full_entry: November 2013 Archives

Apple Store Pricing in Hong Kong


I was noodling around in the Apple Store recently and I noticed something interesting. Traditionally, Apple has followed a fairly simple formula for pricing in the HK Apple Store, which is to do assume a HKD:USD rate of around 7.80, round to the nearest hundred and take away 12. Sounds complicated? Not really, as what they really want is to have prices ending in 88, which is very auspicious in Chinese culture.

The first table below shows the pricing for some common products. The Rate below refers to the HK price divided by the US price to determine the exchange rate. The second HKD price uses the formula:

ROUNDUP((US Price) * 7.80 to nearest 100) -12

The difference and markup are bases on the difference between this price and the price in the HK store. The Apple TV price fits the patterns closest, but all the products follow the pattern very closely:

ProductHKDUSDRateHKDDiff (HKD)Markup
MacBook Air 11$7,688$999$7.70$7,788-$100-1.3%
MacBook Air 13$8,488$1,099$7.72$8,588-$100-1.2%
MacBookPro 13$9,188$1,199$7.66$9,388-$200-2.1%
Ret. MacBookPro 13$9,988$1,299$7.69$10,188-$200-2.0%
Ret. MacBookPro 15$15,288$1,999$7.65$15,588-$300-1.9%
iMac 21.5"$9,888$1,299$7.61$10,188-$300-2.9%
iMac 27"$13,888$1,799$7.72$14,088-$200-1.4%
Apple TV$788$99$7.96$788$00.0%

(US Apple Store prices do not normally include sales taxes, and there are also no sales taxes in Hong Kong. All prices are for the base model in each range.)

As you can see, you generally save a small percentage buying the product in HK when compared to the US price. But when you look at some third party products, the price differential between the US prices and HK prices is all over the place. Here's the prices for fitbit products:

ProductHKDUSDRateHKDDiff (HKD)Markup
Fitbit Zip$498$60$8.31$488$102.0%
Fitbit Aria$1,098$130$8.45$1,088$100.9%
Fitbit Flex$898$100$8.98$788$11014.0%
Fitbit One$898$100$8.98$788$11014.0%

Why are the last two fitbit products so expensive? An additional 14%? Seems a bit excessive!

Here's an interesting thing: the latest iPhone models also have this price increase in a way which is out of step with the existing price iOS device price points:

ProductHKDUSDRateHKDDiff (HKD)Markup
iPad 2$3,088$399$7.74$3,188-$100-3.1%
iPad mini$2,288$299$7.65$2,388-$100-4.2%
iPad Mini Retina$3,088$399$7.74$3,188-$100-3.1%
iPad Air$3,888$499$7.79$3,888$00.0%
iPhone 4S$3,488$450$7.75$3,588-$100-2.8%
iPhone 5C$4,688$549$8.54$4,288$4009.3%
iPhone 5S$5,588$649$8.61$5,088$5009.8%

Finder crashing every minute


Today I was using my MacBook Pro for work as per normal, when I noticed the Finder windows crashing every minute or so. I tried many things, including:

  • Deleting misc plists from my ~/Library/Preferences directory;
  • Rebooting in Safe Mode (Hold Shift while rebooting);
  • Restoring the System Fonts while in Safe Mode;
  • Validating the Fonts within FontBook (Found one corrupt one);
  • Deleting every single .DS_Store file on the Mac;
  • Trying to diagnose the issue from the Crash Report in the Console.

All to no avail, although I did discover something interesting, of which more anon.

Finally, I waded into the Apple Support Forums, searching on some of the terms I found in the crash reports and I finally found a solution to Finder Crashing Every Minute: Basically, turn off "show file status icons and right click menu" in the Google Drive Preferences. This instantly stopped the problems.

The interesting thing I found? My ~/Library/Preferences directory was full of locked files, and once I deleted all the *.lockfile files, quite a few apps were much faster to open, and several websites dramatically changed their fonts. Perhaps I had overwritten the default font for some of them, as they went from being a nice Helvetica to Verdana.

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This page is a archive of entries in the full_entry category from November 2013.

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