iPhones Too Expensive in India, Says Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that iPhones are too expensive in India, during an interview with Indian news channel NDTV on Monday, the last day of his weeklong visit to the country (via TechCrunch).

According to a recent report from Deutsche Bank, India is among the most expensive places in the world to buy an iPhone. Prices there average 31 percent higher than the U.S., with only iPhones in Sweden, Indonesia, and Brazil proving more costly.

tim cook ndtv
NDTV's Vikram Chandra broached the subject with Cook on air. "You've got an iPhone here which is more expensive than it is in the U.S., with less functionality than it would have in the U.S., and in a country where purchasing power is a fraction of what it is in the U.S.," Chandra said.

Cook acknowledged the disproportionate cost by suggesting that the iPhone was overpriced rather than too expensive. "The duties and the taxes and the compounding of those takes the price and it makes it very high. Our profitability is less in India, it's materially less — but still I recognize that prices are high," he said.

"We want to do things that lower that over time, to the degree that we can," Cook continued. "I want the consumer in India to be able to buy at a price that looks like the U.S. price."


Chandra's interview covered a few more topics, including how Apple saw itself investing in its Indian presence. "What we see here is talent," said Cook. "That means getting the development community moving on iOS. We're also using a lot of skills in India for maps – the maps facility will be several hundred million dollars worth of work."

Cook also said the company wants to bring all its existing services to India, including Apple Pay, and that if the need arose to offer something unique in the country, Apple would look at that too, although he acknowledged the possible cultural limitations: "I don't believe personally in trying to be something you're not. We are what we are. We're a California company."

The interview rounded off Tim Cook's weeklong trip to India, during which he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mingled with Bollywood stars, watched a cricket game, visited temples, and attended business meetings in Mumbai.

Tag: India

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
46 months ago
They're actually too expensive worldwide.

Edit:
A quick sample of pricing:
iPhone 6s Silver 16GB
USA - $649.00 = $649.00 USD
Brazil - R$ 3.999 = $1121.11 USD - that's $472.11 USD extra the customer pays in BR
Great Britain - £449 (£539.00 - VAT £90.00) = $655.36 USD or $786.86 USD including VAT which is what the customer pays - that's $137.86 USD extra the customer pays in GB
Australia - $980 ($1,079.00 - GST $99) = $701.88 USD or $772.78 USD including GST which is what the customer pays - that's $123.78 USD extra the customer pays in AU
Japan - ¥78,800 = $719.19 USD - that's $70.19 USD extra the customer pays in JP
Rating: 25 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

In comparison to computer devices in general. Computers are a basic human right. There is no reason why iPhone, with its insanely cheap manufactured cost price, is incredibly expensive and overpriced making it unattainable for many individuals.



A "basic human right"? Maybe for those like you, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Try telling those people in India where 1 billion people have no access to fresh water or sanitary living conditions or a roof thats not made out of cardboard. If I didn't think you were bereft of grey matter I'd actually laugh at your ludicrous and offensive comment.
Rating: 20 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

They're actually too expensive worldwide.

Edit:
A quick sample of pricing:
iPhone 6s Silver 16GB
USA - $649.00 = $649.00 USD
Brazil - R$ 3.999 = $1121.11 USD - that's $472.11 USD extra the customer pays in BR
Great Britain - £449 (£539.00 - VAT £90.00) = $655.36 USD or $786.86 USD including VAT which is what the customer pays - that's $137.86 USD extra the customer pays in GB
Australia - $980 ($1,079.00 - GST $99) = $701.88 USD or $772.78 USD including GST which is what the customer pays - that's $123.78 USD extra the customer pays in AU
Japan - ¥78,800 = $719.19 USD - that's $70.19 USD extra the customer pays in JP


Why are you intentionally not including US taxes?

For example, to buy an iPhone 6s 16GB in New York State costs $707.41 with 9% sales tax.

This would make Japan's cost only $11.78 more, not $70.19 more.

