Apple refreshed its iMac lineup overnight, adding Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt to its desktop machines. But the big question is how Australia fared in the pricing model, given the strength of the Aussie dollar at the moment. The answer is unlikely to keep everyone satisfied.
Comparing pricing between the four base iMac models, there's a premium of between $200 and $300, depending on the chosen model. The entry level 2.5GHz 21.5-inch model costs $US1,199 in the states and $1,399 over here; the 2.7GHz 21.5 inch model costs $US1,499 in the US and $1,698 in Australia; the 27-inch 2.7GHz sells for $US1,699 in the states compared to $1,949 locally and the top of the line 3.1GHz 27-inch starts at $US1,999 in the US compared to $2,299 in Australia.
But, as usual, that doesn't tell the whole story.
The US figures don't include sales tax, while the Australian models have GST pre-loaded. Immediately, that changes the difference between the pricing by more than $100 in every case. Factor in the cost of importing, the economy of scale (for we are a tiny population compared to the US) and the overall higher cost of living in Australia, and the pricing for this generation of iMacs is fairly evenly priced.
That said, it will still be cheaper to buy from the US, especially with the Aussie dollar worth $US1.10 at the moment. But it's good to know that Apple at least has not gone overboard on its pricing for new hardware.
Its iTunes pricing though... that's a whole other story.