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Asian consumers set for iPhone price shock

(Source: Reuters)

Apple Inc on Wednesday kept prices for its latest iPhone stable in the United States, but raised prices in some Asian countries where currencies have dropped against the dollar in the past year.

Buyers of the basic iPhone 14 in Japan – where the yen has slumped 24 per cent since September – will pay 20 per cent more than they did for the iPhone 13 when it was launched a year ago at 99,800 yen ($692.81).

The iPhone 13 currently costs 107,800 yen in Japan. Earlier this year, Apple hiked the price of the model by nearly a fifth to 117,800 yen after the yen weakened.

In China, though, Apple’s third-largest market after the United States, the company priced the iPhone 14 at 5,999 yuan ($862.42) – the same as the iPhone 13 launch price – despite a 7 per cent drop in the currency.

Analysts have said Apple should brace for a weakening of demand in China, where the economy has been hurt by a series of Covid-19 lockdowns that have squeezed consumer spending.

Apple’s April-June quarterly revenue in Greater China fell 1 per cent after a streak of strong quarters in the region.

The company had previously announced discounts on iPhones in China, where the iPhone 13 is now available at 5,399 yuan.

Meanwhile, analysts at Picodi.com have calculated the number of days consumers in various countries have to work in order to pay for an iPhone. With the new iPhone 14 Pro (128 GB) priced at A$1749, Australians have to work for 6.1 days – 0.3 days more than last year. Citizens of Switzerland can earn the money for the newest phone in the shortest amount of time (4.6 days) while Turkey ranked in last place with 146.7 days required. The full rankings can be seen here.

  • Reporting by Reuters bureaux; writing by Sayantani Ghosh; editing by Jason Neely, of Reuters. Additional reporting by Inside Retail.

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