January 14, 2015
Apple raises minimum prices worldwide
by Kirsten Reach
In December, Apple announced it would vary prices in the European Union by country, instead of having one set rate across borders. New tax rates were implemented on January 1, and Apple responded this week by raising minimum prices in the EU, Canada, Norway, and Russia.
Apple doesn’t roll out these kind of changes often. In the words of Slaven Radic, the CEO of Tapstream Network, who interviewed about the change with Bloomberg, “They’re very measured about this–sometimes they’ll lose money if they can avoid showing too much price movement on things.”
The app store includes music, books, and other digital products. In an email that went out this week, the company blamed taxes and foreign exchange rates:
Mikey Campbell at AppleInsider speculates, “While not specifically mentioned in the letter, Apple could be acclimating App Store prices to recent currency fluctuations, while at the same time buffering against what is expected to be a volatile month for the euro.”
Kif Leswing at Gigaom agrees, “A bigger driving force behind this price bump is that the dollar is at a nine-year high against the Euro.” The dollar’s doing well, and this is a vote of confidence from Apple.
So international prices are up for books and other products available through Apple. As of this week, the minimum price in the EU is €0.99; in the UK, £0.79; and in Canada, $1.19.
Kirsten Reach was an editor at Melville House.