Brazil Is The Most Expensive Place In The World To Buy An iPhone 5s

Gold Champagne iPhone 5S from TLDToday

Apple opened its first store in Brazil over the weekend — with around 1,700 impatient South American Apple lining up to be the first through the doors.

The Apple Store, located in Rio de Janeiro, holds the (dubious) distinction of offering the highest priced iPhone 5s currently available on the market. The 16-gigabyte, contract-free model is selling for 2,799 Brazilian reals — a figure that translates as $1,174.

To put that in perspective, compare it with $649 in the U.S., $872 in China, or $996 in Italy.

Not all of this money goes to Apple, of course. While the exact breakdown is unknown, a sizable portion of driven by taxes and other tariffs. As one Cult of Mac reader points out, Brazil applies a 60 percent flat import tax on most manufactured retail goods.

A recent infographic showing how much the cost of iPhones varies around the world can be seen here. With such variation existing between markets, it’s no wonder that the iPhone has become a currency in many places.

Brazil marks the 15th country where Apple operates its own stores. It is also one of the top 10 smartphone markets in the world, with a reported 50 million users at the end of 2013.

  • bIg hIlL

    Brazil has 60% import tax.

  • Zillo Mab

    Brazil still has medieval tax code for electronic goods. The government uses it as an oppression tool to leverage the population to a low standard of living. The government claims the high tax is a way to protect the Brazilian electronic industry, but all it has done is create huge gap in the market and monopoly to some companies.

  • Siri

    That’s why they come to Chile to buy apple products as almost everyone in Latin America. Chile was the perfect place for an Apple Store but we are not hosting the Fifa World Cup (which is the only reason why apple choose Brasil) :/

    • Guilherme Soares

      Brazil was chose because its Top 10 market of smartphones AND also due to the WWCup. The Cup itself is not the only reason, since it’s not gonna last forever

      • Siri

        Sure it is! remember that Brasil is one of the top 5 most populated countries in the world, but they all know that for the same price of a 16GB iPhone 5S in Brazil, they can buy one in Chile AND an iPad mini of 16GB. Technology is very expensive in a lot of countries of Latin America but not in Chile, no matter if they open one or ten stores in the next years, ‘brasileiros’ will still be buying technology and other stuff in Chile. (and yes, Brazil is a huge market for any company, but remember that Apple doesn’t only sells cellphones, and if they can’t afford to buy an iPhone, imagine what happens with a mac)

      • Guilherme Soares

        That is quite true, but not exactly. The major part of Brazilian Apple consumers are rich people who don’t care to pay A LOT in a cellphone or Mac. (This is one of the reasons the prices keep high) The other classes usually prefer aiming for Chile or Florida to buy cheaper iPhones (even in Paraguay). Or the stupid Brazilians (I’m one of them – who buy the price Apple Brazil wants us to) And for those rich guys who buy outside the jungle border (Brazil) they usually buy in USA or any other country but South America. At least as far as I know Chile is not the main preferred location to “brasileiros” buy iPhones and Apple gadgets. I’m not discussing whether Chile is a good or better place to an Apple Store than Brazil, but the way you sounded looks like all Brazilians are f***ng poor people and all they do is go to Chile and buy Apple Gadgets, which is not true.

      • Siri

        No, I’m sorry if you misunderstood. Brazil has one of the most growing markets in terms of luxury, that’s obviously because they can pay for it. But you know that almost everything in Brazil is pricier than in the rest of the world because of taxes, even fast fashion in Brasil is kind of expensive. And let’s be honest, you know that Apple is not even the 3rd seller of cellphones in your country (it only has a 6,4% of the market), and that’s because its price, it doesn’t really matter if they can pay for it, they just don’t buy it.

  • germanicus

    That’s cheaper than in my country, Argentina. Here we must pay the equivalent to U$S1500 to U$S1700 for the 16 Gb model. It´s a ripoff.

  • Guilherme Soares

    Are we even surprised?

  • Chamba Iraheta
  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    There goes Apple’s chance of gaining any smartphone market share in Brazil. Out of curiosity, what company is the current smartphone market share holder in Brazil? I’m guessing Samsung.

    • Siri

      Samsung with a 54,3%

    • Guilherme Soares

      Not Apple’s fault. The guilty is the Government of Brazil.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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