Microsoft blames Brexit for rising cost of new laptops
Microsoft is the latest technology company to raise prices significantly in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the weakening pound. The sterling’s value has fallen by about 14 percent against the US dollar since the June 2016 referendum.
That means Microsoft – which reports in dollars – is making less money selling the same computer in the UK than it does in the US.
“In response to a recent review we are adjusting the British prices of some of our hardware and consumer software in order to align to market dynamics,” a Microsoft spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The price rise only affects products and services purchased by individuals, or organizations without volume licensing contracts, the spokesperson said.
The price of the 128GB Microsoft Surface Book has increased from £1,299 to £1,449 ($1613 to $1799), an increase of £150, or 11.5 percent. The Microsoft Surface Book 1TB i7 is up by 15 percent, or £400 ($496), now priced at £3,049 ($3786).
The company had already raised the price of its software services by as much as 22 percent since the Brexit vote, blaming the same currency factors.
The slump has affected many companies that import goods to Britain, and Microsoft is not the only electronics maker inflating consumer prices in the wake of Brexit.
On Thursday, audio kit-maker Sonos bumped up its prices by 25 percent, taking its Play:1 speaker prices from £169 to £199 ($209 to $247), and the Play:5 from £429 to £499 ($532 to $619).
In October, Apple launched its new Mac computers along with a 20-percent price hike. That added as much as £300 ($372) to the cost of an iMac, and £500 ($620) to a top of the line Mac Pro.
However, it’s not just tech firms putting up prices.
Vauxhall cars owner General Motors said in October it had to raise UK car prices by 2.5 percent after the Brexit vote.