Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
The iPad Pro is one of the most powerful tablets on the market — and one of the most expensive. Apple ensures you pay a premium for its brand, and the manufacturer isn’t known for offering big discounts on its tech either. Maybe someone in the gym or around the water cooler told you that you’d be able to pick up much cheaper from another country, but is it true? We’ve dug into the prices and worked out which is the cheapest place to buy an iPad Pro.
There are a couple of clarifications to make before we get into the prices. First, we will focus on the prices of the base 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models in this comparison. That means the 128GB Wi-Fi configurations. Unsurprisingly, the cheapest and most expensive places don’t change too much in ranking for the other variants.
Second, We’ll be looking at the cost for a US resident who happens to be buying the device in the country that they are visiting. This is a factor because many countries add a sales tax to the cost of the iPad Pro, which residents can’t avoid, but tourists can probably claim before they leave. For a US resident, this means a pricier iPad at home but a potentially cheaper one when abroad.
With those caveats in mind, let’s crunch the numbers.
Japan is the cheapest place to buy an iPad Pro, at approximately $589 for the 11-inch model and $798 for the 12.9-inch device. Hong Kong and South Korea are also places where tablets are noticeably cheaper than in the USA.
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What are the cheapest countries in which to buy an iPad Pro?
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
The 11-inch iPad Pro officially retails for $799 in the US before tax, while the 12.9-inch model sells for $999. US residents have to pay a sales tax on top of that. This depends on your state, but we’ll use an approximate 10% sales tax for the purpose of this comparison. That would mean the final price for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros would be approximately $880 and $1,100, respectively. How does that compare to buying the tablets abroad?
We’re grateful to The Mac Index website, which has compiled the prices of the iPad in each country. The site has removed any applicable sales tax and converted the price to dollars, making it easy to compare the costs from the perspective of a US tourist.
Japan is the cheapest by some distance.
According to the site, Japan is the cheapest place to buy the 11-inch iPad Pro, and by some distance. It will cost you around $589 in the land of the rising sun, with the next most affordable places to buy being Hong Kong and South Korea at $717. Thailand and Russia also offer the devices at under $740. Note that the price in Turkey is a glitch on that site, presumably due to the travails of the Turkish Lira in recent months. If you go to the Apple Turkey site, the asking price is equivalent to over $900.
The picture is similar to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with Japan offering the lowest equivalent price of $798. Again, Russia and South Korea are also cheaper than the US at around $900 in each place. Thailand and Malaysia are the next most affordable locations to buy it, at $914 and $952, respectively.
On the other end of the scale, both models of the iPad are the most expensive in Sweden, New Zealand and Brazil. Brazilians get a particularly rough deal, paying the equivalent of over $2,000 for either device.
But didn’t I hear it’s possible to buy the iPad Pro for even less in those countries?
We’re only looking at the full retail price of the iPad Pro when bought directly from Apple or an affiliated vendor for the purpose of this comparison. There are no doubt third-party outlets in every country that will claim to be able to sell you a cheaper model. It’s not something we can really factor in, and there are extra risks associated with buying an expensive device from an unauthorized seller.
On top of that, there will be sales events in every country that could get you the tablets for a lower price if you’re lucky enough to catch them. It’s the same story back home in the US. At the time of writing, Amazon has the 128GB, Wi-Fi, 12.9-inch iPad Pro on offer for $1,049, which is $50 under the retail price.
Should I buy the iPad Pro from another country?
It might be worthwhile for a Brazilian tourist, but from a US resident’s perspective, the bottom line is don’t go out of your way. If you happen to be passing through Japan for business or pleasure and you have time to claim back the sales tax, it might be shrewd to grab the iPad Pro. But the costs associated with traveling specifically for this purpose would far outstretch the savings you could make. And that’s before you consider the potential deal prices that may arise in the coming months domestically, especially during Amazon Prime Day.
Whenever you buy any tech from abroad, you also have to factor in whether the software configuration may be different and whether the guarantee on your device will be valid or practicable to use once you’re back in the States. And needless to say, it’s not advisable to travel to Russia in the hope of buying a cheap iPad right now.
Why is the iPad Pro cheaper in some countries and more expensive in others?
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
There are various economic factors involved in determining the price of the iPad Pro, some of which are specific to the region where the device is sold. Import and sales taxes, as well as other expenses associated with physically stocking the iPad Pro in that particular location, are just a few examples.
Additionally, we are comparing the release price of the iPad Pro in different countries with the equivalent price in US dollars as of June 2023. The global economy has experienced significant changes since the latest iPads were released in October 2022, leading to fluctuations in exchange rates since the prices were initially set. It’s possible that the equivalent retail prices in each country were more similar at that time and have diverged due to the varying economic fortunes of each region. The cheapest place to buy an iPad Pro may have changed if you’re reading this in 2024.
Whether spending that much money on a tablet is a good idea very much depends on your own personal circumstances but, objectively, it’s a good time to buy the iPad Pro. It’s a powerful device with significant upgrades over its predecessors, and a new one isn’t due in 2023. But you could try holding off until a big sales event like Prime Day or Black Friday, when you may be able to make savings when you purchases.