The true cost of the iPhone X, based on what you actually earn

Say hello to the future.
Say hello to the future.
Image: Reuters/Stephen Lam
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With the iPhone X, we have entered a new age of ultra-premium smartphones.

Apple is calling the iPhone X the “smartphone of the future,” loaded with new features meant to entice consumers into getting used to the idea of paying the same price for a phone as they would for a laptop. The new model, available for pre-order Oct. 27 and purchase Nov. 3, costs a whopping $1,000 in the US (and a lot more than that in other countries, if you convert local prices to other currencies). The price goes up even more if you want the bigger 256 GB model, which costs $1,149 in the US.

But are the new bells and whistles and bigger screen worth, for example, 50% of your monthly salary?

That’s a decision consumers in Spain will have to reckon with when the iPhone X goes on sale next month. In India and China, smartphone markets poised for massive growth and where Apple is trying to expand, the iPhone X costs far more than the typical monthly income in each country; in India, the new model will cost almost as much as the average citizen makes in a year.

The real price of the iPhone X becomes clear when put in terms of the average income in the countries where it will be sold.

iPhone X  global prices compared to average monthly wages

Based on the retail prices listed on Apple’s various global sites and 2016 global wage data from the OECD and others*, we looked at the cost of the 64GB iPhone X in the countries it will be available for purchase and ranked them in terms of the percentage of average monthly income† per person.

As of Oct. 24, 2017, iPhone X retail prices were not available on Apple’s website in Andorra, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, or Slovenia.

*Wage data for China (urban areas only), Russia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates are from the International Labor Organization; for Hong Kong from the Government of Hong Kong Census and Statistics department; for India from Government of India Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation; and for Taiwan (pdf) from the Taiwan Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

†Represents median, not average wage.