They say time is money, but unfortunately for Apple enthusiasts in India, they’ll need to spend more of both for the iPhone 6S.
In addition to launching on October 16, 3 weeks after it was released in much of the western world, the range will cost more in India than any other country, starting out at 62,000 rupees for the 16GB 6S — that’s the equivalent of $955, AU$1,310 or £620 for the entry-level model.
On the other end of the spectrum is the top-of-the-line 128GB 6S Plus, which will cost 92,000 rupees, which converts directly to about $1,415, AU$1,950 or £925. The directly converted full price list, according to various online stores, is below:
Using the top and bottom models as reference points, the 16GB 6S costs $649 in America, AU$1,079 in Australia and £540 in the UK. That means Indians are paying $306 more than Americans, AU$231 more than Australians and £80 more than those in the UK.
Meanwhile, Americans pay $949 for the 128GB 6S Plus, a full $466 less than those in India. In Australia it’s AU$1,490, AU$460 cheaper, while those in the UK pay £790 — £135 less than Indians.
Ironically, the high pricing could prove a costly move for Apple, with analysts saying that such expensive smartphones will alienate almost all of its prospective userbase in India. Though Samsung and its Galaxy S flagship devices have a presence in the Indian market (with the S6 starting at around 40,000 rupees — $615, AU$840 or £400) the most popular smartphones are budget, sub-$200 devices like Chinese handset maker Xiaomi’s RedMi range and products made by local brand Micromax.
“Anything above 60,000 rupees is way out of reach for even an average rich urban consumer,” Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, told CNET. “Apple has done well in its last financial year from October 2014 to September 2015 in India, selling close to 1.7 million units, which is up 55 percent annually, but still only half of the iPhones sold have been iPhone 6 series, which speaks volumes for the price affordability of most of the iPhone fanbase.”
When the iPhone 6 series launched in India last year, the 16GB 6 model was priced at 56,000 rupees, which converts to $865, AU$1175 or £565.
In 2012 , it was estimated that the monthly average monthly wage in the country was $215 (AU$290, £140) — meaning the average citizen would have to use just under five months’ worth of their entire salary for the cheapest iPhone 6S.
Prior to pricing being announced for India, France was the most expensive place to buy an iPhone 6S, with the range starting at $845, AU$1,161 or £550.
After launching in the Americas, China, Australia and much of Europe on September 25, the two new iPhones will be available in India, Russia, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and several other countries on October 15. South Korea and Ukraine will follow, getting the devices on October 23.