Lenovo is mad, you guys. After it was reported that the ThinkPad Carbon X1 carried a hefty Australia Tax mark-up, the company has finally started to defend itself. The curious thing about the statement you're about to read, though, is that at no point does it apologise for the mark-ups.
We reported last week that the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 costs $1299 in the US and $1999 in Australia, a shameful mark-up of $700 for the Australian market.
The company has today gone on the record saying that the online price for a Carbon X1 with a 1-year warranty and Windows 7 Home Edition is $1589. The $1999 price reportedly came from a "full RRP" which involved customising the device with a full three-year warranty and full Windows 7 Professional operating system pre-installed.
Here's the statement. Emphasis is added:
Lenovo ANZ is providing clarification on ThinkPad X1 Carbon pricing due to some inaccuracies in articles that have appeared following the launch on Thursday 23 August. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available in Australia with a 1 year warranty and a home edition operating system from an ‘AU on-line street price’ of AU$1,589.
In several media reports, the pricing of two different models have been compared. A ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a 3 year warranty and a full Windows 7 professional operating system at 'Full RRP' of AU$1,999 has been compared with a 'US on-line street price' of US$1,299 for a product equipped with a 1 year warranty and a Windows 7 home edition operating system.
Lenovo would like to emphasise the difference between the full 'Recommended Retail Price' versus 'On-line street price'. The price listed on its press release (distributed on Thursday 23 August), AU$1,999, is the Australian ‘Recommended Retail Price’ based on a 3 year warranty and highest level operating system. This is a guide price only and local sellers and the website will decide an appropriate street price under normal market conditions. For example, by accessing the Australian website which reflects the on-line street price, one will find that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon that is available in the US for US$1,329 is available in Australia for AU$1,589.
The difference in street price in Australia vs the USA is because Lenovo provides its local customers with a local warranty, local delivery and local service.
So let's recap: the US will pay $1329 and we Australians will be paying $1589 for the exact same Carbon X1. What Lenovo says it is charging Australians extra for is local warranty, local delivery and local after-sales service. What? The US don't get this also?
So basically what we're being told is that you will pay more for buying Australian, just not quite as much as we first expected. This isn't a victory for anyone.