View Full Version : Buying a Powerbook in Singapore

2nd April 2005, 08:30 PM
Hi :D
I just had a few questions about getting a powerbook in singapore because my parents will be passing through for a short time in about a month and I'm looking to see if I can convince them to get me a new powerbook.

First of all, is there any place to buy it in the airport? They won't be able to leave it so is there an apple store/reseller that anyone can recommend?

second, is there a chance of there being a stock 12" waiting there? or will it have to be ordered?

thirdly, is it worth doing? will it just end up being alot of hassle and only saving a couple of bucks?

lastly, is there anything else i should know about buying it overseas, regarding power, warranty, etc..


2nd April 2005, 08:36 PM
having not done this personally...

i wouldn't recommend it - if you have any problems its sometimes hard to get repaired. i guess their might be a reseller in the airport (my sister lives their and has brought PC parts for me on the way back home)

you could do duty free thou :) :thumbup:


2nd April 2005, 08:40 PM
The only problem with getting it duty free is that they'd have to lug it around Europe for 3 weeks, and I don't think they would want to do that.

2nd April 2005, 08:57 PM
cant you leave duty free items at the airport and pick them back up on the way home? did it with my booze last time i went. :P


2nd April 2005, 09:07 PM
is there any duty anyway? i doubt it, GST replaced duty so you are probably only looking at 10% anyway.

2nd April 2005, 09:14 PM
So, I't going to save me about as much as going and getting it on educational discount?

If that's the case I might have to wait till the end of the year.

2nd April 2005, 10:25 PM
not worth it unless its international warranity.

All you do is buy the laptop and a bag. Pack it in so it looks like you bought it in australia and it was for work purposes. Gets you past paying GST when you get back.

if you don't do this you end up paying the same as if you bought it here.

2nd April 2005, 10:38 PM
Thank you all for your input, I think I'll just wait until the end of the year and by, hopefully by then a G5 powerbook.

Thanks :D

2nd April 2005, 10:40 PM

G5 chip is still a hot little bugger

3rd April 2005, 04:24 PM
hey I considered this, and ill let you know what I learned....

Availability: I have been to Singapore airport and you can probably find one there easily, everywhere I turned there where shops selling laptops, pda and mobile phone from all the big companies

Price: if the price is that much better get it, get your parents to post it to you from wherever they are.

Warranty: all apple portables (ibook, powerbook) have an international warranty so this is no prob...

Passport: what passport do your parents have? if it isnt Australian they can buy it here and dont have to pay gst, if it australian, they wont have to pay any VAT (Value added TAx) which is usually 15-17% when in Europe (check out the prices).

OS X tiger: should be out by the time your parents are overseas, if I could would I do it? yes....

3rd April 2005, 04:42 PM
Don't know what you've done but there's a relatively simple answer to this: don't buy it in Singapore.

You will absolutely get the best price for a laptop buying it here, and by the sounds of it you're a student, so the education discount will make it even cheaper. Either way, buy it here and take it out of the country, claiming the GST back on the TRS and you will be smiling - better even than the prices you'll get in the US. :)

And for the record, Apple has an international warranty.

3rd April 2005, 04:54 PM
Hi macman_99,

Having brought my PowerBook and numerous accessories when I left Brisbane for London last year, and also having visited Singapore 3 weeks ago, I can add to what has already been said..

I brought my PB and other goodies within 30 days of leaving Australia, and because I was taking it out of the country I was entitled to get the GST back at the airport once i'd cleared Customs - this process is called the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) and you can find more information about it on the Australian Customs website (go for a Google for it) - for my PB and other items I got back over A$400 which is better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

However this would mean that your parents would have to take it with them and then sneak it back in to avoid having to give back the GST to customs (as someone else mentioned above). I did this when I brought my machine back with me for this visit, but, as you said, they'd have to lug it around Europe so that probably not be ideal.

