For a fun experiment in data visualization, the good folks over at MobileUnlocked have put together a world map showing how the cost of an iPhone 5s varies around the world.
It’s possible to look at this data in both dollars and pounds — and, just as interestingly, before and after taxes, which obviously vary greatly based on whichever country you’re looking at.
As Tim Worstall writes for Forbes:
“The major reason [for this] is governments. The prices used include sales taxes (and for the US, Californian ones are used for the whole country) and those obviously vary in each taxing jurisdiction. Then there are also various places that have import taxes on electronics.
There’s also a second, much more minor [reason] in there as well. Apple, just like every other company, operates at “price points”. No one at all goes out and sells something at $501. This might not be entirely rational but it is the way we humans see things, that $499 is much cheaper than $501. Certainly, we all act as if it’s much more than $2 cheaper. So price points are going to be at $499, perhaps $489, $449, instead of $451.”
Going one step further, the study’s authors have additionally made it possible to chart the relationship between the price of the iPhone and the national GDP (PPP) per capita for all those countries where the data is available.
On that basis, the most expensive country to own an iPhone 5s in is China, where the cost represents 9.55 percent of the average GDP, while the U.S. is the cheapest — at just 1.15 percent.