In the last day or so, I've been doing some more thinking about this issue (rather than getting some real work done). In fact, I went so far as to make a spreadsheet (using the 30-day trial version of Numbers, thanks very much) of the various prices Apple charges for .Mac around the world. I listed the actual price in the local currency, then the equivalent of 99.95 USD in the local currency, and then the difference between those two prices, converted to USD.
As you can hopefully see from the chart above (click on it to view a larger size), .Mac subscribers in almost every country pay more than people in the the US do--sometimes significantly more. The only exception is the Japanese, who get a break to the tune of over US$18. The rest pay a premium ranging from less than $1 for those living in Hong Kong to over $40 for you poor suckers in Great Britain. The rest of us fall somewhere in between, with the average discrepancy sitting at just under $18.
What this means is that for every .Mac subscriber Apple has outside the US, the company is taking in about $18 more than it does for its US customers.
So I guess this isn't just about the exchange rates between two countries. This appears to be systematic for the .Mac service. Perhaps it's even Apple policy; maybe they don't want to "confuse" consumers by adjusting the price of .Mac. But it seems to me that by not periodcially adjusting their prices, Apple is hindering the adoption of what is at last shaping up to be a pretty nice service.
As a footnote to this post, just for fun I checked out the prices for the new low-end iMacs at a couple of the international Apple stores. I must say that we Canadians have it pretty good by comparison. For example, the Australians pay the equivalent of US$265 more for their machine than those in the US. The Brits have it even worse: the price of 799GBP works out to be amost US$430 more than the US price--That's almost 40 percent more. Ouch!