I don’t know why you keep doing this to yourself, but here you are once more, reading about how expensive -hence, prohibitive- technology in this country really is.
According to a study on 43 stores in seven countries conducted by consulting agency IntegraGo and published today by Infobae, Argentina once again takes the podium as the most expensive place in the Americas to buy electronic and tech products. This, obviously, doesn’t come as a shock but as confirmation of what you already knew. It also explains why a local cell phone company is currently advertising a sale on the iPhone 6 (Jesus Christ, the iPhone 6!), which can be yours for 18 monthly payments. Which means you will finish paying for it by the time an iPhone 12 (or whatever it’s called) hits the market and your mobile device is effectively obsolete because it can’t project holograms or travel back in time.
According to IntegraGo, on average, electronic products in Argentina are sold at more than double the price of what they cost in the United States and are a 78 percent more expensive than in Mexico, which is the cheapest country in Latin America to buy tech products.
And this is the part where it gets really depressing. As Infobae says, the largest price differences “are seen in video and photography” products, which on average cost 128 percent more here than in the United States.
A GoPro Hero5 Black in the United States costs AR $7,213.92. In Argentina it’s AR $14,315.74 (or US $793.34, whichever you prefer). Would like to buy an iPhone 8 with 64GB? Infobae says that while, on average, it costs US $700 (AR $12,637), you can buy it here for US $1,551 (AR $27,999).
Oh, we’re not done.
“What about a MacBook Air?” you ask? Sure, here you go: a 13″, 128 GB will cost you US $1,493 (or AR $27,000) here, or 35 percent more than you would pay for in Chile, where it’s sold for US $1,100 (or AR $19,888).
Enrique Carrier from consultants Carrier y Asociados told Infobae that the simple explanation for this is that “Apple products are imported and therefore have to pay a series of taxes when entering the country, while devices assembled in Tierra del Fuego get tax benefits.”
OK, so you say that Apple products are super expensive anyway and you’re right. Fair enough. Let’s take a look at other computer brands, then.
Remember when the government announced that it would be eliminating the 35 percent import tax on laptop computers and everyone was like “OMG yes!” (well, except for local computer manufacturers who were like “OMG, no!”)? Turns out that laptop computers saw a 20 percent price drop after that. And guess what. Still expensive!
When compared to other countries in the region, we are still on top. It obviously depends on the computer model, but a 15.6 HP laptop computer with an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive costs near US $691 [AR $12,499], while it’s US $640 in Chile and US $449 in the United States. The local price is eight percent higher than Chile’s and 53 percent higher than the United States’.”
Carrier seems to see some light at the end of the tunnel in the future since “the idea is to see a price reduction by reducing import taxes”.
“Now, import licenses are automatic and do not require a previous authorization like they did in the past. This creates more certainty in the [electronic] sector and ensures a more fluid supply,” he said.
Pablo Frutos, market intelligence director at IntegraGo says, however, that he has seen a decrease in domestic consumption and criticizes a lack of “measures that target the consumer instead of the product because, even though there are sales out there, you can still see a drop in consumption probably due to the reduction in purchasing power. Maybe we lack measures that motivate the user to buy new products.”
At least it’s not all bad news, since when compared to similar products last year, there has been a price drop in relation to the average in the region: price difference in Argentina used to be 130 percent higher. Now it’s only 101 percent. So, uh… Yay?
PS: Any of you going to Miami and/or Chile soon? I need a favor. Thanks, bye.