Apple's new AirTag tracking device. Source: Apple.
Apple's new AirTag tracking device. Source:
  • Apple unveiled a raft of refreshed products at its Spring Forward event last week, several of which are now available for local pre-order.
  • At the same time, the company also released a brand new tracking device, called AirTag.
  • Although no dates have yet been released, local stores have already revealed pricing.
  • And for some products, including the new AirTags, they're surprisingly competitive with prices on the US Apple store.
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Apple authorised resellers in South Africa have already opened pre-orders - and some sales - of new products unveiled at the company’s Spring Forward event held in California just last week. 

During the virtual event, Apple unveiled several new products, including its AirTags tracking accessory, a new range of colourful iMacs, new iPad Pros, and a purple iPhone 12. These products and more have already made their way onto several Apple Authorised Resellers’ websites in South Africa - and their pricing, in a few cases, is surprisingly competitive when compared to the United States’ launch prices.

The only entirely new product was Apple’s AirTags - a circular tracking accessory that helps users find whatever it's attached to. The device is designed to be attached to a range of products like wallets, bags, and even glasses straps, which are then trackable using Apple’s Find My app.

Pre-orders for AirTags opened immediately on the US Apple store, and they were expected to start shipping by the end of April. Just one week later, South African stores are offering similar pre-order functionality, but without any promise about when the products will arrive at your door.

Apple’s local distributor Core has, however, revealed pricing for the tracking device, and it fares surprisingly well compared to other international markets. 

Apple’s US pricing starts at $29 (R415) for a single AirTag, and $99 (R1,420) for the four-pack. Add estimated sales tax of a city like New York, and this increases the relative price to around R452 and R1,545 respectively.

The AirTags currently available for pre-order on the iStore and Digicape websites are not that much more expensive. Single AirTags are currently R499 each, or around R50 more expensive than the United States; a four-pack is currently available for R1,899, or around R354 in total, or R88.50 each, more expensive.

As with the US Apple store, local stores are also selling accessories - like leather keyrings and loops - to accompany the devices, that you’ll need to buy if you want to hang your tag on something useful rather than stash them loose inside a bag. This increases the price of a single AirTag device to between R100 and R300 more, depending on how exclusive you want your tag to appear. There is however no sign - yet - of the exorbitantly-priced Hermès range announced at the same time on local sites.

On the same day, several cellphone outlets here have also started selling the new purple iPhone 12, released, according to CEO Tim Cook, “just in time for spring” in the northern hemisphere. 

The purple iPhones’ internals are the same as its already existing counterparts, and they start at R13,999 for the mini 64GB version, up to R20,499 for the iPhone 12 256GB version. This price is the same price point as existing iPhone colours in that range.

At the same time, South Africa’s iStore has released a full price list of other upgraded or refreshed products unveiled at the Spring Forward event, all of which are available for pre-order on their website. 

These include:

  • New iMac 24-inch from R25,999
  • New iPad Pro 11-inch from R13,999
  • New iPad Pro 12.9-inch from R19,699
  • Next-generation Apple TV 4K from R2,699

Aside from the purple iPhones, however, local stores have not yet released shipping dates for the other new products.

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