pack your bags.
  • drblank

    Didn’t Woz used to fly snow to his property for Christmas?  Not exactly normal or cost effective.  It’s probably cheaper to buy a winter house in Tahoe.

  • moshpittman

    drblank, you really have no idea about Australia do you?
    Australia for a long time has been highly regarded for it’s achievements and research in the areas of technology, health and science. 
    Next time you start carrying on like an idiot, make sure you actually know what you are talking about!

  • imajoebob

    Woz really needs to quit drinking (which could explain the whole Kathy Griffin episode).

    Australia charges GST/VAT of 10% on iPhones.  So a $650US iPhone will cost you $735US.  Now add (up to) 17% import duty, and it could cost upwards of $825US.  Add to that the cost of operating a business and the cost of producing a phone compatible with Australian service providers and local telecom laws in a market of only 21M people – versus 300M in the US, and that $800 seems a bargain.
    Hey Steve – why don’t you climb down off that huge pile of money and ask why is it so much CHEAPER for Australians than here in the US??
  • benandarchie

    yep, although it’s not that bad because everyone forgets that taxes aren’t included in the US price but are in the UK price which has a massive 20% tax.

  • baby_Twitty

    The answer is actually very simple: Taxes and duties.

    I’m pretty sure where-ever possible, Apple is trying to sell their ‘premium’ product at the lowest price possible. The evidences are available to back this up if you just look at the price-chart of the iPhone 4S/new iPad selling across the world.
    For the Aussies, they would have to direct the questions to their own government.
  • baby_Twitty

    Here in Brazil we pay $1331.45 for an iPhone 4S 16Gb

    again, You have to ask your own government to open up your market by loosening protectionism.

    By keeping taxes so high for premium-electronic goods, your government is trying to achieve 2 things:
    1: Curtail consumerism, so that the Brazilians do not splash cash on these products but would keep their monies in the bank instead.
    2: To suck on the rich and wealthy. Due to Brazil’s high income disparity, where the rich are super rich and the poor are super poor, the government wants to get most taxes out of the rich Brazilians.

  • HDS33
  • DavoteK

    Woz after some attention again? Sad little man.

  • ApplePr0n

    If it’s too much, then don’t buy it. Companies only listen with their wallets. If they arent getting money they will drop the price

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the UK. He has an interest in all things tech, but most enjoys covering Apple, anything mobile, and gaming. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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