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Why Is iPhone 15 Pro Still Expensive In India?

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iPhone 15 Pro series rolled out in India with exorbitant price tags. People began asking why it is too expensive compared to countries when they are manufactured in India itself? Well, the answer isn’t just the profit margin but there are many layers to it that we have explored below.

- Updated: 6th Oct 2023, 13:01 IST

Last month Apple introduced the almighty iPhone 15 series with a bunch of new upgrades. The price tags for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus remained unchanged compared to their predecessors, however, the ones looking out for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max were in for a shock given the massive price jump. Specifically for the Pro Max variant the starting price has to be bumped by Rs. 20,000 as there is no 128GB variant for the iPhone 15 Pro Max this time.

Here is the pricing comparison of Pro iPhones from this year and last year.

iPhone 14 Pro iPhone 15 Pro Price Increase
128GB VariantRs. 1,29,900Rs. 1,34,9004%
256GB VariantRs. 1,39,900Rs. 1,44,9003.6%
512GB VariantRs. 1,59,900Rs. 1,64,9003%
1TB VariantRs. 1,79,900Rs. 1,84,9002.7%
iPhone 14 Pro MAX iPhone 15 Pro MAX Price Increase
128GB VariantRs. 1,39,900N/A
256GB VariantRs. 1,49,900Rs. 1,59,9006.7%
512GB VariantRs. 1,69,900Rs. 1,79,9005.8%
1TB VariantRs. 1,89,900Rs. 1,99,9005%

But this begs the question, aren’t iPhones manufactured in India? Given the volume of iPhones produced in India, shouldn’t the prices on the Pro models adjust accordingly? Well, that’s easy to say but there are a lot of moving parts when answering a question such as “Why is the iPhone 15 Pro still expensive in India”?. Here’s why.

Also Read: Best iPhone 15 Accessories

The Price Disparity

If you saw the iPhone 15 launch, it goes without saying that you at least know the US and India’s pricing and yes, these are poles apart. For instance, the iPhone 15 base variant is available in the US at $799 (Rs. 66,500 approx) while the Indian pricing is $965 (Rs. 80,000). You can track this trend across all four of the models with the iPhone 15 Pro ($999 vs. $1,650) and the iPhone 15 Pro Max ($1,199 vs. $1,930). 

CountryiPhone 15 Pro Pricing (128GB)
IndiaRs.1,34,900
UKRs.1,03,488
USRs.82,781
DubaiRs.96,993
ChinaRs.92,169
VietnamRs.99,669
ThailandRs.97,392
SingaporeRs.1,00,399
CanadaRs.88,588
iPhone 15 Pro Global Pricing

India comes among the top countries with the most expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max. The only exception being the base variant on the Pro Max has been changed from 128GB to 256GB but even that shouldn’t cause a price disparity of almost $700 compared to US pricing.

Also Read: Apple iPhone 15 Price Varies In Different Countries: Check Now!

All iPhones are NOT produced in India, they are assembled

manufacturing-apple-iphones-in-india-customer-benefit-price

Apple has been manufacturing some iPhones in India since 2017 and this time the the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 plus will be manufactured in India starting Day One. Also, the Pro variants that have seen the highest price bump are not manufactured in India. Instead, all the Pro variants are manufactured in China.

Furthermore, Not all iPhones are produced in India but rather, most of them are assembled. They rely on certain components imported from other regions which means Apple has to pay import customs duties as well as GST on these components which later translates into a higher final price.

In India, Apple uses a competitive pricing strategy wherein the Pro models are priced on the higher side of the scale to counter the pricing on non-Pro models such as iPhone 15 and 15 Plus making them affordable. This has helped the Cupertino-based giant attract more customers and a firmer stand in one of the largest smartphone markets in the world.

Heavy Import Duty & GST

Since the supply chain for the production of iPhones relies on components imported from foreign countries to India, these units are subjected to 20% import duty along with 18% Goods and Service Tax (GST). This adds up to almost 40% on the final pricing of these components which translates to higher pricing on the final product sold in India.

Apple entered into the manufacturing circuit in India in 2017 and has actively increased the number of units produced every year. During the last fiscal year, it recorded $11 billion in smartphone exports compared to $9-$10Bn as per estimates. As of this year, Apple’s production in India contributes to 6% of the global units and the numbers are increasing.

The Cupertino-based giant cannot expect to implement dual pricing tiers for units assembled in India and imported from other regions. Brands like Vivo, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Samsung which produce their flagship phones in India, have maintained stable pricing for their flagship phones much like Apple.

Made in India iPhones are cheaper

Made in India iPhone 15 Plus

iPhone 15 is produced in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It gives Apple benefits in terms of just 2.5% in customs duty compared to 20% on imports. This 17.5% saving in tax makes the pre-tax pricing of the non PRO variants similar in India. This is the reason why the non PRO variants are not 45% expensive in India as we have seen with iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

Apple is already producing the iPhone 15 in India and the manufacturing of 15 Plus will start soon. However, these won’t affect the current abnormally high prices on the Pro and Pro Max models reasons for which are clearly explained above – no dual pricing and price adjustments to make non-Pro models affordable while the Pro models are sold at a premium.

Also Read: 5 Reasons To Buy iPhone 15 This Year!

Watching Currency Movements

Another factor that plays a vital role in deciding pricing on iPhones is currency movements. Apple pegs the pricing on its latest offerings based on the dollar value. It means a stronger dollar concerning foreign currencies leads to higher pricing. It goes on to show why Pro Phones in Japan and India are seeing a substantial rise in pricing while the European countries are seeing a decline in the same.

This matter can be debated given the fixed prices on iPhones in China that have seen political backlash and a weaker consumer base. Apple managed to keep the prices constant in the country even after it saw a weaker yuan in recent times. Another reason could be Apple’s move to take on a larger share in China compared to the Chinese bigwigs such as BBK Electronics (including OnePlus, Vivo, & Oppo, etc.) and Xiaomi.

Limited Collaboration with Banks and trade-in

As of now, Apple has been using bank offers and collaborations to mitigate the pricing hike in their offerings. However, Apple sees limited collaboration with local banks in the country when it comes to convenient financing options. Getting a higher trade-in value could have undercut the exorbitant pricing on the Pro models in the country.

Keen-eyes Apple enthusiasts would argue the Cupertino giant has treated India as a second-class citizen. There’s no Fitness+, Apple Pay, or News+ available for Indian customers even after paying somewhat of twice the price on a Pro Max compared to the US market. 

What Are Apple’s Plans For India in the Future?

manufacturing-apple-iphones-in-india-customer-benefit-price

iPhones may not have a strong volume in India compared to Dubai or the US, however, the Cupertino-based giant knows India is a major smartphone market out there. India’s production has surpassed the $7Bn mark as of last fiscal year. The company is aiming towards $40 billion shortly.

Apple is already manufacturing the iPhone 15 in India from day one and the iPhone 15 Plus manufacturing will start in a few weeks. This Make in India initiative sees low import duty and price adjustments it has strategies that keep non-Pro versions affordable in the country.

Also Read: iPhone 15 New Features We Bet You Did Not Know!



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Highlights of the Story

  • iPhone 15 Pro in India is priced about 65% more than what you would pay in the US.
  • Import duties and competitive pricing strategy price adjustments make the iPhone 15 Pro variants too expensive in India

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