Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 09:56 UTC
In the News If you don't live in the US, this is a pretty common source of irritation: US companies charging crazy markups on products sold in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and the rest of the world. The Australian government has had enough of this practice, and started an inquiry into the matter. Yesterday (or today? Timezones confuse me) Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe had to answer questions in a public hearing.
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Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:46 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

Yes it's quite annoying that for US companies 1 dollar = 1 euro.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by Soulbender on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 10:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I wish 1USD == 1Peso. That would be awesome. Funny how's that not how it is...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Wafflez
by Johann Chua on Sun 24th Mar 2013 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Wafflez"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Maybe in twenty years?

At least U.S. books tend to be relatively cheap here, given that they have to be shipped a few thousand miles. Sometimes the peso price is even less than the U.S. or Canadian cover price.

Import magazines are way too expensive, if you want them "new" (i.e., marred with the local distributor's stickers on the cover). I usually wait a few months for remaindered copies. Too bad the last time I tried subscribing to a U.S. magazine directly, I never got a single issue due to postal thievery. Local mail for the final mile is most likely the problem, but probably the only way to make international subscriptions cheap; I get overseas parcels just fine.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by Carewolf on Sun 24th Mar 2013 10:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Well, that is actually not always that far off. 1 dollar + 20% VAT ~= 1 euro.

Reply Score: 3

Good for them
by siraf72 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:06 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

In Bahrain, some US goods (especially clothes) are charged 1USD = 1 Bahraini Dinar when in fact 1 BD = 2.65 USD. But I suspect the business here are as much too blame for that as the originating company.

Reply Score: 3

over it.
by Lion on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:18 UTC
Lion
Member since:
2007-03-22

The place I see this most is Steam games. One example of this that has been annoying me for the last (almost exactly) 2 years is the pricing on Need for Speed Shift 2 - it's 75% cheaper in the USA. The last time it was heavily discounted in a Steam sale, it was still more expensive than the standard American price.
http://www.steamprices.com/au/topripoffs

These days the NZ dollar is far stronger than I am used to against the American, so it's a great time to buy stuff online to avoid some of these artificial price hikes. But Amazon is getting crazy restrictive now, and I am starting to even encounter retailers that have blacklisted the addresses of freight forwarding companies.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by docc
by docc on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:46 UTC
docc
Member since:
2013-03-22

Some of the markups here in Australia are ridiculous. There are some pieces of software (I'm looking at you Adobe) where is is cheaper to fly to the US in _business class_, buy it, fly back, and pay the full import taxes/GST than it is to buy it locally.

The only reason that they charge more here is because they can and they get away with it.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: Comment by docc
by Vinegar Joe on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by docc"
RE[2]: Comment by docc
by ricegf on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by docc"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

It would seem to imply a certain lack of competition in the affected countries, no? I wonder why (or if) that is?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by docc
by acobar on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by docc"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

No, it is not a charity be we would expect them to have a more balanced and ethical behavior. They want their cake and eat it too.

I mean, global markets are wonder when they want to produce their goods somewhere else but, at same time, they want to have exclusivity on how they distribute their goods. That is not fair. All business should be allowed to buy their goods on any market they sell and resell locally. This would furnish an equalized play field to the society. It would fix the books/electronics/medication corporative unfair practices we have right now.

The reseller, of course, must comply with local warranties duties, but I don't see it as a big deterrent.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by docc
by AmigaRobbo on Mon 25th Mar 2013 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by docc"
AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

And region 2 DVD can only be made in Region 2 countries?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by docc
by WorknMan on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by docc"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

How is this different from any other business? It's not like they are running a charity.


Yeah, I love when the article says:

other countries are facing the same high markups from US technology companies, and it mostly seems to be a case of pricing whatever they can get away with.

What, you mean a business is charging as much as the market will bear for it's product? OMFG, how dare they!?!?! LMAO, I know liberals are dumb, but sometimes their stupidity is truly astounding.

