Crunch time for Apple fans over price hikes of up to £500

A new MacBook Pro is priced at up to 20% higher than before at the tail end of 2016.REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Under the guise of releasing a new high-spec range of laptops, Apple has raised prices across its entire computing range.

The updated MacBook Pros are more expensive than the machines they are replacing, but computers that have had no change to their specifications at all have also had their prices increased.

The price increase has been introduced to offset the new low exchange rate between the US dollar and pound sterling, with no increases being applied to the computers in America.

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Apple raised the price of its Mac computers by about 20% on Thursday, adding £100 to the 13-inch MacBook Air, its cheapest laptop, to £949. In the US, before VAT, the price is still $999. The iMac 4K and 5K are now £300 more expensive in Britain.

The 12in MacBook, currently Apple's smallest computer, starts at £1,249 – although the very same model sold for £1,049 24 hours earlier. And the 13in and 15in MacBook Pros with Retina displays – the older model of MacBook Pro – are still on sale, starting at £1,249 and £1,899 respectively. On Thursday, those computers cost £999 and £1,599.

Similar price increases hit the company's desktop computers. The Mac mini, still the lowest priced computer that Apple makes, has gone from £399 to £479. The cheapest iMac is now £1,049 up from £899, while the Mac Pro has seen its base price increase by £500, from £2,499 to £2,99

In a statement, Apple told The Guardian: "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.

"These factors vary from region to region and over time, such that international prices are not always comparable to US suggested retail prices."

But some commentators were unconvinced by this reasoning. David Buik of Panmure Gordon & Co told the Daily Mail: "To pass on the drop in sterling in one hit is completely unnecessary and unwarranted.

"Apple are using Brexit and the drop in the value of the pound as a convenient excuse to impose huge hikes in their prices."

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Fans of the computers took to Twitter to express their disappointment:

Apple is not the only technology company announcing price increases. In order to offset the slide in the value of the pound, Microsoft has warned it will be raising the prices of its software by 13% and its cloud services by 22%.

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