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The cheapest countries to buy an iMac

Some countries are paying hundreds of dollars more for the all-in-one Apple computer than others.
By
December 29, 2023
An Apple iMac on a desk

Apple fans interested in a desktop computer over a laptop are only going to look at one product: the Apple iMac. Also a favorite of graphic designers and anyone without the space for a PC tower, the iMac is a high-end machine with a high price tag to match. The cheapest of the latest M3 processor models starts at $1,299 in the USA before sales tax, which can lead to thoughts about whether you could get a cut-price version while you’re abroad. But is this possible? We’ve looked at the cheapest places to buy an iMac in an attempt to answer that question.

We’re looking at this from the point of view of a US tourist, which is a key distinction here. Residents of some countries, including America, have to pay a sales tax on high-end goods like the iMac in their home countries, whereas visitors to those shores can often avoid the sales tax or claim it back. We’re discussing whether a US resident can travel internationally to both get a better price on the machine and swerve the sales tax that they’d pay in the States.

We’ve specifically compared the cost of the two-port variant of the iMac with an M3 processor and 256GB storage for this comparison. We could look at other models, but we’re trying to keep things simple, plus the price structure tends to be pretty uniform in each country. There are big differences between nations, but the cheapest country for the base model will also be amongst the cheapest countries for the other configurations. At the time of writing, one country is the cheapest for all three main setups.

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At the time of writing, Australia was the cheapest country in the world to buy the Apple iMac, with similar prices available in Hong Kong and Singapore.


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What are the cheapest countries to buy an iMac?

The table below shows how much a US resident would pay in almost 40 countries from all corners of the globe. The prices have been converted to dollars, and the countries are ranked from cheapest to most expensive.

RankCountryUSD EquivalentRankCountryUSD Equivalent
Rank
1
Country
Australia
USD Equivalent
$1,276
Rank
20
Country
Ireland
USD Equivalent
$1,526
Rank
2
Country
Hong Kong
USD Equivalent
$1,280
Rank
21
Country
Portugal
USD Equivalent
$1,526
Rank
3
Country
Singapore
USD Equivalent
$1,284
Rank
22
Country
Germany
USD Equivalent
$1,527
Rank
4
Country
Thailand
USD Equivalent
$1,304
Rank
23
Country
Spain
USD Equivalent
$1,528
Rank
5
Country
Taiwan
USD Equivalent
$1,328
Rank
24
Country
Philippines
USD Equivalent
$1,530
Rank
6
Country
Malaysia
USD Equivalent
$1,345
Rank
25
Country
Sweden
USD Equivalent
$1,536
Rank
7
Country
Japan
USD Equivalent
$1,365
Rank
26
Country
Italy
USD Equivalent
$1,528
Rank
8
Country
South Korea
USD Equivalent
$1,375
Rank
27
Country
Hungary
USD Equivalent
$1,543
Rank
9
Country
Vietnam
USD Equivalent
$1,400
Rank
28
Country
Belgium
USD Equivalent
$1.543
Rank
10
Country
Canada
USD Equivalent
$1,420
Rank
29
Country
Netherlands
USD Equivalent
$1,552
Rank
11
Country
United States (inc. tax)
USD Equivalent
$1,422
Rank
30
Country
Finland
USD Equivalent
$1,552
Rank
12
Country
Chile
USD Equivalent
$1,431
Rank
31
Country
Denmark
USD Equivalent
$1,580
Rank
13
Country
UAE
USD Equivalent
$1,438
Rank
32
Country
Czech Republic
USD Equivalent
$1,582
Rank
14
Country
Switzerland
USD Equivalent
$1,474
Rank
33
Country
Mexico
USD Equivalent
$1,599
Rank
15
Country
New Zealand
USD Equivalent
$1,483
Rank
34
Country
India
USD Equivalent
$1,618
Rank
16
Country
Luxembourg
USD Equivalent
$1,502
Rank
35
Country
Turkey
USD Equivalent
$1,655
Rank
17
Country
Austria
USD Equivalent
$1,513
Rank
36
Country
Poland
USD Equivalent
$1,698
Rank
18
Country
France
USD Equivalent
$1,520
Rank
37
Country
United Kingdom
USD Equivalent
$1,757
Rank
19
Country
Norway
USD Equivalent
$1,521
Rank
38
Country
Brazil
USD Equivalent
$2,927