So just in case you jackasses don't get it, here's a hint for you.... if you don't like what they're charging for their products, then don't buy them!! See how easy that was? These companies don't need to justify what they're charging; it's not like they have a monopoly on water, for fuck's sake.

And anyway, people around here are always extolling the virtues of open source software, and how superior it is to the commercial/proprietary stuff. So why do you need anything from Microsoft or Adobe? I'm sure Linux has every thing you could ever want ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by docc
by acobar on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by docc"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Hum, let me see, if a big company sells to another country goodies for a price below what it charges in its native country to conquer market, it is dumping but the other way around is perfectly fine! I got to love your sense of "free market"!

People here are not complaining about the "value" associated to products but to a practice that is, like dumping, unfair tn a very desirable competitive market, i.e., rights to dictate who can sell their products and for how much on different countries. This is harmful to the society interest. The only reason it exist is because big companies "bribe" their way to get such nefarious authorizations approved.

Clearly, the only viable solution would be extinguish this kind of uneven power. If you sell in your market any company should have the right to buy there and resell on their own country. Case closed for books/electronics/medicine/etc heinous abuse.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by docc
by WorknMan on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by docc"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Clearly, the only viable solution would be extinguish this kind of uneven power. If you sell in your market any company should have the right to buy there and resell on their own country. Case closed for books/electronics/medicine/etc heinous abuse.


You heard about the recent supreme court case that ruled against Wiley & Sons? That's kind of exactly what happened ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by docc
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 25th Mar 2013 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by docc"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

While the parent was rude and disrespectful, his core point was pretty valid from a free market standpoint.

"Dumping" would be perfectly ok in a truly free market.

The free market solution to this problem, is either of your solutions. Increased competition, or middle men that can profit on the price differential.

"fairness" isn't in the vocabulary of free markets.

For the record, I'm more of a fan of regulated markets. I'd prefer stability of markets over wild swings, even at the expense of total gdp over a long stretch of time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by docc
by lemur2 on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 05:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by docc"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Some of the markups here in Australia are ridiculous. There are some pieces of software (I'm looking at you Adobe) where is is cheaper to fly to the US in _business class_, buy it, fly back, and pay the full import taxes/GST than it is to buy it locally.

The only reason that they charge more here is because they can and they get away with it.



They don't get away with it for me. I refuse to pay their hyper-inflated prices for software. I run kubuntu on my desktop and laptop and Android on my tablet and phone.


There is not one single app that I want for and yet I manage to completely avoid the ripoff that American brand name firms try to perpetrate here in Australia.

Reply Score: 3

NOt only US companies
by Luis on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 11:58 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

To be fair, it's not just US companies doing this. For example compare the prices of cameras from Japanese companies (made in Japan or some other Asian country) in Europe and the USA. For example:

Panasonic Lumix LX7 can be had for $US300 (about 230 eur) while in Europe it's hard to find it for less than 320 eur + VAT.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NOt only US companies
by gan17 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 18:17 UTC in reply to "NOt only US companies"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Whats funny about this is that it probably costs even more inside Japan.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by static666
by static666 on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 12:26 UTC
static666
Member since:
2006-06-09

Given enough demand why would you lower prices?

Especially when it comes to 'professional' products like Adobe's. One can always blame higher support costs in overseas markets or need for localization for the price increase.

Also, higher markups = higher list prices = higher discounts and bigger kickbacks.

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by chekr on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by static666"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

Given enough demand why would you lower prices?

Especially when it comes to 'professional' products like Adobe's. One can always blame higher support costs in overseas markets or need for localization for the price increase.

Also, higher markups = higher list prices = higher discounts and bigger kickbacks.

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.


Assuming that you mean an above board commission payment and not a kickback ( a kickback is in common definition underhanded and unethical, almost a a bribe) - how is that a "WIN" for a developing economy?

And if you mean kickback in its true sense - it is most definitely not a win, it is a cancerous leach on that society and should be punished with extensive jail time.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

And if you mean kickback in its true sense - it is most definitely not a win, it is a cancerous leach on that society and should be punished with extensive jail time.

