In a recent regulatory filing, Apple has warned investors that it might be forced to make its devices "more expensive for customers" as a result of the additional costs created by increased trade tariffs.
The filing (reported via CultofMac) is further evidence that a US-China trade war could end up having a real impact on the prices consumers pay for everyday items.
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The iPhone 8 and MacBook Pro maker could be hit by the tariffs in a couple of different ways, because China is both an important market for the company to sell its goods in, as well as where it manufactures most of its devices.
Either way, it could lead to increased costs for consumers in both countries, as Apple suggests it may have to ramp up prices in order to maintain the same margins on the products it produces.
Of course, the big question is whether these price increases will end up hurting Apple or consumers more. Its customers have already proven that they don’t mind spending upwards of $1000 on the likes of the iPhone X, but with every product there always comes a tipping point where it’s just too expensive to be worth considering.
The war grows
The trade war between China and the US has been underway since July, when the US imposed a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.
China quickly responded with a 25% tariff of its own, on $34 billion worth of US goods.
However, more recently the US President has told reporters that he’s requested an investigation of the feasibility of imposing a 25% tariff on as much as $200 billion of Chinese goods. The Chinese government has responded that it could retaliate with a similar amount of trade restrictions if the tariffs end up being imposed.
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It’s not yet clear exactly what sort of impact this might end up having on consumers in the UK, however the weak value of the pound since the Brexit vote has resulted in price rises of its own, with iPhone prices having increased by as much as £100 and some MacBooks going up by much more.
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