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The iPhone 5S, how much it costs versus economic realities around the world

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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The iPhone 5S, how much it costs versus economic realities around the world
We all know that Apple products tend to cost more. iPhones are on the more expensive side of the spectrum by just about every measure. Despite that expense, the iPhone is very popular and highly sought after by many around the world.

When the iPhone 5S first went on sale in the United States, online auction and classified sites lit up with the shiny new devices for sale at substantial mark-ups, with some 16GB iPhones being sold for thousands of dollars.

When you want it, you want it. Right? Well in some places that is easier said than done when you measure the cost of the iPhone versus what kind of money people have on hand. What we are talking about is Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).

PPP is not without its controversy, but it is a widely accepted way to look at how a particular country’s currency allows people making a certain wage are able to buy stuff. There is added complexity when you account for the fact that uniform price levels do not exist. Put plainly, the $650 full retail price (excluding tax) of a 16GB iPhone 5S does not cost the equivalent in British Pounds. In fact, the full retail for the same iPhone 5S in the UK is £457 ($740) before tax, and a whopping £549 ($890) with value-added-tax (VAT).

When you measure that against the overall economy however, that results in just 2.4% of GDP per capita (PPP), even when accounting for taxation. That is based on a median income of $37,500 (2012, £23,150). Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK is ahead of the curve in that regard.

Perhaps not worth its weight in gold, the iPhone 5S comes with a high price tag everywhere

Perhaps not worth its weight in gold, the iPhone 5S comes with a high price tag everywhere

Not surprisingly, folks in the US and Canada are not so bad off, as an iPhone is well under 2% of GDP (PPP). That is aided by the size of the market, median wages and lower overall taxes. Ease of distribution, regulation, taxation, and the size of the market all weigh on the cost of a product before it hits the shelf at a store. Portugal and Italy are two examples where, despite being part of the currently strong Euro currency system, the iPhone simply costs more. In Portugal, the price for a 16GB iPhone 5S is €699, including €131 in taxes. That’s $942, more than the cost of a 64GB iPhone 5S in the US with tax. In Italy, the same exact iPhone is a whopping €729, including €133 in taxes ($980 overall).

Those higher prices, coupled against a smaller, and shrinking GDP, result in a much higher impact on purchasing power, 3.3% in Italy, and over 4.1% in Portugal. If you think they have it bad, do not move to China, the Philippines or India. There, the price of an iPhone is inflated about the same as one might find in Europe, but the product confronts much weaker purchasing power. An iPhone commands nearly 10% of GDP (PPP) in China because wages are much lower. In the Philippines, the impact is nearly double, 18% and in India it is still higher at 22%. In those three instances, the price of the iPhone is between $750 and $850.

We shared some images from an interactive model put together by the good folks at Mobile Unlocked. To see how the numbers stack up in your specific neck of the woods, click on the source link. As you can see from the map however, in the developed world, the economic impact of the iPhone is not oppressive. Be thankful if you do not need to buy a 16GB iPhone in Turkey or Jordan, there, the retail price starts at over $1,000.


source: Mobile Unlocked

44 Comments
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posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:24 6

1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Last line of the article almost gave me a heart attack.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:49 1

20. vincelongman (Posts: 1697; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Dude the gold 64 GB iPhone was nearly NZD $2000 (USD $1650) at import stores when it first came out.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 02:25 1

30. Doakie (Posts: 1322; Member since: 06 May 2009)


This is the kind of article that proves that the Moto G wins in the cheaper scaled down colorful handset war. Not only is it cheaper, it has an equivalent PPI. If anyone in these other countries that don't have subsidized handset models buys an iPhone 5C over a Moto G they're stupid. For my T Mobile line I'm totally buying a Moto G because screw paying $500-650 when there's a $200 option like the 16GB Moto G. I don't know how all of a sudden I've become a Moto G fanboy...

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 05:53

31. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 915; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


This article is so veridic it hurts the iPhone 5C 16GB costs the equivalent of 800$, the 5S 32GB costs 1080$ while the minimum wage in Portugal is 650$, in others words you need to work two months before you can get Apple's overpriced phones.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 06:20

33. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


You doing any cardio to keep that pumper strong ;)

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 07:31 1

35. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Everyday for at least an hour!

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 08:46

39. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That's wassup bro. I'd do a minimum 30 every morning, then an hr of weights after work. Hard work, but well worth the effort. +1 Smurf.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:33 2

2. dairan (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


in Brazil iphone 5c and 5s was release today. iPhone 5s 16gb = 1,214.64 U.S. dollars. Sure it is most expansive in whole the world

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:54 9

6. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


The PS4 price in Brazil is scary.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 21:18 5

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I rather get the Xbox One over the PS4. Just my preference.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:02 5

12. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6736; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


you rather spend 499$ vs 399$ on a gaming console? or because it have NFL exclusive on XBOX LIVE

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:06 2

15. alaw.14 (Posts: 171; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)


Or that it comes with the kinect???

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:11 4

18. quakan (Posts: 1223; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


For $60 you can get the PS4 camera and still pay less than the Xbox One.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:21 2

24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I've invested five (almost six) years into XBL. Can't see myself switching over to PSN.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:09 2

17. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


PS4 is better for gaming and the xbox one is slightly better at being an entertainment device. IMO a Roku 3 and a PS4 is a much better combo.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:43 1

19. vincelongman (Posts: 1697; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


IMO a PC and HDMI cable is a even better combo.
Better graphics and cheaper games

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:22 1

25. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


XBL > PSN

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:36 1

28. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


...before

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 09:41

41. _PHug_ (Posts: 395; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


I'm with you.
Xbox is better.
Better games.
Better exclusives.
Better online experience.
Better controller.

