Apple's global pricing sucks

One of the things I'm most passionate about is photography. It turns out this is where I tend to spend a large chunk of my disposable income. Too large. Luckily, I've controlled myself lately and haven't given in to gear or software lust in a long time. I'm enjoying my current cameras and Aperture does almost everything I want it to.

However, I still have the need to do more in depth retouching sometimes and therefore need Photoshop. As I mentioned yesterday, I haven't upgraded Photoshop. I'm 2 versions behind and refuse to spend any more money on it. It's just way too expensive for what I do with it, and every update just gets tons of more non-photography related crap and just one or two things I would like. It's now a bloated, confusing, and ugly application. So, I've developed a bit of an animosity towards Photoshop.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the following regarding Photoshop:

I haven’t upgraded in ages and don’t have any plans to. Aperture and a few plugins do most of what I need. I’m thinking of giving Acorn and Pixelmator a try though as they seem to do most of what I use Photoshop for.

Well, today I received an email with an offer for 50% off on Pixelmator.

Because I like to believe in coincidences, I clicked through to the Pixelmator website to check it out once more before purchasing it. I had already decided it was time to buy it. I noticed the actual price was $59.99 and since I strongly believe in supporting developers, I thought to myself "maybe I'll just buy directly and pay full price".

That's when my disgust with Apple's pricing strategy started. Here's what happened:

The Pixelmator website has a 'buy' button. Clicking on it starts the following:

  • The Mac App Store Preview page opens and shows the price to be $59.99
  • The actual Mac App store opens and shows the price to be $74.99

Now, let me explain. The Mac App Store Preview page is the US store, so the $59.99 is in US dollars. Since I'm in Australia, the Mac App Store is the Australian version, so the $74.99 is in Australian dollars. But according to Google, the exchange rate today is "1 Australian dollar = 1.0672 U.S. dollars", and it has been close to 1 to 1 for months. That means I should be able to buy Pixelmator through the Mac App store for just under $59.99 and not $74.99.

Who are they trying to rip off?

The same thing happens with music in iTunes. The US$0.99 songs are AU$1.69.

I have two issues with this:

  1. Why screw consumers? Wouldn't Apple (and the developers/artists/etc.) sell more if they charged appropriately?
  2. Who gets the extra revenue when a consumer falls for this? I sincerely hope it's the authors (developers/artists) and not Apple, but I wouldn't bet on it.

This situation annoyed me so much that I almost didn't buy Pixelmator. It seems it's a bad situation for everyone. If I don't buy, everybody looses (including me). If I buy through Apple, both the developer and myself get screwed. If I buy through the offer, I'm guessing the developer gets a bad deal since revenue is half and they'd have to give a commission to the promoter. Plus I don't get to feel good for supporting the developer.

In the end I did go back to the email and clicked through and ended up buying it for AU$28.10 at the appropriate exchange rate. And I don't feel good about it.