I do agree, absolutely. But unfortunately it is so prevalent in Russia, for example, that every major company doing business there (you name it) is practicing kickbacks in some way. Not much you can do when it is considered normal for any manager involved in influencing the decision making process to receive his cut off the deal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by static666
by Soulbender on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 13:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by static666"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy


Yeah, corruption is an awesome win for developing countries...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

...a kickback is in common definition underhanded and unethical, almost a a bribe) - how is that a "WIN" for a developing economy?

Ultimately it's a loss for a business and society as a whole, of course. However, IT is a very lucrative target for corruption, and it's a "WIN" for the parties directly involved.

Due to many developing countries still undergoing IT revolution, we see ever increasing reliance of business processes on IT technologies, faster growing budgets and spending, together with overall complexity of most IT solutions and sometimes total lack of expertise among the top management and business owners - it often comes down to certain individuals influencing the buying decision in a major way.

Now even those tech-oriented individuals often lack education or experience for proper understanding of proposed solutions, and many care about immediate personal gains. After all job markets in developing countries are very volatile, and it's rare for people to be treated as valuable asset rather than just a workforce.

This eventually leads to kickbacks being the only real way to seal the deal and guarantee a favorable outcome for the seller. No way you're going to spend time and money designing a better solution, tailoring it specifically to customer's needs, when your competitor just comes over and simply buys your decision guy out.

I can only speak for EMEA, but working for a company selling integrated solutions from various IT vendors for many years, I've seen them all involved, up to deals going through on regional level with high profile managers being aware and providing support.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by Spiron on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 18:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by static666"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

As an Australian citizen I take offence to your implication that we're a developing economy. While I'm not schooled in economics I can say that Australia is most definitely a DEVELOPED economy which if I remember correctly managed to emerge better from the GFC that either the USA or Europe.

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software. This problem effects our private citizens who, despite the complete parity of the dollars, can't get the exact same piece of software for anywhere near the same price as a US citizen. And while you would expect some higher costs for both tax and support reasons that simply doesn't add up to a 75% increase in the price of the software.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by lemur2 on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software.


Backup for this statement (for the UK at least) can be read at the following links:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/GOV-UK-manual-suggests-a-pre...

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240179643/Government-mandates-p...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by static666 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
static666 Member since:
2006-06-09

As an Australian citizen I take offence to your implication that we're a developing economy.

Sorry, no offence intended. I was merely addressing the rest of the world point.

As to your second point about the government, a fair amount of departments are currently using or are looking at using open source software. This problem effects our private citizens who, despite the complete parity of the dollars, can't get the exact same piece of software for anywhere near the same price as a US citizen.

That is indeed great news and in my opinion the best way to influence the current situation. Still I find it quite amusing that developed countries are leading the way in free software adoption, while mostly poor third world ones being among the leading growing markets for top-priced commercial software.

And while you would expect some higher costs for both tax and support reasons that simply doesn't add up to a 75% increase in the price of the software.

I concur, 75% is completely insane. But what about microeconomics? Supply and demand? Economic equilibrium for price and quantity? If a product is popular and people can afford and do buy it, what's wrong with the pricing then?

Although the government can easily fix this by limiting margin of imported goods, software in particular. But then given the recent exposure of scale of tax evasion practiced by aforementioned companies, I'm pretty sure they'll find a way to rip people off.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by static666
by unclefester on Mon 25th Mar 2013 09:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by static666"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Kickbacks in IT are WIN in every developing economy, e.g. many parts of Europe, non-EU European states, Russia and third world.

Australian government better look into FOSS and foster adoption.


Australia is actually a far more economically and socially developed country than the USA.

Australia has:

- the second highest per capita wealth (after Switzerland)

- a minimum wage 2.5x as high as the USA

- a medium male full time wage of over $72,000 [blue collar mining workers can earn in excess of $150,000 pa.]

