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Apple MacBook, iMac prices become latest victims of Brexit

Price hikes hit Apple products in the UK, including on older versions of devices such as the Mac Mini, Mac Pro and iMac.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple unveiled a swish new MacBook Pro on Thursday that came complete with a hefty price tag of $1,799.

There's nothing unusual about high prices on Apple's newest, most sophisticated tech. But if the MacBook seems expensive to Americans, it's worse for customers in the UK where it costs £1,749 -- equal to $2,121.

More unusual is what happened to Apple's older products in the UK. Normally, prices for such products drop when Apple adds new tech to its lineup. This time, the opposite happened. The Apple Store went down on Thursday, as it usually does before an Apple launch event. When it popped back up, though, some items were more expensive in the UK than they were before.

Blame it on Brexit.

Apple is far from being the only tech company reconsidering prices, given the pound's decline since the UK voted in June to leave the European Union. The OnePlus 3, the HTC Vive and some Microsoft business products have suffered a similar fate. For British technology lovers, these price rises are a kick in the teeth, as tech is already comparatively expensive in the UK.

Until Thursday, the 13-inch MacBook Pro cost £849, but head to the Apple Store now and you'll see it costs £949. The smallest increase was for the Mac Mini, which at £479 costs £80 more than it did earlier this week. At the other end of the scale, the Mac Pro is now priced at £2,999, which is £500 more than it cost previously. The iMac 4K and iMac 5K also saw price increases of several hundred pounds each.


The two left columns show Apple Store prices earlier in October. The two right columns show prices for the same products now.

Screenshot by CNET of Apple Store site

In the US, prices for all such products remained the same.

The same thing happened to iPad pricing following Apple's iPhone 7 launch event in September. The prices of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus dropped as they usually do. In the US the price reductions also affected iPads, but iPad prices rose by £10 to £50 in the UK.

Pricing around the world can be influenced by a variety of considerations, Apple said in a statement.

"Apple suggests product prices internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, local import laws, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business," the company said. "These factors vary from region to region and over time, such that international prices are not always comparable to US suggested retail prices."

If you'd been planning on buying an iMac or MacBook before the increase, you still have a chance to snap them up at their original prices from some third-party retailers, including John Lewis.

First published October 28 at 6:50 a.m. PT.
Update at 7:53 a.m. PT: Added Apple's statement.