Among all the announcements Steve Jobs made on August 7, the improvements to dotMac were, to my mind, perhaps the most exciting and most overdue. The new web gallery feature and 10GB of on-line storage are significant improvements to the service that make its price tag a little easier to swallow.
However, for Canadian dotMac subscribers, one thing that has rankled for the last few years--and continues to rankle--has been dotMac's price. At $139, it is significantly more expensive than the $99 US subscribers pay. Now it was one thing to have a higher price when the Canadian dollar was valued at 65 or 70 cents US, but it is quite another thing to retain that price when the Canadian dollar has risen significantly in value against the US dollar over the last year or two. And this, for a service that is widely hailed even in the US as being highly over-priced.
As the US dollar has fallen over the last little while, many other currencies have gained value against it, and many goods imported from the US have fallen in price (though many consumers groups say this isn't happening fast enough). To whit, many of Apple Canada's products have come significantly down in price over the last 18 months, to the point where some are now being sold at par with US prices. This is true of the new iWork 08 and iLife 08 suites, along with the new keyboards and the Mighty Mouse.
I don't expect Apple to change its prices every two weeks to reflect the exchange rates, and I fully accept that a certain amount of rounding will occur. Indeed, I think for the most part, Apple has done a pretty excellent job of reflecting the currency exchange rate between Canada and the US in its prices. Which is why I just don't understand why Canadians still have to pay 40-percent premium on dotMac. As it stands, I refuse to pay $139; I have always managed to get it on sale, either at the Apple.com one-day sale in November or from a brick-and-mortar retailer such as Future Shop. But I'd be happy to pay the full price if that price reflected the exchange rate a little more closely. Say $109.
So I'm challenging the Canadian dotMac-using blogosphere. Write a post about this issue, get people talking about it. Let Apple know you're upset about it. Maybe, just maybe, if we make enough noise about it, we can convince Apple to reconsider it's policy.
OK, so I'm living in a fantasy world, but at the very least, it's good to vent.