Some customers will pay hundreds more for the new iPhone 12. Here’s why


The new iPhone became available for preorder on Friday.


Apple Inc./Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Customers in Europe will pay hundreds of dollars more for the new iPhone 12 than their American counterparts, when it becomes available on October 23.

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iPhone 12 will retail from $799 in the U.S., while in the U.K. it will sell from the equivalent of $1033. Germans will shell out at least $1027 for the new phone. 

These prices are as cheap as the iPhone 12 will get, including a telecom provider-based discount in the U.S. and assuming you’ve traded in a 64GB iPhone XR (in good condition) in the U.K. and Germany.

U.S. prices are exclusive of sales tax, which could be as low as around 1.5% or as high as around 10%, depending on the state and city.

Also read: Apple’s iPhone 12 has 5G — what is it and is it worth the upgrade?

At the time of publication, $1 was worth £0.77, but the new iPhone will sell in the U.K. as if the two currencies were on par— £181 ($234) more than if the phone was sold at the actual exchange rate between the two currencies.

Similarly, $1 is worth €0.85. The iPhone will sell in Germany as if the exchange rate was €0.78 — meaning Germans will pay €194 ($227) more than they would if the price was based on just the going exchange rate.

Apple sells other products in Europe at similar markups. The most basic 13-inch MacBook Pro sells for $1,299 in the U.S. and £1,299 ($1,680) in the U.K. In Germany that computer sells for $1,713.

Plus: The 5G iPhone is reigniting the subsidy wars, which is good for Apple and consumers but not mobile carriers

While traveling to another country to get a deal on electronics isn’t appropriate right now, there were times where it could be worth it, and those times may come again but that could be a breach of local laws on import duties and taxes.

In response to MarketWatch’s inquiry on the iPhone pricing, Apple said that it “sets prices in U.S. dollars and then adjusts internationally to account for foreign exchange rates, VAT [value-added tax], levies, and other distribution costs that can vary by product and country.”

Revealed this week, the new iPhone — the latest installment of the world’s most popular smartphone — includes 5G capabilities. It became available for preorder on Friday.



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