- much lower unemployment than the USA

- free universal health care

- far less violent crime

- it only takes 3-4 years to complete a professional degree (equivalent to US Masters). The cost is also massively subsidised.

We have even managed to virtually eliminate handguns and assault rifles.

Did I mention that we also have have better weather and better beaches than the USA?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by lemur2 on Mon 25th Mar 2013 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Australia is actually a far more economically and socially developed country than the USA.

Australia has:

- the second highest per capita wealth (after Switzerland)

- a minimum wage 2.5x as high as the USA

- a medium male full time wage of over $72,000 [blue collar mining workers can earn in excess of $150,000 pa.]

- much lower unemployment than the USA

- free universal health care

- far less violent crime

- it only takes 3-4 years to complete a professional degree (equivalent to US Masters). The cost is also massively subsidised.

We have even managed to virtually eliminate handguns and assault rifles.

Did I mention that we also have have better weather and better beaches than the USA?


Agreed. The stat I like to point out is the incarceration rates:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rat...

Norway (72 prisoners per 100,000 population) and Sweden (70) both have Australia (129) well beaten here, but in America there are 716 incarcerated prisoners per 100,000 population.

Wow!

http://www.alternet.org/story/155199/private_prison_corporations_ar...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/private-prisons-the-mor...

<sarcasm> What a "success story" private prisons of America are, hey!

With just a bit more determination, I bet they could put just about anybody behind bars in America for 30 years or more, no matter what they did!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-17/the-overzealous-prosecutio...

By one common estimate, Congress creates new federal felonies at the rate of one a week. Husak argues that criminal liability has become less the outcome of deliberation than a habit, a bizarre bit of boilerplate tacked onto the end of statutes or regulations without a second thought. Criminal defense lawyers are fond of claiming that the average American commits two or three punishable crimes every day.


America leads the world in incarceration rates (for the powerless ordinary people). What an achievement! </sarcasm>

Edited 2013-03-25 09:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 25th Mar 2013 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You can't trick me, I've seen Animal Planet. Australia is also home to the worlds deadliest snakes, spiders, sharks, fish, reptiles and AC/DC. I'm not moving there until I complete my roombatic animal assassin.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by static666
by coyote_sprit on Wed 27th Mar 2013 16:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by static666"
coyote_sprit Member since:
2011-09-13

So you brag about how grossly overpaid your countries workers are and then bitch about the price of software reflecting how grossly overpaid you are?

Then you have the gall to compare your average wages to that of America. Well newsflash, if American's overpaid its employees as much as Australia did the software prices would rise exponentially here aswell.

Reply Score: 1

The only way this will ever get solved
by darknexus on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 15:07 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

These countries need to create their own solutions for the tasks in question. If there are local competitors to the big boys, and they're effective products that genuinely stack up against them, then the big boys will have to drop prices mighty quick or else be thrown out of that market altogether. Until then, they're going to continue charging unbalanced prices, because they can. As long as there's nothing cheaper to compete against them (and I mean enterprise-grade software, not your average foss equivalent) then they can charge whatever they want. Until then, no amount of government intervension is going to help and, indeed, should the government get involved the situation is likely to remain the same if not get worse as certain pricks (ahem, politicians) will be demanding certain "considerations" in order to allow these products to continue being sold there.

Reply Score: 1

Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

I have to agree, although it sounds like everyone is charging more.

I would love for Adobe to get some competition. If only to get them to up their game.

Isn't very helpful when they are allowed to buy their competitors like Macromedia (Dreamweaver & Freehand). Having said that Corel seems to be where Adobe competitor products go to die. How many Photoshop competitors have they hoovered up over the years.

I miss the late 90s when you had Corel, Adobe, Macromedia, Metacreations, Jasc, Ulead etc all pulling in different directions coming up with ideas.

I have Photoshop CS6 and its the best Photoshop has been in ages, but Adobe barely tests their software. I have to run half of CS6 in admin mode just to get it to run. A good direct competitor could push them.

