256GB iPhone X Now Costs $1,700 in India After Tariff Hike

256GB iPhone X Now Costs $1,700 in India After Tariff Hike Credit: The Verge
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A 256-gigabyte iPhone X will now cost about $1,700 in India, due to yet another set of import duty hikes on mobile devices in the country.

The price hikes are effective immediately, and they come less than a week after the Indian government announced it would raise customs duty on imported mobile devices from 15 to 20 percent, CNN reported.

India was previously one of the most expensive places to buy an iPhone. In December 2017, a separate important tariff hike on mobile devices caused the prices for many Apple devices to rise about 3.5 percent. At the time, a 256GB iPhone cost 105,720 rupees, about $1,237.

This week’s tariff hike has caused about 14 percent of Apple’s newest iPhones to rise about 3 percent in price on top of that. As such, a 256GB iPhone X will now run Indian buyers 109,000 rupees, or $1,700. The same exact device costs $1,149 in the U.S.

Apple confirmed the price change, and has updated its online storefront in the country accordingly, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

The increased tariffs are meant to curb imported devices and encourage phone manufacturers to produce their handsets locally. That’s important because India is a lucrative market, and is becoming increasingly critical to tech firms. Last year, India surpassed the U.S. as the world’s second-largest phone market behind China.

But while the tariff increases affect all imported smartphones, Apple has been hit by them more critically than its competitors. Companies like Samsung and Xiaomi already produce most of their locally sold devices in-country. Apple, on the other hand, imports about 90 percent of the devices it sells in India.

India’s importance as a market has spurred Apple to begin aggressively seeking out a strategy to gain a foothold there. In addition to price cuts across its devices, Apple has taken to producing its lower-cost iPhone SE model at a Bengaluru-based Wistron plant. As a result, the price of an iPhone SE in India has remained unchanged despite the recent set of import tariff hikes.

Reports also suggest that Apple could debut a new “Made in India” iPhone SE-type device this year, with some rumors claiming that it could be an Indian market exclusive, at least initially.

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