Apple announced the iPhone SE yesterday for $399 in the United States, which is the most affordable price point it has ever introduced an iPhone at. But in many other launch countries around the world, the new 4-inch smartphone carries a premium beyond foreign currency exchange rates and sales taxes.
In Australia, the iPhone SE starts at roughly $679 AUD for the 16GB model, despite $399 USD amounting to around $525 AUD based on the current exchange rate. The price equals about $617 before GST, so Apple is charging about $62 more beyond the exchange rate and Australian sales tax.
The price difference is similar in Canada, where the iPhone SE starts at $579 compared to a currency adjusted price of around $522. The 64GB model also carries about a $55 premium over U.S. pricing. Unlike VAT in some countries, Canadian sales tax is added to these prices at the time of purchase.
In the United Kingdom, customers will face around a £20 to £25 premium for the iPhone SE after accounting for VAT and the current $ to £ conversion. The forex market has been highly volatile in recent months, so these prices could change accordingly.
iPhone SE prices are inflated in a number of other European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where the 16GB and 64GB models cost €489 and €589 or more respectively with applicable VAT and other fees added. Comparatively, $399 and $499 USD currently equal around €355 and €444 respectively.
Other countries with higher iPhone SE prices include China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.
Apple, which reports its quarterly financial results in U.S. dollars, typically adjusts foreign prices based on currency exchange rates, while import charges and duties, VAT, taxes, licensing, and other fees can affect global prices. But even when accounting for those factors, the iPhone SE still appears to be priced higher in many countries.
Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad Pro carries similar premiums in countries around the world.