Some charge even more: Tennessee (9.46 percent), Arkansas (9.30 percent), Louisiana (9.01 percent). So, an iPhone 6s in Tennessee costs $710.40

Major cities are different as well. Chicago charges 10.25%. So the same iPhone costs $715.52 in Chicago.
Rating: 14 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago
Not just in India, I'm sure many would argue :)
Rating: 10 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago
Certainly to expensive in the UK. :(
Rating: 10 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

Why are you intentionally not including US taxes?

For example, to buy an iPhone 6s 16GB in New York State costs $707.41 with 9% sales tax.

This would make Japan's cost only $11.78 more, not $70.19 more.

His US taxes aren't included because it doesn't fit his narrative.:rolleyes: It's easy to rail about a $100 difference. Not so much about a $10 difference. To be fair, the iPhone cost in certain countries is quite high. But that doesn't mean people should dismiss half the facts just to make a point.
Rating: 10 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

Not true! Even when adjusting for taxes and currency, countries outside the USA are being charged much more for iPhone. It seems Apple is unnecessarily inflating pricing in other countries.

Ok. Let’s actually look at this objectively please with a few countries:

iPhone 6s Silver 16GB

USA - $649.00 = $649.00 USD

Great Britain - £449 (£539.00 - VAT £90.00) = $655.36 USD or $786.86 USD including VAT which is what the customer pays

Australia - $980 ($1,079.00 - $99) = $701.88 USD or $772.78 USD including GST which is what the customer pays

Japan - ¥78,800 = $719.19 USD


As you demonstrated, without sales tax, it's about $50 more, at most, than the US.

Apple is not guilty because in the US, they don't put sales tax with price and the rest of the world does. Law abiding Americans pay more than $649.

Also, you have not factored in import taxes.

And the fact that the UK, Australia, etc. many countries have 2 years warranty and the US only has 1.
Rating: 9 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

In comparison to what? The Galaxy S7 Edge? $822? iPhone 6s $649, 6s Plus $749. You think any decent smart phone is cheap anywhere in the world?

Samsung Galaxy s7 in India ₹ 48,500. iPhone 6S in india ₹ 44,500. Who's expensive again?


Well, the galaxy s7 you're talking about has 32 GB of internal storage and has an SD card slot for future expansion plus most of Google's services work in India so you can't really compare the price.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

I’m referring to Apple's lowest pricing for each comparison at http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/iphone6s. There isn't enough space to list all 50 states here. The comparisons of other countries I gave included tax and without tax in those countries.

That's not correct, actually US state taxes http://www.sale-tax.com :

0 - 0.9% - 5 states
2 - 2.9% - 1 state
4 - 4.9% - 11 states
5 - 5.9% - 8 states
6 - 6.9% - 19 states
7 - 7.9% - 6 states

The font doesn't appear huge this end. I prefer Arial instead of Veranda.

You're right. I was wrong. It wasn't 22 states, it was 25 states that you could end up paying 8% or higher. You're intentionally ignoring the full state and local tax rate in the link you provided. That full rate is what most people pay. We're getting way too "rabbit hole" with this. My point: If you're going to argue a position, base it on real facts, not just parts of facts that bolster your position. No one's arguing the high world price of iPhones. They are arguing your evidence and it's presentation.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
46 months ago

And... in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon etc, it would make it $70.19 USD extra the customer pays in Japan. So please be a bit more representative.

So as you would know, some states include 0% taxes in the USA, with the majority of states less than 5% tax. I’m referring to Apple's lowest pricing for comparison at http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/iphone6s There isn't enough space to list all 50 states here.

This is the good ole US of A. Land of the free, home of the incessantly taxed. This is where 0% tax rate doesn't really mean 0% tax rate, thanks to a novel idea called state and local taxes. Viewed from that reality, 3 states have 0% tax rate, 6 are between 3-5.6%, and the rest run from 6% to a high of 11.5% (Illinois). With state an local taxes, 22 states can hit you for more than 8%. So the majority aren't less than 5%. True it's harder to calculate, but you can't include taxes from different countries and not include at least some of the taxes on the US price. Well you can but the comparison would be inaccurate. If you're not including US tax, you shouldn't include tax in other countries. As I said before, other countries to get hit over the head pretty hard. Just not as hard as your huge font would indicate. BTW, what's up with that font size? Visual impairment? Not being insensitive, genuinely curious.
Rating: 5 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]