Complaints about Apple prices in Europe spur online petition

ZDNet UK reports today that an online petition has been set up to put pressure on Apple to bring European prices for the new Mac mini in line with their US equivalents.

The petition Рcreated by and written by Timo Sch̦ler and simply called Reasonable price for the Mac mini in the EU Рhas attracted over 3,500 signatures so far.

The petition states:

We’d like to make an appeal to Apple on the pricing of the new Mac mini in the European Union. Basing on the last long-term rate of exchange of US Dollars to EUR (et vice versa) – which is 1.3293 on the spot market, so let’s say 1.32 – both announced prices of the Mac mini in Europe, 489.- EUR and 589.- EUR, respectively, are much too high.

Very interesting  – I commented about price differentials USA vs Europe in my post about the iPod Shuffle last week.

Will this petition make any difference to the prices? Good question. Depends on what head of steam the petition develops, and what coverage it gets both in traditional media and by blogs.

Whatever happens, Apple needs to react quickly and smartly to what could become a significant PR issue for them. One way to start – clearly explain why there’s such a price differential. A good place to do that – in an Apple public blog. Oh wait, there aren’t any. Except for CEO Steve Jobs’ blog, that is.

Update 19 January: Just over 24 hours since I posted this article, and the number of signatories to the petition has leapt to over 8,500. That’s 5,000 new signatories – an increase of nearly 150% – in just one day. It looks likes a head of steam is building…