We’re grateful to the MacIndex website for compiling and updating these prices, as well as those for every other top Apple device on the market. The prices in the table include an average sales tax for the US but exclude it for countries in which foreign visitors can claim it back, so it gives an idea of how a US resident would fare when buying the iMac abroad.

Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore are the cheapest places to buy an iMac.

Australia is currently the cheapest place to buy the iMac, closely followed by Hong Kong and Singapore. These are the only three countries in which you can get the computer for under $1,300 at the time of writing. That’s over $100 less than you’d pay in most US states for the iMac. Almost all other countries that are cheaper than America and Canada are Southeast Asian nations.

Brazil is by far the most expensive country to buy an iMac if you’re paying in US dollars at almost $3,000 — more than double what you’d pay back home. That seems outlandish, but we’ll outline a few reasons why this could be the case below.

So I can’t get a cheaper iMac than that on vacation?

What we’ve compared in this article is the official iMac price from the Apple website in each of the countries. That isn’t to say that you can’t find the machine for less from local retailers when you’re abroad, but you have to exercise caution when not buying from an authorized Apple retailer. You might find that what you’re buying is second-hand or from an illicit source, with a language barrier and lack of knowledge about local customs only making things more complicated.

That said, it’s possible that you could just be getting a good deal. A cheaper-than-usual device that looks legitimate could be subject to terms and conditions, such as being a trade-in or bundle offer, and you should always do your best to establish exactly what the deal is. But straight-up discounts are possible in all countries, including the USA. None of the latest iMacs are on sale at the time of writing, but a quick scan of Amazon shows that you can currently save $850 on the mid-2020 Apple iMac.

Should I buy the iMac from another country?

We’d suggest that there isn’t a lot of value in buying an iMac from another country. You may have a trip to Australia coming up already with the thought of capitalizing on cheaper prices, but we’ve established that you’d only be making around 10% savings. This has to be balanced against a number of other factors, such as getting the cumbersome machine back to the US in your luggage and a foreign warranty that could be very difficult to use. It’s your prerogative, but paying a little extra back home could save you a lot of time and hassle.

And if it wasn’t obvious, it certainly isn’t worth traveling across the globe with the sole purpose of getting a cheaper iMac. The amount you’ll end up spending on flights alone will far exceed the savings that you might make. You’re better off staying patient and waiting for the iMac to be on sale in the US, which isn’t uncommon.

Why is the iMac cheaper in some countries and more expensive in others?

spotify connect apple imac ipad air 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The nature of very different economies means that the costs to Apple of getting the iMac onto shelves in each country are very varied, so it only stands to reason that the retail price in each region would be different to reflect this. There’s also consumer spending power to consider in each particular market. We don’t doubt that a team of giga-brained economists at Apple HQ have crunched the numbers to ensure maximum profits wherever the machine is sold so we have no reason to question their strategy.

You also have to bear in mind that we’re comparing the respective retail prices after converting them to US dollars, which brings exchange rates into play. Anyone who’s been abroad recently will have noticed that USD doesn’t go as far as it did a year or so ago, and other currencies have been subject to similar market fluctuations. We’ll revisit this post in the coming months, and it would be no surprise if a different country is the cheapest at that point in dollar terms.


FAQs

The cheapest model of the 2023 iMax starts at $1,299 in the US or $1,499 for the 10-Core GPU version.

Apple products usually come with a high price tag and an unspecified amount of your outlay will be a premium for the Apple logo. That said, the iMac offers powerful performance and excellent build quality, so fans of the Apple ecosystem will see it as a good investment.