Apple hikes iPhone prices in India post-customs duty hike
New Delhi: After the government hiked customs duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent for mobile handsets last week, Apple on Monday became the first smartphone manufacturer to raise prices (on MRP) across iPhone models, except iPhone SE that the company assembles in Bengaluru.
"As expected, Apple has increased the iPhone prices. The interesting thing now is to see how the Indian Apple community react to this," Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
"This is also an indication that Apple needs to look seriously as far as manufacturing in India is concerned," Pathak added.
Authorised Apple resellers in the capital also confirmed that the price hike is now in place.
iPhone X lovers will have to shell out Rs 92,430 for the 64GB variant, which was earlier available for Rs 89,000.
The 256GB variant will now cost Rs 1,05,720 from the earlier price of Rs 1,02,000.
The iPhone 8 will now be available for Rs 66,120 (64GB variant) and Rs 79,420 for the 256GB variant. The iPhone 8 Plus will cost Rs 75,450 for 64GB variant and Rs 88,750 for the 256GB variant.
An Apple official had told IANS last week that the government's decision to hike the customs duty is a statutory industry-wise hike.
Industry analysts had said that Apple had two choices after the customs duty hike -- either to increase the prices or start assembling more in the country.
The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is also seeking tax relief and other incentives from the government to begin assembling more handsets in the country.
Apple is currently assembling the iPhone SE model at its Bengaluru facility with Wistron Corporation, its Taiwanese manufacturing partner.
According to Pathak, domestic and some China-based manufacturers will not be affected as much as most of them are assembling a lot in the country, including the South Korean giant Samsung, and they just need to rev up their assembly lines.
Samsung told IANS that "the customs duty hike is a government decision and there is no comment from the company on this".
According to Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, Telecom and ESDM, CyberMedia Research (CMR), the hike in handset prices will depend from player to player.
"Any player which is ready to absorb the import duty hike will not raise the price. Those who are already manufacturing in India will take a call before passing the burden on the consumers. Players like Apple had no choice but to hike the prices as they don't make or assemble in the country except iPhone SE which hasn't become a growth enabler for them," Kawoosa told IANS.