Brits to pay more for this year's hottest new gadgets

Caroline Cassidy

They are two of this year's must-haves and with the iPad 2 and the Nintendo 3DS hitting shelves on the very same day, sales are expected to hit a record high on Friday. But British buyers will have to fork out a good deal more for their gadgets than their American counterparts.

iPad 2 and Nintendo 3DS go on sale on Friday
iPad 2 and Nintendo 3DS go on sale on Friday

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In New York, for instance, someone who is prepared to shop around can find a Nintendo 3DS for as little as £167.66 including tax - the official price in Britain, however, is 37 per cent higher at £229.99.

Two Currys stores, on Oxford Street, London and in Birmingham, will open their doors at midnight so that gadget geeks can get their hands on the product as soon as it hits the shelves and the first lucky 150 customers through the doors will pay just £179 for their 3DS.

Meanwhile Apple fans will no doubt be desperate to get their hands on the new iPad 2 and the slimmer, faster, upgraded and updated version is due to go on sale at 5pm on Friday.

Though at £399 the basic model is cheaper than the original was a year ago, Brits will still pay £64.75 more than US buyers while for the top of the range £659 model, the difference is a whopping £104.82.

Of course, the high UK prices can, in part, be explained by Britain's 20 per cent VAT (in New York the figure is just 8.875 per cent) but manufacturers across the board are guilty of marking up their products over here.

They argue that prices are only higher in Britain because it is more expensive to do business, with rent, rates and staff costs all taking their toll.

Others though, might suggest that it's just another example of "rip-off Britain"... and with he Government set to do away with the Office of Fair Trading, it looks like we'll be paying over the odds for some time to come.

Do you think manufacturers are guilty of ripping off British customers? Let us know below...