Outside of The last of us & the Drake series my PS3 collects dust.
Everything else is played on 360

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 08:52

44. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


When I was in the market for a console 360 had no built in WiFi, no built in bluray/hddvd, no hdmi, and one tenth of the storage that the ps3 offered. Meaning I would have to spend another $250 on top of base price for 360 to have the same specs as a ps3 and still no hdmi. No brainer.

I'm glad Microsoft is beginning to catch up, now their system is only $100 more and $20 every three months for the same experience a ps4 offers out of the box.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:06

16. taikucing (unregistered)


wow I thought only in my country everything costs abnormal.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 08:35

38. sergiobr (Posts: 435; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


In BraSil S4 i9505 -> at about $ 890 , Nokia 1020 -> $ 1010 ... that´s the reason why I´m using my old S3 with Nokia (used one) N808 (I bought by $ 330). Nokia for the photos and S3 for the rest , just use NFC. No reason to upgrade (ok, by the end of this year I´ll buy my S4)

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:34 3

3. julz17ronald (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)


In my country, 2 Samsung S4 = 1 IPhone 5s. Apple pricing is too much!

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:48 3

4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


In Malaysia, the iPhone 5s (16GB) is priced the same as the Xperia Z1 and the Galaxy Note 3 at $747.93 USD, and what's funny is that the HTC One Max was released yesterday and it's priced at $779.11 USD, it's more expensive than those three phones. lol

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:53 2

5. rgonzalezagui (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


In Mexico, it's around $950 US...

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 20:56

7. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)


Just wondering why Japan is not included in this otherwise excellent research.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 21:04 5

8. spectrums (Posts: 127; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)


verry over price for garbage phone.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 21:18 2

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I wouldn't say garbage, but for a phone that doesn't have Bluetooth capabilities my dumb phone from 2009 had is really depressing.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:03

13. stealthd (Posts: 980; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


My flip phone from 2005 could do it too, and it doesn't matter because I never needed to use it.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:14

23. spectrums (Posts: 127; Member since: 14 Nov 2013)


yes, i'm agree with you.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 21:58 3

11. taikucing (unregistered)


My country is not included in that pictures. In my country the 16 GB version of iPhone 5S is $1100. iPhone - the most overpriced crap on earth.
Samsung Galaxy S4 costs a bit normal here, $680.

posted on 23 Nov 2013, 16:23

42. TechCrazyedBoy (Posts: 129; Member since: 12 Nov 2013)


Pricy as hell...
but in some places in Malaysia the price can go upto $1500 and go down to just $1000 LOL...

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:03 1

14. Marcis (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


Iphone 5S in Lebanon: 1135$. Note3: 780$ !!!

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:56

22. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I still don't get the reasoning behind the unbalanced prices of the iPhone across the globe vs. their competitors' lower, seemingly more well-rounded prices. Is it really just the price Apple wants to keep up because of taxes wherever they're selling, or local businesses simply taking advantage of the device's availability and popularity?

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 22:54

21. Pancholo (Posts: 377; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


They should manufacture the iPhone in the U.S. so they can at least have an excuse for the pricing.

Kidding! That will never happen.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:28

26. aayupanday (Posts: 527; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


The 64 GB iPhone 5S is available at $1150 here in India.
Pricing at its ridiculous best.

posted on 21 Nov 2013, 23:34 4

27. eisenbricher (Posts: 972; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


I'm Indian and yeah, iPhone is costly here and low wages make it even more distant thing. Though fanboys buy it. Thankfully Indians care about how they spend their money and hence Apple will never become popular here.

Anyway for that cost an iPhone doesn't even offer half of the functionality an cheap Android phone does. Indian brands like MMX, Karbonn are doing good to bring Indigenous products to market at reasonable price (yeah I know those are assembled in China and blah blah).

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 06:40

34. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 664; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Bro..+1 to you.. Exactly my thought.. I'm from India..
Between iPhone and a bike, I would buy a bike (coz both are priced the same in India)..
Think about US whose GDP is so better than India and people earn tenfolds..
Its subsidized in US. But in India a common man earns $ 1000

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 07:36

37. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 664; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Bro..+1 to you.. Exactly my thought.. I'm from India..
Between iPhone and a bike, I would buy a bike (coz both are priced the same in India)..
Think about US whose GDP is so better than India and people earn tenfolds..
Its subsidized in US. But in India a common man earns $ 1000 & phones are of $700.. Complete non-sense..
Whereas in US, a common man earns $ 5000 & phones are subsidized @100 on contract.. Complete non-sense again...

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 02:18

29. modu31 (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Nov 2013)


It would be interesting to see a similar comparison of Nexus 5 would cost around the world. In India it costs around 460 $ including taxes and shipping for 16 GB.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 06:19

32. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Glad I live in America, where it's heavily subsidized. Sucks for some who can't get it, but there are very viable alternatives...just as good. Sometimes we simply want what we want though.

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 07:33

36. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Got my Note 3. Love it more than ever. :')

posted on 22 Nov 2013, 08:48

40. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Glad you're enjoying it. We pay good money for these devices, it's all about personal satisfaction bro. I know you're loving that beautiful screen.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 02:13

43. garlic456 (Posts: 203; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)


The 16 GB IPhone 5s is 2200 to (1100$)
8 GB version of IPhone 4 is nearly 600$

I wonder who is setting the prices.

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