Apple has raised the price of some iPhone models in India, following an increase in import duties that were recently announced in the country’s federal budget.
The iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will all see price increases of 2 percent effective Monday to offset the cost of the import duties. The hikes are in light of an increase in the basic customs duty rate and the withdrawal of an earlier exemption from the Social Welfare Surcharge.
According to The Hindu‘s Business Line, smartphones had been exempted from the 10 per cent social welfare surcharge, but this will now be reimposed for imported handsets. In addition, Apple will also be required to pay 20 per cent basic customs duty for the devices.
The Indian government has also increased import duty on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBs) from 10 percent to 20 percent, while import duty on chargers has increased from 15 percent to 20 percent.
The iPhone XR and iPhone 7 have escaped price increases, presumably because they are being manufactured locally in India by Apple partners Wistron and Foxconn. The iPhone 11 appears to have also escaped the price hikes, although it’s not clear why.
Last month it was reported that Wistron’s new plant in India plans to begin assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones by April, which could see some iPhone prices drop again. A PCB serves as a bed for key iPhone components like processors, storage, and memory, and usually accounts for about half the cost of a smartphone.
Apple has been working for years to establish a presence in India. In a recent shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook confirmed the company’s plans to open an online store in India in 2020 and a retail store in 2021.
In August 2019, India eased the rules that had kept Apple from offering its products in first-party stores and an online Apple Store. So far, Apple device sales in India have only been available through third-party retailers, because foreign investment rules and regulations didn’t permit Apple to sell devices in the country.