The gold Apple Watch is so expensive in the UK that it's cheaper to fly all the way to New York to buy one (AAPL)
If you live in the UK, do not buy a gold Apple Watch. At least, not here.
On April 24, Apple will release the Apple Watch, its first foray into a new product category in five years. The high-end 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will retail for as much as £11,500 ($17,000) in the US — £2,000 ($2,959) cheaper than the retail price of the same watch in the UK. Here, it will cost £13,500, or roughly $20,000.
The price difference is so significant that it's actually cheaper for bling-craving Brits to fly from London to New York to the buy the watch, and even have enough cash left over to hang around for the entire weekend, go shopping, and pop into a Broadway show, before shooting back home on Monday.
Here are some examples of what Brits can afford to do in New York instead of shelling out £13,500 for the watch alone:
- Buy a round-trip ticket from London to New York, going out on April 23 ahead of the launch, and returning on Monday, April 26: £588
- Stay in a spacious Airbnb apartment in Brooklyn for the 4 days: £252
- Go and see Book of Mormon on Broadway on Saturday night: £154
- Have spending money for 4 days: £400
- Buy the Apple Watch Edition itself: £11,500
- Grab a bonus iPhone 6 on their way out: £438
And this still comes out as £170 cheaper than the Apple Watch Edition would be in the UK.
The issue of tech pricing has always been a sore spot for Brits. The same technology products will go on sale for considerably more in Britain than in the US, with absolutely no discernible difference. For example, an iPhone 6 off-contract starts at £539 ($797) in the UK, compared to a bargain £438 ($649) in the States.
Tech companies sometimes blame this disparity on slightly higher UK taxes, and a higher cost of doing business in Britain, according to Which.