Apple has now announced its UK price for the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, nicknamed Snow Leopard. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard costs £25, while the Family Pack costs £39. But with US Mac users paying just $29 and $49 for those same products there was an immediate outcry.
The UK Macworld website featured reader comments such as "29.00 USD = 17.5809 GBP on current rates. Ouch!" and "Should be about £21 inc VAT based on the US price".
Another moans: "Why does the UK Mac customer always get ripped off by Apple? I know that £25 is cheap for an operating system (albeit a minor upgrade) but you can't help but be annoyed by the much cheaper US version."
Snow Leopard had been expected to be priced at under £20 by Apple UK.
A new Mac Box Set - featuring Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, iLife '09 and iWork '09 - costs £129 and £179 for the Family Pack.
Those running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger will need to upgrade by purchasing the Mac Box Set.
In the US the Mac Box Set costs $169 and $229 for the Family Pack.
Mac OS X Server 10.6 Snow Leopard - Unlimited Client Licence costs £399, or $499 in the US.
Some users of earlier OS X versions, such as Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, have also complained of the need to buy the Mac Box Set. in response, in an article entitled "Helpful hints for Mac users whining and moaning about Snow Leopard", Craig Grannell writes:
"Do you Tiger users really think Apple was going to let you leapfrog Leopard and update to Snow Leopard for £25/$29? If so, you really are crazy. And for everyone whining about how Apple's ‘forcing' Tiger users to upgrade via a ‘hellishly expensive' box-set that includes software they don't need (the £129/$169 Mac Box Set bundles Snow Leopard, iLife and iWork), here's a tip: buy Leopard instead.
"Seriously - it really is that simple. Stop moaning about evil Apple, and nip over to Amazon and grab Leopard (at the time of writing, $93 in the USA and £69 in the UK) along with Snow Leopard, and you'll be spared the horrors of the Mac Box Set, with all its iLife and iWork goodness, you poor dears."
The Mac OS X Snow Leopard Up-to-Date Programme scheme, which started on 8 June 2009 runs until 26 December 2009 and offers customers the option to upgrade to Snow Leopard at a discounted price costs £7.95 ($9.95 in the US) for Snow Leopard.
Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 90 days of purchase or by December 26, 2009, whichever comes first. For more information visit www.apple.com/uk/macosx/uptodate.
Snow Leopard will be available from Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers on Friday, while Apple's online store is now accepting pre-orders.
Snow Leopard promises to refine, further simplify and speed up the Mac OS X experience.
Snow Leopard requires a Mac computer with an Intel processor.
Additional reporting by Nick Spence, Macworld UK.