Apple increased the price in India of its iPhones. The hike in price effective immediately arrives less than one week after the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would increase the import duties for mobile phones. The tariffs for some accessories as well as parts are also being increased.
Already, India is one of the world’s most expensive places to purchase Apple’s iPhones and 14 of the company’s most recent models from its iPhone 6 to the latest generation iPhone X, will now have a price that is 3% higher.
The iPhone X 256 GB version, for example, is now priced just over 109,000 rupees equal to $1,700, which is a $50 increase. In the U.S. the same version of the iPhone X is priced at $1,149.
The increases in price were reported first by the newspaper Economic Times, Apple has confirmed the price hikes but did not make any further comment about the decision made by the India government to raise tariffs.
The higher tariffs were implemented in an attempt to encourage businesses that are making attempts to cash in on the lucrative mobile phone market to manufacture products they sell in India.
However, at the same time, they contrast sharply with the speech made by Modi during last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos where he decried an increase around the globe in protectionism.
The danger trade barriers and tariffs bring, said Modi at the time, are not any less significant that threats posed by terrorism and climate change.
While the tariff increase will impact other brands of smartphones, Apple’s top rivals such as South Korea based Samsung and China based Xiaomi already make the vast majority of the phones they sell in India locally. However, Apple is said to import as much as 90% of their devices sold in the country.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant started making its iPhone SE lower-end models last year in a Bangalore plant, attempting to sidestep the regulations of manufacturing that have stopped it from opening its own store locations across India.
Due to that, the price of its iPhone SE throughout India has remained the same, despite the higher tariffs for imports.
However, the new Apple Watch has seen its prices increase by no less than 8% to now sell for $250.
The mobile device market across India is considered a key region for smartphone makers due to the majority of the population not owning a device.