Maybe we need open 'source' formats as well as 'output' formats like PNG and SVG. A vector, bitmap and DTP or maybe some hybrid format.

Fireworks PNG at least downgrades, but that's not a truly universal format.

My wishlist would be:
- Non-destructive effects
- Embeding of images or nesting of documents
- Embeding of fonts where license allows

Edited 2013-03-22 15:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

I wish it weren't so, but I don't see how anyone could successfully take on Adobe directly, now that they have a monopoly.

It'd be like writing a clone of Microsoft Office. There are lots of Office competitors, but none can break out of a niche.

I have Photoshop CS6 and its the best Photoshop has been in ages, but Adobe barely tests their software. I have to run half of CS6 in admin mode just to get it to run. A good direct competitor could push them.


Most of the Adobe developers seem to run Macs. They do test on Windows, but this will never be as good as having your developers running on Windows everyday. That's the only way for them to get annoyed by all the bugs in the Windows version of Creative Suite applications, and put a greater priority on fixing them.

Edited 2013-03-22 18:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Chrispynutt Member since:
2012-03-14

Fair point, but it doesn't excuse it, they charge more than enough.

All that said I have seen Quark go from number one in DTP to has been. It has happened once, it can happen again.

My guess is that instead of making something like an Adobe app, you need to make something that is just plain good and has it's own vision.

Illustrator works, but its interface is backwards, you have to do lots of little dances just to make it do some things you could do in Freehand in five minutes.

There are plenty of chinks in Adobe's armour, you just can't win by being a me too.

Edited 2013-03-23 15:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

There's always GIMP's working format, XCF. I'm not sure if it's a defined standard, but it could easily be submitted as one.

Reply Score: 2

jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

Lumping Apple in with the other two is doing your readers a disservice. Apple thoroughly explained the relatively small markup on hardware. They attributed the exorbitant markup on media as in the hands of the studios, said they'd like it to be lower, and pointed to the fact that the same is true of media in any format.

These governments also aren't helping themselves by targeting the most successful companies rather than the worst perpetrators either. Some of these politicians whinging that Apple should make the studios change are clueless buffoons talking to the wrong company.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Lumping them together...? I separated Apple's response from that of Adobe/Microsoft specifically.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You can't win for losing. ;)

Reply Score: 2

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

So, how do Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft defend their price hikes? Finger-pointing and side-stepping, mostly. Apple, for instance, blames the content industry...

Microsoft and Adobe side-stepped the issue completely, and turned it into a bit of a marketing and PR opportunity: they both pointed towards more recent internet-based offerings such as Office 365 and Creative Cloud, stating that the Australian prices for those products are much more in line with US pricing.


I think you did a pretty good and subtle job of lumping them together. Apple actually has reasonable hardware prices and, rather than "pointing fingers", can legitimately attribute the price difference on media to another agent.

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

pretty good and subtle job of lumping the rather than "pointing fingers", can legitimately attribute the price difference on media to another agent.


Yes... So they are... Pointing fingers... To another agent...

You're really stretching it to try and imagine some morsel of supposedly anti-Apple stuff, aren't you? I must say, I applaud you for this one. Well done you. This took some major effort :/.

Reply Score: 3

lustyd Member since:
2008-06-19

To be fair Apple do just add their 30% to everything in iTunes and allow the content owner to set the price so I think the point that their sidestepping is legitimate is a good one. I don't think the article lumped them together on purpose though

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

To be fair Apple do just add their 30% to everything in iTunes and allow the content owner to set the price so I think the point that their sidestepping is legitimate is a good one. I don't think the article lumped them together on purpose though



To be fair I can add an independent repository such as f-droid on my Android tablet. F-droid adds 0% on top of the 0$ asking price.


https://f-droid.org/

Reply Score: 2

lustyd Member since:
2008-06-19

Well that's just smashing, how many songs and movies are in that repository? Given that was what we were talking about I assume there must be loads otherwise you'd look like a fool on the Internet in front of everyone!

