South Africans getting a raw deal with high iPad prices

A MyBroadband analysis has revealed that pricing for Apple’s new M2-powered iPad Air and M4-powered iPad Pro models is significantly more expensive in South Africa than in the US.

The Cupertino-based tech giant unveiled its new tablets at its “Let Loose” event on Tuesday, 7 May 2024, and pre-orders went live in South Africa on Friday, 10 May.

The new M2-powered iPad Air has a Liquid Retina display and is available in two sizes: 11 or 13 inches.

Apple says the iPad Air’s M2 chip enables it to perform more intensive artificial intelligence tasks. It also features support for the Apple Pencil and Pencil Pro.

Taking a page from the iPad Pro’s book, Apple housed the new iPad Air’s selfie camera on the display’s landscape edge.

It is available with a choice of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage, with colour options including blue, purple, starlight, and space grey.

The new iPad Pro features an Apple Ultra Retina XDR display. It is also available with an 11-inch or 13-inch display.

Apple also announced that it features Tandem OLED technology, combining two overlapping OLED displays to deliver 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness.

The Pro-branded iPads have shed some bulk, with the 11-inch variation measuring 5.3mm in thickness and the 13-inch measuring 5.1mm. This makes the 13-inch iPad Pro the thinnest product that Apple sells.

The new iPad Pro models pack Apple’s latest M4 processor, which features four performance cores and six efficiency cores and is built on the GPU architecture from Apple’s M3 chip.

Apple said this is necessary for the Tandem OLED display and enables ray tracing and up to 38 trillion operations per second.

The new iPad Pro models are available in silver or black.

Apple also offers the option of Nano-Textured glass for higher-specced iPad Pro models. The option is only available to those with 1TB or higher storage configurations.

2024 Apple iPad Air colours.

iPad Air and iPad Pro prices in South Africa versus the US

MyBroadband compared South African and US pricing across Apple’s new iPad Air and iPad Pro models.

Dollar amounts from Apple’s US store were converted to rands at an exchange rate of $1 to R18.17 as of 10:00 on Tuesday, 21 May.

Note that US pricing does not include tax, as this varies across the country. State and local governments can all levy their own sales taxes, which can range between 0% and 11.5%.

We found that US pricing was significantly cheaper across the new iPad range.

For example, the 11-inch iPad Pro M4 starts at R22,999 in South Africa, compared to R18,152 in the US — a difference of nearly R5,000.

The price differences increase substantially as the spec increases.

To this end, the top-specced 11-inch iPad Pro M4 costs R53,199 in South Africa. Apple’s US store lists the same unit for R41,773.

The same can be said for Apple’s new iPad Air models.

The 11-inch M2 iPad Air starts at R13,999 in South Africa. However, the same iPad costs R10,884 through Apple’s US store, representing a difference of R3,015.

The top-specced 13-inch M2 iPad Air is R7,170 more expensive in South Africa than in the US.

The higher South African iPad prices would not come as a surprise to many Apple enthusiasts in South Africa.

As the sole official distributor of Apple products in South Africa, Core Group have often been accused of inflated prices.

The company previously dismissed these concerns, saying South African consumers do not consider import duties, forward cover, and other costs when comparing prices.

Core Group also previously argued that its monopoly on Apple products was good for the brand because it provided the company with the money needed for marketing.

The distributor said a more competitive market with multiple distributors would cause resellers to negotiate for better prices.

In such a scenario, Core Group said, margins will shrink, leaving them with less money for marketing and related activities.

The tables below compare South African and US pricing for Apple’s newest iPad Air and iPad Pro models.


2024 iPad Pro M4 prices — South Africa vs the US

iPad Pro M4 prices: South Africa vs the US
iPad Pro iStore Apple US
11-inch
iPad Pro M4 [256GB | Wi-Fi] R22,999 R18,152
iPad Pro M4 [256GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R27,699 R21,786
iPad Pro M4 [512GB | Wi-Fi] R27,699 R21,786
iPad Pro M4 [512GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R32,299 R25,420
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi] R36,999 R29,054
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi | Nano-Texture display] R39,199 R29,054
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R41,499 R32,688
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular | Nano-Texture display] R43,999 R34,505
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi] R46,499 R36,322
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi | Nano-Texture display] R48,499 R38,139
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R50,999 R39,956
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular | Nano-Texture display] R53,199 R41,773
13-inch
iPad Pro M4 [256GB | Wi-Fi] R29,999 R23,603
iPad Pro M4 [256GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R34,599 R27,237
iPad Pro M4 [512GB | Wi-Fi] R34,599 R27,237
iPad Pro M4 [512GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R39,199 R30,871
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi] R43,999 R34,505
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi | Nano-Texture display] R46,499 R36,322
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R48,499 R38,139
iPad Pro M4 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular | Nano-Texture display] R50,999 R39,956
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi] R53,199 R41,773
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi | Nano-Texture display] R55,499 R43,590
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R57,999 R45,407
iPad Pro M4 [2TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular | Nano-Texture display] R59,999 R47,224

2024 iPad Air M2 prices — South Africa vs the US

iPad Air M2 prices: South Africa vs the US
iPad Air iStore Apple US
11-inch
iPad Air M2 [128GB | Wi-Fi] R13,999 R10,884
iPad Air M2 [128GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R17,299 R13,610
iPad Air M2 [256GB | Wi-Fi] R15,999 R12,701
iPad Air M2 [256GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R19,599 R15,427
iPad Air M2 [512GB | Wi-Fi] R20,899 R16,335
iPad Air M2 [512GB | Wi-Fi +Cellular] R24,199 R19,060
iPad Air M2 [1TB | Wi-Fi] R25,499 R19,969
iPad Air M2 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R28,999 R22,694
13-inch
iPad Air M2 [128GB | Wi-Fi] R18,499 R14,518
iPad Air M2 [128GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R21,999 R17,243
iPad Air M2 [256GB | Wi-Fi] R20,799 R16,335
iPad Air M2 [256GB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R24,199 R19,060
iPad Air M2 [512GB | Wi-Fi] R25,499 R19,969
iPad Air M2 [512GB | Wi-Fi +Cellular] R28,999 R22,694
iPad Air M2 [1TB | Wi-Fi] R29,999 R23,603
iPad Air M2 [1TB | Wi-Fi + Cellular] R33,499 R26,328

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South Africans getting a raw deal with high iPad prices