Indians pay more for Apple’s MacBooks and iPhones than most other Asians

How about a discount?
How about a discount?
Image: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade
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If Apple Inc is serious about India as a market, then it is not evident in its product pricing.

Most of Apple’s bestselling devices cost more here than in other major Asian countries, according to Linio’s Technology Price Index for 2016, based on their average prices in 71 countries. Linio is a Rocket Internet-backed Latin American e-commerce company.

Among the major Asian nations, Japan, China, and UAE offer the best prices for most Apple products, the study shows.

Apple’s flagship product, iPhone, is the only device whose average price in India is competitive with those in other Asian countries, the survey shows. However, that may be because many of its older models, which usually have few takers in other countries, still sell cheap in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.

The average price of an iPhone in India is $505 (Rs34,000), according to Linio; however, its latest model, iPhone 7, sells at a much higher price in the country. Also, the iPhone 7 is more expensive in India than some other Asian nations.

A MacBook, on an average, costs $500 more in India than in neighbouring Pakistan where it costs the least among major Asian economies, the survey showed. The study did not give any reason for such a huge difference, but said that this highlighted “the huge influence of tariffs, taxes, and inflation on price.”

Between July and September, over one million tablets were sold in India. The market was dominated by affordable brands like Datawind, iBall, and Micromax.

In this price-sensitive market, Apple’s iPad Mini costs over $100 more than it does in UAE or Japan.

Meanwhile, Indians continue to request friends and family travelling abroad to buy them Apple watches. That’s because the smartwatch costs over $200 more in India than in Japan.

In the US, an Apple watch sells at an average $288.34, the study said, while it costs around $458 in India.

India is admittedly a small market for Apple right now. However, earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook compared it with the company’s then second-largest market, China. He made his interest in India clearer by making his maiden trip to the country in May.

Maybe it’s time to give buyers in the country better deals?