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Well that's just smashing, how many songs and movies are in that repository? Given that was what we were talking about I assume there must be loads otherwise you'd look like a fool on the Internet in front of everyone!


The topic is (and I quote): "Microsoft, Adobe, Apple defend Australian price hikes". Microsoft, Apple and Adobe are all software vendors, only Apple is a significant media retailer.

Edited 2013-03-25 03:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Apple actually has reasonable hardware prices and, rather than "pointing fingers", can legitimately attribute the price difference on media to another agent.


I am running an Android tablet I bought from Kogan Australia. It cost me less than half the equivalent iPad would have and it comes with webm and vorbis support built in to the hardware, which Apple utterly lacks.

Edited 2013-03-23 05:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lustyd Member since:
2008-06-19

Yeah I hear that Vorbis is going to really take off any time now. I think there might even be someone who's heard of it without being a nerd now...oh wait no, apparently they were thinking of a vortex it still is just hopeful geeks and everyone else uses standard formats.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yeah I hear that Vorbis is going to really take off any time now. I think there might even be someone who's heard of it without being a nerd now...oh wait no, apparently they were thinking of a vortex it still is just hopeful geeks and everyone else uses standard formats.


It matters not that vorbis did not gain huge visibility amongst the general populace, the fact remains there does exist a large amount of material encoded in vorbis audio and webm.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:File_types

http://gigaom.com/2011/04/19/youtube-webm-transcodes/

On an Apple device one cannot render this material. On an Android device, one can:

http://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/media-formats.html

Both vorbis and VP8 (and therefore webm) are a defined part of the Android Supported Media Formats.

The majority of the latest generation of ARM SoCs fully support the Android Supported Media Formats:

http://wiki.webmproject.org/hardware/arm-socs

For that matter, there is also the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) to consider:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hardware_and_software_that_sup...

FLAC is not natively supported on the iOS platform, including all "iDevices". This is especially true of iTunes software on such devices, where FLAC is not supported, with Apple only offering native support for their own similar ALAC lossless audio format.

As with their iOS operating system, Apple's iTunes software on OS X cannot natively playback FLAC audio files.

Native support for FLAC was added to the Android operating system starting from the 3.1 'Honeycomb' update.


What a surprise, hey! iOS is falling a long way behind in media support. This is a bit strange, because it is not as though it would actually cost Apple anything to provide their users with support for vorbis, VP8, webm, FLAC and the like. No, it would seem it is more of the case that Apple just wants users to pay more for multimedia than they need to.

Edited 2013-03-25 03:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lustyd Member since:
2008-06-19

iOS is not falling behind at all. Apple have chosen not to support hundreds of codecs just for the sake of it. ITunes will recode anything you want on the device into a standard format so the ability of the device to playback oddball files makes no difference. Yes, there may be quite a few of these files around, but those numbers are completely dwarfed by the MP3, MPEG2 and MPEG4 numbers which everyone who isn't a Linux nerd has standardised on, making the numbers you're talking about considerably less than 1% or the total. I'm unaware of any store selling legal vorbis tracks, or any source of legal VP8 movies - I'm talking about studio created content here rather than people in their bedrooms setting up shop.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

iOS is not falling behind at all.


Yes it is. There are a growing number of things I can do on an Android tablet/phone that cannot be done on an iPad/iPhone. Rendering VP8 & vorbis (and hence webm) is just one of them. For example, I can enable repositories other than Google Play if I want to, and I can thereby choose apps to install that do not incur a levy going to the authors of the operating system.

https://f-droid.org/

http://www.howtogeek.com/106175/the-top-5-alternatives-to-the-andro...

Apple have chosen not to support hundreds of codecs just for the sake of it.


How nice for Apple. How disenfranchising, dis-empowering and cost-incurring for consumers.

You make my point for me.

Edited 2013-03-25 08:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Are there hidden costs of some sort?
by Tuishimi on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 23:13 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Like the VAT? I mean, there has to be SOME reason other than "because we can" for the higher prices?

