It was a cold shower that participants at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference felt on Monday, June 6, 2022. Hundreds of them gathered at Apple Park, the futuristic ring-shaped headquarters in Cupertino (United States). United) to attend the presentation of new software and hardware from the apple brand.
Among them, the new generation of the MacBook Air, its most accessible laptop. New design, faster, thinner and lighter, this model equipped with the new M2 processor has everything to please except… its price. 1,499 euros in France, knowing that the model that preceded it, was sold, since its release, 1,129 euros. 370 euros extra. +32.7%, i.e. a third more expensive. The previous model remains in the catalog, but with a price revised upwards, from 1,129 to 1,199 euros. +6.2% for the exact same computer as last week.
Apple is the first major brand to dare to pass on inflation (+5.2% in May 2022 over one year in France) to the prices of its products. The company led by Tim Cook even goes well beyond inflation, even if this laptop has features that probably deserved a few tens of euros more. It must be said that between the shortage of components since 2020, the explosion in shipping prices, multiplied by 5 to 10 in a few months, and the rise in the price of raw materials, we are desperately looking for good news at the moment, in the tech world.
Even the euro-dollar exchange is unfavorable to us in Europe, and so Apple is actually taking the plunge, choosing not to cut back on its margins, or only very little, at the risk of losing a good part of the MacBook Air customers, know the students, the creatives who launch their activity. In short, tight budgets.
“It may be difficult to get a return.”A source close to Samsung
Now that Apple has dared, will other high-tech brands follow suit? What will the prices look like at the start of the school year, both for new products but also for products still in the catalog? Raising prices is the taboo subject of the moment.
We contacted Samsung. We contacted Xiaomi. Or rather, we tried. “It may be difficult to have a return“, we were told when going up the trail of the Korean giant. On the Xiaomi side, we were told that the marketing managers in China would be impossible to reach, as if no manager in France could speak.
The reality is that most brands are assessing the situation almost on a day-to-day basis right now, and they don’t want to talk about it or publicly commit to not raising prices, even in the short term.
Apple did not hesitate, with a new model, to take the plunge. We will see, in September, traditionally rich in launches, if Sony, Honor, Microsoft, or Nintendo follow the same strategy as Apple which will then play very big, with the prices of the future iPhone 14 whose launch should take place in September.