While there are some great shops at Changi Airport, I didn't see any Apple laptops for sale - only Asus, Dell's and other Windows-based brands in a few of the IT/electronics stores. However, there are several excellent Apple reseller stores in the City centre, with the best being in the Funan IT Mall - this place is heaven!! And the prices are definitely cheaper in Singapore for hardware, software and accessories (my credit card has seen the proof!!!) However buying there would require your parents to enter the country if they are only stopping over/transiting, catch the train into the City, find the stores, buy the laptop, make sure they got a proper tax invoice and other forms from the store to get the Singaporean tax back when leaving Singapore, then head back to the airport and make their connecting flight - in my opinion it would be all too hard, even with a 6 hour stop-over and knowing where the store is etc.. And what if the laptop box gets nicked while they're in Europe? I doubt their standard travel insurance would cover it.

Someone else covered the Apple Warranty issue - it is international so no dramas there.

If you buy equipment overseas you would simply have to use an country adaptor plug for when you returned (Singapore uses the UK 3 prong config) - I got mine in Australia so i use one when i'm in London and around Europe.. the voltages are relatively the same so its only the sockets that differ.

In short, you'd be better of waiting until Tiger comes out anyway and getting it included when you buy it - rather than dealing with the complexities of the overseas purchase, maybe you should consider having someone entitled to the Apple Education pricing buy it for you? I did this (thanks future brother-in-law Uni student!!) and it saved us plenty of our whole package - that's be better than risking it on an overseas adventure..

Need any other info, just post away or Private Message me and you'll get a reply from someone!

3rd April 2005, 05:48 PM
I might try to find out more about the TRS, but at the moment I do have a Uni student in the house(my sister), so edu discount is easy to go with, as well as the fact that if I hold off, there is the possibility of a G5 though thats still far away, but also Tiger would be a nice thing to have standard, instead of using the money I save upgrading to it.

Also the problem is now that if I buy it now, I probably wont be able to afford the 15", I would have to go with the standard 12" and upgrade the memory over time. Is there alot of difference between the 15 and the 12?(besides the 3")?

4th April 2005, 10:50 AM
In my opinion, there is not that great of a savings buying from Singapore. Why not just find someone locally that is eligable for edu pricing?

Let me get some facts and figures here,

Base Model 15" 1.5Ghz Powerbook

Singapore - S$3688 = A$2889 (RRP, not sure how much tax you can claim off that)
Australia - A$2814 (edu pricing)

And lets think of it this way, your parents no longer have to lug it around half the globe just to save a few hundred bucks which they probably would regret doing. If your going there yourself, that's a whole different story.

*It's also great to shop in asia, you can always haggle for that one extra free mouse even if it's apple :lol:

(*not applicable during airport dutyfree shopping)

7th April 2005, 07:44 AM
You should try Malaysia. I bought my PowerBook with Edu discount there in April 2004. Price in Australia for the 12" SuperDrive was $2500. In Malaysia, with all the currency conversion, it costed me only $2000.

PS. It's international warranty anyway. Just make sure to inform the Apple store where you bought it to register your computer in Australia.

7th April 2005, 08:25 AM
Get it in Oz with EDU discounts... you will also have 3 years Apple warranty with EDU. That's what I got when I bought my G4 Ti400 laptop!

TRS will get you your GST back as well. Only catch is the item has to be in the traveller's name.

So in the ideal situation is:

you are the person travelling within 30 days of item purchase with EDU discounts eligibility from Apple at the time of purchase... 10%off RRP from Apple (EDU) with 3 years warranty and GST back when you fly... don't think Singapore retail can beat our price...

7th April 2005, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by madmacs@Apr 7 2005, 08:25 AM
Get it in Oz with EDU discounts... you will also have 3 years Apple warranty with EDU. That's what I got when I bought my G4 Ti400 laptop!
I recall that they pulled the 3 year Warranty on Apple EDU purchases, just weeks before I ordered my PowerBook in July 2004..

So it is now only the standard 1 year international warranty you will receive on EDU purchases - if you want more, you'd have to go for the AppleCare packages

8th April 2005, 11:44 AM
Just checking the prices for apple malaysia and they quote just over 6000RM which is about $400AUD cheaper than you pay here in aus (14' iBook)

8th April 2005, 11:55 AM
Get the edu discount in Australia and if your parents take it overseas, you will get the TRS payment also - so on a base 12" PowerBook you will save about $500.