Reply Score: 3

Costs more
by Dano on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 05:17 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

It probably costs more to support software in these other markets. Look at all of the charges that the EU constantly levies against Microsoft. These charges don't occur in the U.S. market. The EU charges Microsoft for browser equality, but that costs money...someone has to pay. If you don't like to pay for the overhead in these markets, there are alternatives. There is probably less piracy in the US market then say some markets in Asia, which increases risks and deprives the manufacturer income.

Edited 2013-03-23 05:27 UTC

Reply Score: 0

v RE: Costs more
by mikeinohio on Sun 24th Mar 2013 00:55 UTC in reply to "Costs more"
RE[2]: Costs more
by lemur2 on Sun 24th Mar 2013 06:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Costs more"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The European, Asian, and Australian economies tend to be much more taxed and regulated than the American Economy.


Australia is a socialist democracy, so in Australia one does pay higher taxes as an individual, but company taxes aren't so high. Companies do pay company tax, however.

For your taxes in Australia, you do get roads and infrastructure, water, sewage and electrical distribution, public transport, education, welfare and decent health care for all citizens largely paid for from the public purse.

This takes soooooo much away from ones wages that Australian standard of living ends up only second best in the world (to Norway in one survey and Sweden in another), all things considered.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development...

http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-quality-of-l...

So much for American theories of "small government low taxes". It turns out that that policy is meant to benefit only the top 1% of rich people and the large corporations.

http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/16-g...

If consumers value their standard of living, they need to grow up and understand that the is no something for nothing. The European Union has already fined Microsoft billions of euros over its alleged browser monopoly. If that number is divided by the number of Windows licenses sold in Europe, it comes out to several euros per license. That is the cost of just one example of European Union litigious nonsense.


If consumers do indeed value their standard of living, I would contend that Australia has got it right and America has not:

http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/04/its-official-australia-is-the-n...

America might be a better place to operate if you are a large corporation, but that fact demonstrably has very little to do with the standard of living for consumers.

Edited 2013-03-24 06:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Costs more
by mikeinohio on Sun 24th Mar 2013 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Costs more"
mikeinohio Member since:
2010-02-21

Australia is a socialist democracy, so in Australia one does pay higher taxes as an individual, but company taxes aren't so high. Companies do pay company tax, however.

For your taxes in Australia, you do get roads and infrastructure, water, sewage and electrical distribution, public transport, education, welfare and decent health care for all citizens largely paid for from the public purse.


I do not disagree with that. I am just saying that government is a zero sum game at best. If the government gives you free or subsidized something; it is driving up the cost of something else to pay for it.

This takes soooooo much away from ones wages that Australian standard of living ends up only second best in the world (to Norway in one survey and Sweden in another), all things considered.


I am not sure how to explain that without giving the politically correct a heart attack. Let me just say that if the United States had the same demographics as the countries you mention, it would be in first place.

So much for American theories of "small government low taxes". It turns out that that policy is meant to benefit only the top 1% of rich people and the large corporations.


Actually the small government low taxes model worked quite well in United States until the beginning of the 20th century. The problem is that the one percenters or the elite political ruling class as I call them are using the power of government through taxes and regulations to secure their positions and enrich themselves. Or, to put another way, the 1% are using big government to their own benefit and to the detriment of the 99%.

If consumers do indeed value their standard of living, I would contend that Australia has got it right and America has not:

http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/04/its-official-australia-is-the-n...


Again, If you factor in the demographic differences between the countries, you will reach a different conclusion.

America might be a better place to operate if you are a large corporation, but that fact demonstrably has very little to do with the standard of living for consumers.


I would disagree. I would say that the lower prices afforded by the small government/ low tax model leaves the consumer with more money for the necessities and luxuries of life.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Costs more
by lemur2 on Mon 25th Mar 2013 03:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Costs more"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Actually the small government low taxes model worked quite well in United States until the beginning of the 20th century. The problem is that the one percenters or the elite political ruling class as I call them are using the power of government through taxes and regulations to secure their positions and enrich themselves. Or, to put another way, the 1% are using big government to their own benefit and to the detriment of the 99%.


