Apple's iPhone 15 Models Keep Getting Pricier In India Despite Its Increasing Local Footprint

Apple will launch the iPhone 15 in Indian markets next week, and here’s the twist: they might have assembled the available units right here in India. While many global smartphone giants are turning to India as a manufacturing hub, Apple’s approach stands out, and not necessarily in a way that benefits the Indian consumer.

Why are Apple’s India fans disappointed?

Despite leveraging India’s manufacturing prowess and benefiting from the Indian government’s generous incentives, Apple’s iPhones still sport a hefty price tag in the country. Let’s break down the numbers: The iPhone 15, priced at $799 in the U.S., will set Indian customers back by a whopping ₹79,900 ($965). The higher-end iPhone 15 Pro, tagged at $999 in the U.S., comes with an even steeper price of ₹1,34,900 ($1,628) in India. And the premium iPhone 15 Pro Max? It’s available for a record ₹1,59,900 ($1,930).

For context, last year’s iPhone 14, priced at $799, was launched in India at ₹79,900 ($1,087). The iPhone 14 Pro Max, with a U.S. price tag of $1,099, started at ₹1,39,900 ($1,900) in India. It’s worth noting that the Indian rupee has seen a significant depreciation against the dollar over the past year.

Dialing back to 2021, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro and its larger sibling, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, made their grand Indian debut. The pricing? The iPhone 13 Pro started at ₹105,900 for the 128GB variant, with the 256GB at ₹119,900, the 512GB at ₹134,999, and the whopping 1TB model at ₹179,900. The iPhone 13 Pro Max mirrored this trend, with its 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models priced at ₹129,900, ₹139,900, ₹144,999, and ₹179,900, respectively.

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According to a TechCrunch article, analysts at AllianceBernstein noted that Apple has adjusted its international iPhone prices, mainly due to currency fluctuations. This year, the dollar’s relatively stable movement meant that Apple’s price adjustments were more varied.

For instance, while Apple raised iPhone prices in Japan and for the Pro models in India, it reduced them in Europe, aligning with respective currency shifts. Interestingly, despite the weakening yuan suggesting a potential price hike in China, Apple chose to maintain its prices, possibly due to concerns about a softer consumer base and increasing political backlash.

The Price Tag isn’t the only reason why Apple’s Indian fans are angry

But the price isn’t the only concern for Indian consumers. Apple’s collaborations with local banks for easy financing options are limited. Trading in a year-old iPhone at an Apple store in India might fetch you just about one-third of its original value. For instance, trading in the iPhone 14 Pro, originally priced at ₹1.46 lakh, might get you a mere ₹50,000.

Apple’s approach to the Indian market has raised eyebrows for years. Despite shelling out a premium, Indian Apple aficionados miss out on a plethora of services, including News+, Fitness+, and Apple Pay. Features like the Apple Card, its associated savings account feature in the U.S., and the full suite of capabilities in Apple Maps and Siri are also conspicuously absent for Indian users.

In essence, while Apple is keen on leveraging India’s manufacturing capabilities, the benefits, in terms of pricing and services, don’t seem to trickle down to the Indian consumer.

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