Apple ups iPhone prices in India after Import Tax hike

Apple has increased immediately, the prices of all its models which are being sold in India due to the hike in import taxes of imported phones done by the government in a bid to boost domestic manufacturing.

Barring its locally manufactured iPhone SE Model, Apple has raised the prices of phones in India by 3.5 percent according to the price sheet.

Its priciest iPhone X model now costs 1,05,720 rupees for a 256 gigabyte (GB) version, according to the website which comes up to be a 3.6% hike in prices. The price of 256 GB iPhone 8 has risen by 3.1 percent to 79,420 rupees.

As the Narendra Modi led BJP government tries to embrace and boost manufacturing of phones in India, the world’s second biggest market by mobile subscriptions, and among the top three countries by annual smartphone sales, it last week raised the custom duty on phones to 15 percent from 10 percent.

That was set to make foreign manufactured phones including the iPhone costlier. Some other top phone brands, such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Xiaomi, assemble the majority of their phones sold in the Indian market locally.

Apple’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer, Winston locally assembles the iPhone SE in the technology hub of Bengaluru in southern India. Apple also plans to locally expand their manufacturing processes by expanding their production in India but they are waiting for some incentives and tax breaks from the federal government which New Delhi has yet to agree to.

An analyst said a small increase in the price of iPhones was unlikely to dent Apple’s less than 3 percent market share in India, where it’s seen as an aspirational brand but its steep pricing puts it beyond the reach of many.

“Apple’s halo as a premium brand in India cannot be taken away by this meager price rise,” said Navkendar Singh of technology researcher IDC.

Basic or feature phones still comprise a large chunk of India’s roughly 750 million mobile phones, although sales of smartphones are growing faster. Alphabet Inc’s Google earlier this month unveiled a new version of its Android mobile phone software with an aim to power low-cost entry-level smartphones.

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