... which fact is more than just incidentally related to the thread topic.

"America might be a better place to operate if you are a large corporation, but that fact demonstrably has very little to do with the standard of living for consumers.


I would disagree. I would say that the lower prices afforded by the small government/ low tax model leaves the consumer with more money for the necessities and luxuries of life.
"

And I would disagree with you. A large percentage of Americans lives well below the poverty line, and they have no money "for the necessities and luxuries of life". Certainly not for the luxuries, and a goodly percentage of the population have not enough for the necessities. At least if America followed the more socialist Australian model, that large number of people would be immensely better off, since the government provides a decent proportion of the necessities (health care, education, welfare, public infrastructure) to everybody, so that consumers don't have to pay for them with wages (which in some cases people are not getting).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM

Meanwhile, America has apparently reached a wage inequality dystopia already.

Edited 2013-03-25 03:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Costs more
by Tuishimi on Mon 25th Mar 2013 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Costs more"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

So what are the taxes levied on software and other products from other countries?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Costs more
by lemur2 on Tue 26th Mar 2013 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Costs more"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So what are the taxes levied on software and other products from other countries?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_and_Services_Tax_%28Australi...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Costs more
by cropr on Sun 24th Mar 2013 11:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Costs more"
cropr Member since:
2006-02-14

This argument would make sense if Microsoft has increased the European prices after getting the fine, but that's not the case. Even before receiving the fine the Eorpeab prices were considerably higher than the American prices. It does not explain that australian prices are higher or that Adobe and Apple have higher prices

Reply Score: 2

EU prices
by twitterfire on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 08:46 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I think EU commission should take on this. Not only software and media has higher prices in EU, but any piece of electronics or IT hardware is at least 25% more expensive in EU than it is in US.

EU commission should try to enforce legislation to make US and asian companies pay much higher taxes and/or customs duties if they sell for much higher prices in EU than in US.

Just try to compare prices on newgg.com with any EU online store. It's a shame.

Reply Score: 4

Not a free market
by demosthenese on Sat 23rd Mar 2013 16:44 UTC
demosthenese
Member since:
2011-02-01

The biggest problem is that big businesses have successfully lobbied for laws against free movement of goods by third parties. So though you could buy a bundle of licenses from the US, it can be illegal to sell them on in another market. This applies to physical goods too.

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1261829.stm>

Reply Score: 2

www.shun-happymall.com
by common8861 on Mon 25th Mar 2013 13:03 UTC
common8861
Member since:
2013-02-20

input this URL:

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Sunglasses (Oakey,coach,gucci,Armaini) $15
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Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $20

Reply Score: 1

Worth what you are willing to pay.
by airwedge1 on Mon 25th Mar 2013 17:48 UTC
airwedge1
Member since:
2006-02-22

Anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay. If Australians stopped buying the software, the price would go down. Simple economics.

Reply Score: 1

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

you should have stuck around that economics class past the first week...

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay. If Australians stopped buying the software, the price would go down. Simple economics.


The competition is on in earnest, and Apple doesn't seem inclined to flinch on prices yet.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/3/13/technology/andro...

Android tablets to overtake iPad this year: IDC

Shipments of tablets running Google Inc's Android will overtake the iPad this year for the first time, research house IDC predicted on Tuesday, as Apple Inc cedes more mobile market share to hard-charging rivals around the globe.

A growing variety of smaller and cheaper Android tablets from Google to Amazon.com Inc will catch on this year with more consumers and chip away at Apple's dominance since the first iPad launched in 2010, International Data Corp said.


The Australian market is well and truly included in this trend. In previous years one could only buy a tablet that was an iPad model, but now in the mass market stores twice as many Android tablet models are offered as iPad models, and the Android tablets have more attractive pricing.

I think that Apple think that their sh** doesn't stink. I think they may well be headed for a crash.

Edited 2013-03-26 07:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2