Tablet manufacturers, such as Apple, Google and Samsung, are marking up the price of extra memory storage by as much as 1,200%. Is this one of the worst price mark-ups yet?
The best thing about owning a tablet is filling it with the music, videos and apps that you love. But all these things quickly take up storage space. That’s why you may be tempted to shell out extra for a 32GB iPad or Android tablet, instead of the cheaper 16GB model.
However, our latest research has found that it costs manufacturers less than £6 to purchase 16GB of extra memory storage from the third-party suppliers they use. Yet they charge consumers as much as £80 for a model with more storage.
The tablet memory storage mark-up
Buy a 16GB Apple iPad Air and it’ll cost you £399, but its 32GB big brother will set you back £479. Apple uses a type of Flash memory called MLC in its tablets. Like all Flash memory, this is a traded commodity with a tracked market price, and in October this year 16GB of MLC traded at an average of just £5.85.
That means Apple’s £80 charge for an extra 16GB of storage equates to a price mark-up of 1,267%, based on the market price. And we’ve spoken to industry insiders who insist that the manufacturing costs of adding the extra storage to tablets is negligible.
Apple isn’t alone in this trend, though it does charge twice as much for an extra 16GB as Amazon does for its Kindle Fire HDX (£40 more for the 32GB model). Google whacks on an extra £70 to step up from the 16GB Nexus 10 to the 32GB version.
If you’re not keen on paying so much extra, you can buy models that let you pop in a memory card for added storage instead. Microsoft’s Windows Surface tablets and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 have handy memory card slots.
Other big mark-ups
Sure, tablet manufacturers are free to set their own price structures, but knowing the price mark-ups involved can certainly leave a sour taste.
Of course, price mark-ups aren’t the domain of tablets alone. You’ll also see a similar story with smartphones and other electricals. Can you think of any worse pricing mark-ups? And would you still be prepared to shell out extra for a higher capacity tablet knowing the price mark-ups involved?