Apple tax

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Referring to American technology company Apple Inc., specifically the high price of its high-end computers (sense 1) and its mobile ecosystem (sense 2).


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Apple tax (plural Apple taxes)

  1. (informal, derogatory) The price paid by people purchasing Apple products, said to be higher than that of comparable alternatives.
    • 2009 April 9, Preston Gralla, “How much does the "Apple Tax" really cost?”, in Computerworld[1]:
      Microsoft has been warning about the so-called "Apple tax" that people pay for buying Macs. Their newest claim: A family of four will pay $3,367 over five years if they buy Macs instead of PCs, not just for the initial machines, but in ongoing costs hardware and software costs.
    • 2018 October 30, John Burek, “Hands On With the 2018 Apple MacBook Air”, in PCMag[2]:
      You'll want to buy what you need and no more, as there is a definite Apple-tax premium here.
    • 2021 October 13, Napier Lopez, “M1X MacBook Pro event: What to expect from Apple on October 18”, in TNW[3]:
      As a Windows guy, I feel like I’m living in a bizarro world, where the 'Apple Tax' actually gets you more ports and better performance than you can find on most comparable Windows machines, not just an alternative OS and cool design.
  2. (informal, derogatory) The commission taken by Apple on purchases on its online services, such as the App Store and iTunes.
    • 2015 July 8, Mark Sullivan, “Spotify snubs Apple, invites subscribers to avoid 30% 'Apple Tax'”, in VentureBeat[4]:
    • 2020 April 3, Dieter Bohn, “Why Amazon got out of the Apple App Store tax, and why other developers won’t”, in The Verge[5]:
      Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney has been incredibly outspoken about App Store taxes. He’s taken Fortnite off the Google Play Store and would dearly love to find a way to not have to give Apple a cut on iOS devices. Does he have a personal stake in that fight? Obviously. But he's also one of a growing chorus of voices pushing back against the so-called "Apple Tax."
    • 2021 May 26, Farhad Manjoo, “The Apple Tax Is Rotten”, in New York Times[6]:
      Call this scourge what it plainly is, the Apple tax — the billions of dollars a year that Apple collects from large swaths of the technology industry for the privilege of offering paid apps and in-app purchases to iPhone and iPad users.
    • 2021 September 10, Bobby Allyn, “A Judge Rules Apple Must Make It Easier To Shop Outside The App Store”, in NPR[7]:
      The decision by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is the most significant strike yet against the system that includes Apple's commission, something critics call "the Apple tax." It could force the tech giant to revamp its entire business model for apps on iPhones and iPads.

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