Apple hikes prices of iPhones due to increased custom duties in India

image source: Business Insider

India is known as one of the costliest places to buy iPhones and other Apple products, all thanks to the extremely high import duties imposed on these devices. Despite Apple taking steps such as setting up new assembly lines and factories in india Apple has failed to reduce the cost of iPhones, and make it even worse Apple has announced an increase in the prices of iPhones in india, citing changes made to import duties in the Union Budget 2020.

Following the hike, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will start from ₹1,11,200 (~$1528) for the 64 GB variant, while the 256 GB version will cost  ₹1,25,200 (~$1721). The 512 GB will retail for ₹1,43,200(~$1968). Prior to the increase, the 64 GB variant of iPhone 11 Pro Max had a starting price of  ₹1,09,000 (~$1498).

Price of iPhone 11 Pro will also increase marginally, with the 64 GB variant selling for ₹1,01,200 (~$1390) compared with  ₹99,900 (~$1373) earlier. The 256 GB will now cost  ₹1,15,200 (~$1583) and the 512 GB will retail for  ₹1,33,200 (~$1830). Prices of iPhone 11 Pro series have been raised by  ₹1,300 (~$17).

Prices of iPhone 8 have also increased, with the 64 GB variant of iPhone 8 Plus now priced at  ₹50,600 (~$695), and the 128 GB at  ₹55,600 (~$764). The earlier starting price for the model was ₹49,900 (~$685). The 64 GB and 128 GB variants of iPhone 8 will sell for  ₹40,500 (~$556) and  ₹45,500 (~$625) respectively.

Prices of iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 7, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac laptops have not been raised. The company assembles iPhone XR and iPhone 7 in India, which is why prices for these phones have not changed. The other products are imported from China.

Apple said prices are being hiked due to an increase in the basic customs duty (BCD) rate and the withdrawal of “earlier exemption from BCD/Social Welfare Surcharge” announced by the government in the Union Budget for 2020-21.

The company is preparing to launch its first online store in India this year, chief executive Tim Cook said in a shareholders’ meeting recently. Cook also said that the company plans to launch its first brick and mortar retail store in India in 2021.

Being able to open its own stores in India will allow Apple to increase its product portfolio here and also offer other services such as the full-fledged AppleCare service. While the company does sell almost all its products here in India, retailing through its own channels will allow greater control on pricing. That said, products being wholly imported from overseas will still be impacted by changes in taxes.

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Eshwar Venkatesh
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