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Apple MacBook Pro (2023) UK price gives Brits another pound-ing

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro models today, offering M2 Pro and M2 Max configurations, but behind all that power is a price disparity for Mac fans in the UK.

While the sterling currency has had a rough year against the dollar (currently at around £1 = $1.22), Apple has chosen to essentially charge Brits more for the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The sterling amount is now higher than the dollar amount Apple is charging, despite the fact a direct translation between the two currencies works out as a much lower amount in GBP.

Let’s have a look at how the starting prices compare with the previous generation MacBook Pro 2021 vs MacBook Pro 2023.

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch M1 Pro (2021): £1,899 / $1,999
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch M1 Pro (2021): £2,399 / $2,499
Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro (2023): £2,149 / $1,999
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch M2 Pro (2023): £2,699 / $2,499

As you can see there’s a massive disparity between the 2021 and 2023 generations. While the 2021 models were both £100 lower than the US dollar amount, the 2023 models are £150 and £200 higher than the dollar amount respectively. And that’s just the starting prices. As you configure the Mac with higher end components, the disparity only grows.

Let’s look at the prices if you were to do a direct currency transfer, and, say bought the US version with your UK bank account. The 14-inch MacBook Pro 2023 model would start at £1,638. That’s £500 less than Apple is charging if you purchase from the Apple Store UK. The 16-inch model would be £2,048 vs the £2,699 Apple is charging.

There is a slight caveat, of course, because the UK prices include VAT while the US prices listed do not include the 6% sales tax American shoppers are charged, but it’s still a significant disparity.

Apple has been preparing us for this shock though. The 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 (2022) started at £1,349 / $1,299. There, the sterling amount was £50 higher than the dollar amount. Contrarily, the 2020 M1 models were priced £1,299 / $1,299 respectively.

There was a time when the sterling amount was significantly lower than the dollar amount on Apple products, but the strength of sterling has plummeted over the last decade, especially since Brexit. The average exchange rate in 2013 was £1 = £1.56. Now, £1 = £1.22. During Liz Truss’ disastrous administration, it got as low as £1 = £1.03.

That’s where the blame lies, but Apple could also be fairer in offering a truer exchange rate-based pricing strategy. Alas, if you want that, you’ll have to go and buy one in the US.

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