As the dust is settling over the WWDC smorgasbord of announcements overnight, one little factoid poked its head up as exceptionally pertinant to Aussie gadget-lovers: OS X Lion will be available through the Mac App Store in the States for $US29.99 and locally for $31.99 AUD. Does this signify a restructure of the way Apple calculates the exchange rate for Australians?
There are two schools of thought with this - given that the App Store is a purely digital method of distribution, there's the thought that many of the arguments behind pricing differences between Australia and the US are irrelevant, and we should actually get the product cheaper given the AUD is above parity. Alternatively, there's the realisation that no matter what happens, Australia isn't going to get products for less than the Americans given the size of our population and the fact that even though the exchange rate is good now, the US Dollar is still the global benchmark.
If you consider the second scenario to be most likely, then the pricing of OSX Lion could herald a new pricing structure for all of Apple's digital content. Since iTunes launched in Australia, songs have been priced at $1.19 compared to $US0.99 - a pricing that made sense five years ago, but is harder to swallow given the current exchange rate. Even on the Mac App store, an app that costs $US29.99 - Pixelmator - costs $36.99 in Australia.
Apple are always tightlipped about everything, so if this is a sign of things to come, don't expect any confirmation from Cupertino until it has actually happened. It probably won't happen, but if we all buy iPads and harness some of the magic, maybe - just maybe - we'll get a better exchange rate for all digital Apple purchases.