Apple iPad Air thin tablet

Apple is making a 1,267 percent mark up on the storage in its iPad tablets, claims UK consumer champion Which?.

Well-respected Which?, produced by the UK Consumers Association charity, calls Apple’s mark up of the Flash storage used in its 32GB iPad a “rip off”.

According to Which? Flash storage should cost Apple a maximum of £5.95 for 16GB, but the price difference between a 16GB and 32GB iPad is a whopping £80.

Apple iPad Air model prices

The 16GB iPad Air is priced at £399, while the 32GB model sells for £479. There are also 64GB and 128GB iPad Air models costing £559 and £639 respectively. Apart from the storage difference all the iPad Air models are otherwise identical.

Which? quotes market watcher DRAMeXchanve as saying the average trading price for 16GB of Flash storage as £5.95. The specific type of Flash memory used in the iPad is actually marginally cheaper at £5.85 for 16GB, and it’s likely that Apple would command even greater discounts being such a large buyer of third-party Flash storage.

The consumer champion spoke to UK computer manufacturer Chillblast, a buyer of Flash storage. Chillblast’s Ben Miles explained: “ As a general rule for manufacturers like ourselves Flash costs less than 40p per gigabyte, so to charge so much for an extra 16GB seems scandalous.

“The difference in cost between manufacturing a product with 16GB and 32GB of memory would probably equate to less than $10.”

Which? Also notes that Apple, while the worst offender, is not alone in such large mark ups of storage, pointing the finger at Google and Amazon, too.

Some tablets, such as the Tesco Hudl and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, include a micro SD slot to let users increase tablet storage with inexpensive Flash cards.

See also: Apple and Google accused of fleecing customers with tablet storage