Why iPhone X will fail miserably in one important market

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iPhone X
The X stands for X-tremely X-pensive.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone X may be pricey in the U.S., but spare a thought for the folks in India! As far as local pricing goes, the 64 GB version will retail for Rs 89,000 ($1,391) when it goes on sale on November 3. The top-end 256 GB model, meanwhile, will set customers back a massive Rs 102,000 ($1,594). That’s not great for a market Apple is keen to grow.

As a local news report points out, the iPhone X is so expensive in India that customers can actually save money by buying a return flight to Hong Kong to pick it up there.

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This is based on the fact that the top-line iPhone X is Rs 102,000 ($1,594) in India, compared to HK $9,888 ($1265.64). A flight to Hong Kong from India will costs around Rs 20,000 ($312) — or less if you book it from somewhere like Kolkata or Bangalore. The resulting figure comes in at $1,577, saving you a little under $20 — with a free trip thrown in.

As the report notes:

“We know the whole thing sounds like a joke. And in a way it is. No one is going to go specifically to Hong Kong from India to buy the iPhone. Also, it works best with the 256GB variant. But it does show the ridiculousness of the iPhone prices. and particularly the iPhone X prices, in India. Is it because Apple can’t price the iPhone any cheaper? Is it because Apple wants big profit margins? Is it because of Indian government taxes? Is it because Apple wants to keep the iPhone prices high so that it continues to a status symbol in India? We don’t know. Only Apple can answer these questions, if it wishes to answer them.”

Hurting developing markets

While it’s no secret that iPhone prices fluctuate around the world (pity customers in Brazil), the outrage at the price in India could be interesting to follow. India is a market that Apple has been particularly keen to grow. With half a billion smartphones predicted to sell in the country by 2020, Apple wants to expand its presence in the country. In addition to opening an app accelerator in India, as well as pushing for the right to open a flagship Apple store in the country, Apple has also started producing iPhones in the country.

Back in 2015, Apple slashed the prices of iPhones in India in an attempt to get them into more people’s hands. In this case, however, it seems the company is ploughing ahead with its high pricing — even if it negatively impacts sales in developing markets like India and China, where Apple has stated it wants to grow.

Should the rumors about a second-gen iPhone SE, targeted specifically at the developing markets, come to fruition, maybe we’ll see the permanent division of the iPhone into super-premium and low-cost versions.

Do you think this would be a good move for Apple? Leave your comments at the bottom of this article.

How much the iPhone X costs in each country

As per Google’s currency calculator and CNN Money:

Australia: $1,266
Canada: $1,082
China: $1,285
France: $1,387
Germany: $1,375
Hong Kong: $1,099
India: $1,391
Ireland: $1,410
Italy: $1,423
Japan: $1,024
Mexico: $1,325
New Zealand: $1,311
Russia: $1,387
Singapore: $1,224
United Kingdom: $1,327

  • Dan Mihai

    In Europe the phone is 1150€. Do you really imagine people lining up to buy it?

    • Power users buy Android Because Android has had all those features for years. Most iPhone users buy apple just cause their friends have one, and they are blind followers.

      • Dan Mihai

        This time it’s different. It’s as expensive as a Macbook Air.

      • Terrence Martineau

        Samsung’s face to unlock can be fooled by a photograph… lol.. they don’t even allow you to use it for Android pay… you get what you pay for…

      • Bananarama

        Bullshit. Typically clueless Fandroid chatter.

  • Arian Dovald

    This just happens in countries like India. In Argentina where I’m from all tech from the US and Europe is over-priced, always, and people still scramble to buy it.

  • Simon Law

    That’s assumming you can actually get one in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong Apple uses a first come first serve reservation system to allocate incoming iPhone stock on a daily basis upon release of a new iPhone, because of the mature grey market people write sophisticated bots to help secure reservations so the chance of a every day customer being able to actually reserve one is close to zero often for up to 6 months after launch….

  • losaltoshills

    I’ll be brutally honest. The iPhone X wasnt meant for the average guy in India. Apple already has low price point iPhones in India. Thats just the truth. A premium device will cost alot and not everyone can have it. I dont see thousands of people from India walking around with S8’s and thats only a few hundred bucks now.

  • Murat Ozgul

    Not just India its also expensive in Turkey. Price is not announcement yet but here is the math. $999 Macbook Air 4599TL ($1337) in Turkey. Probably 64GB iPhone X will be the same price.

  • Terrence Martineau

    India in particular slaps huge tarifs on companies’ products like Apple if they don’t have manufacturing in India.. this is why Apple is scrabbling to create some manufacturing there. Other countries as well place tariffs that inflate the price of these and similar products…not just about Apple.. Apple would love to add a billion potential buyers…

  • Proud man

    Forget India…how many will buy pricey phone in other markets? Gone are the days when people were aweed by game changing features. Even from India perspective iPhone 8 is way better off trade for the OLED screen and face ID. Additionally the notch is really ugly and completely ruins ‘full screen’ experience.

  • Proud man

    iPhone 5S at 15000 INR and iPhone X is 100,00 INR…6X difference for products.

  • whodakat

    I don’t think they planned the iPhone X to penetrate the lower end of the market. This is click bait cr@p. Am I on BGR?

  • 1 420$ in Denmark.

  • Magnognomus Anvilmar

    256GB Model -> Hungary: 1684.16 US Dollar + 27% Tax = $2138.88…..

  • Dan Mihai

    True, but rich people aren’t Apple’s main customers. I think 1000€ is a psychological barrier which few people would be happy to pass, just to buy a phone. I mean, this is Macbook Air money, for god’s sake.

    • DrMuggg

      All companies start at the other end “We need a phone we can sell for 500USD, OK, what to ditch….”
      Apple goes the other way around, they build a phone and at the end they set a price for it.
      I as acustomer buys a new phone every second year, I have a good income. I don’t give a sh*t about what it costs.
      Having a &s+ right now, I will probably aim for 8+ (screen size is imposrtant for me). In a few weeks I will probably get a good deal on it…

      Buying Apple stuff makes you cry once, when they use my card in the store…
      Buying other stuff often makes you swear for months…