How overpriced is Apple in South Africa?

Are Apple products expensive, or are they just expensive locally?

Earlier this week I was looking at getting a MagSafe wallet for my phone:

Well that’s a little (very) steep, I wonder how much it costs in the US..

Hey Siri…


So I have to pay double the price that they pay in the US?! 😱

Time to dig in a bit deeper

If MagSafe wallets are double the price, could other items have inflated prices too? So I went ahead and made the following tables.


  •  Exchange rate was R14.50/US$ on 02/05/2020 when I pulled this data.
  • US$ values excluded to keep the tables somewhat neat.
  • Everything is more expensive in SA vs buying in the US and converting to Rands.
  • The Extra column shows how much more you pay and the Extra (%) shows the value in %.
  • Prices come from the US Apple Store ( and iStore (

Since I mentioned it first, MagSafe cases and Wallets are priced way higher in SA vs USA. 93% more (close to double the price) on Leather wallets and cases. For the price of a wallet in SA, I can almost buy a wallet and case in US.

I bought a 128Gb 12 Mini from iStore earlier this year. You’re saying I could have bought a 12 Pro Max in the US for the same price?!

Me after compiling that table

After that iPhone realization desensitized me, so what if we pay ±50% more for Apple Watches?

Also, you can buy 5 Airtags in US for the price of 4 in SA.

Here are a random selection of other devices that are on my wish/shopping list:

And wanting to end on another bombshell, for the price of AirPods Max in SA, you can buy a pair of AirPods Pro and Max in the US:


So, we pay way substantially more than the US does for Apple items. Would be cool to understand just what is making up that extra ±50% we pay. Is it VAT, import duties, transport or is Core just making loads of 💰?

Regardless, if I’m going to buy myself an M1 MacBook Pro and an iPhone 12, it’s cheaper for me to take a round trip to New York and buy them there than buying them in SA:

✈️ begone, travel restrictions ✈️

If you have any questions/would like to share your experience with spending too much on Apple devices please leave a reply below. If you want to be notified when a new post is published, click here. Thanks for reading!

(Featured image remixed from this photo by Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash)

2 thoughts on “How overpriced is Apple in South Africa?

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  1. And you are not even bringing to bear the fact that equivalent employment results in higher earnings over there, thus in an ‘adjusted’ scale we are actually probably effectively paying 4x US prices (assuming we earn a typical average of half their rates – which I suspect is overly generous!!! As with countless Eskom bleats we are not comparing apples with apples, unless we compare cost to a function of salary, straight cash comparison is only half the story….

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