Want to know why your wallet is being pinched so hard? You could turn to the usual suspects, like gas prices or government taxes.
But perhaps you should look a bit closer to home at all those shiny Apple products that line your shelves and pockets. A story from Reuters on Monday cites a report from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty that in 2011 the "average amount U.S. households spent on Apple products was $444."
According to the Huberty report, that number is up from $295 in 2010 and $150 in 2007.
The Reuters story by contributor Chris Taylor refers to this as the "Apple tax," noting:
"The analogy of an Apple tax might sound facetious, but think about it. Median U.S. household income was $50,054 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau. That means a sizable chunk of that is getting diverted to Apple headquarters in Cupertino."
Of course, there's one big difference between a government tax and that so-called Apple "tax," says Taylor:
"Remember, this is not something that consumers are being forced to pay. They are dipping willingly into their own pockets, because they're essentially slaves to the devices."