Amid a weakening Indian rupee to Rs 80 to the dollar, component shortages and a global logistics backlash, Apple managed to cap prices on non-Pro models but raised the price of Pro models by Rs 10,000 each. Discontinuing the mini, this year’s entry in the iPhone 14 series starts with the iPhone 14 starting at Rs 79,900. But the same model (unlocked) will sell for $829+tax in the US market. This instantly translates $1 to 100 rupees.
As always, this causes outrage on many social media platforms, but most do not understand the duties and taxes that the iPhone attracts. Even though Apple is starting production of the iPhone 14 in India, most of the new iPhone 14 models will initially be imported into the country.
For example, the iPhone 14 cost $829 in the US. This does not include state taxes, which vary from state to state in the US and are as high as 7% in some states and even higher in many. Counterpoint to this is the 18 percent GST, which is standard across India and is included in the maximum retail price. With the iPhone 14 priced at Rs 79,900, the GST alone is Rs 12,188.14. This was added on top of the cost of the iPhone, which also includes duties.
Apple expands its assembly line in India and starts production of iPhone 14 in India. Sources at Apple have confirmed that the iPhone 14 series will be imported to begin with, which also results in additional customs duties. A complete smartphone imported into India is subject to 22 percent duty, which comes to approximately Rs 12,210.34 excluding GST for the iPhone 14.
All in all, for the Rs 79,900 iPhone 14, consumers pay approximately Rs 24,398.47 in taxes and duties. And for the top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro Max, which will retail for Rs 1,39,900, the duties and taxes are Rs 42,720.23.
Industry sources confirm that the price difference in India is due to various factors, the biggest of which is duties and taxes. Other factors also include forex and commissions. For example, when it comes to calculating pre-launch local pricing, net of in-country duties and taxes, companies like Apple must also maintain a buffer for fluctuations and currency volatility.
The only respite consumers can hope for is refund offers. This year, HDFC is offering up to Rs 6,000 cashback on new iPhones on orders above Rs 54,900 via credit card. The new iPhone 14 series, excluding the iPhone 14 Plus, will go on sale in India on September 16, along with other countries in the first wave.