Apple raises iPhone prices by up to Rs3,210 after duty hike

New Delhi: Prices of top iPhone models have gone up by 2-3.6%, except for iPhone SE which Apple Inc. assembles in India, after the government increased import duty on mobile phones by five percentage points in the Union Budget last week.

When contacted, the company confirmed the change in prices, which are reflected on its website as well.

While the starting price of an iPhone 6 is up by Rs1,120 to Rs31,900, the most expensive iPhone X is dearer by Rs3,210 and will cost Rs1.08 lakh. The cheapest iPhone 8 will now cost Rs67,940 instead of Rs66,120.

In an attempt to boost local manufacturing and employment, the government last week raised customs duty on mobile phones from 15% to 20%. This, the government hopes, will give local manufacturers a cost advantage over imports, besides raising customs duty collections.

“I propose to increase customs duty on mobile phones from 15% to 20%, on some of their parts and accessories to 15% and on certain parts of TVs to 15%. This measure will promote creation of more jobs in the country,” the finance minister said in his budget speech.

This follows the government raising customs duty on handsets from 10% to 15% on 15 December. At that time, prices of top iPhone models, except for iPhone SE, had gone up by an average of 3.5%.

While the majority of the phones sold in India are made locally, the latest customs duty hike is also expected to impact the feature phone segment where devices are shipped from China.

“In volume terms, 81% of the phones sold in India are made locally now, and we expect this number to cross 90% in the coming year. Ultimately, in the future, we expect all handsets sold in India will be made here itself,” Pankaj Mohindroo, president of the Indian Cellular Association, said.

Apple has been seeking incentives from the government to expand manufacturing in India, which it terms as one of its fastest growing markets.

Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, in a post-earnings conference call with investors in November, had mentioned that revenue from emerging markets outside of greater China was up 40%, with great momentum in India, where revenue doubled year over year.

“I feel like we’re making good progress there and are gaining understanding of the market, but we still have a long way to go, which I sort of see as an opportunity instead of a problem. And I do feel great about the growth rate. And so that’s India,” Cook had then said.livemint