Apple Devices iPhone 5S News, apple, Article, Business, Economics, iphone, iphone 5s, News, Samuel Gibbs, Technology — December 3, 2013 16:25 — 0 Comments
iPhone 5S world price index shows it is most expensive in Jordan – and India
International data creates version of ‘Big Mac index’ and shows that price of Apple’s top-end phone is not equal across borders
Apple’s iPhone 5S price varies dramatically by country, but it is only when you see iPhone prices as a percentage of local earnings that you discover just how expensive or cheap they really are.
According to data collected by Mobile Unlocked charting sales through official channels rather than on the grey or black market, the cheapest iPhone 5S – measured by simple price – is found in the US at £439.12. That’s probably unsurprisingly as it’s Apple’s home market.
Similar to the way the Economist tracks the cost of the ubiquitous McDonalds burger across countries, nations and states, Mobile Unlocked tracked the price of the iPhone 5S across 47 countries in native currencies with native sales tax, and then converted those prices into US dollars (USD) or British pounds (GBP).
At £549 for a 16GB iPhone 5S, the UK is 22nd in the world for iPhone 5S – behind Saudi Arabia, Thailand, China, Australia, and even Switzerland. The prices, including those for the US all include sales taxes (at Californian rates for the US).
However, the most expensive iPhone 5S in the world, at least in pounds sterling, is found in Jordan, where the 16GB iPhone 5S costs £677.24, 54% more expensive than its US price.
Of course, total expense in GBP or USD only tells half the story. Mobile Unlocked also created an index of the price of an iPhone 5S in native currency by comparing it with the “national gross domestic product (GDP PPP) per capita” – the measure of how much wealth the average person generates in each country.
By measuring the price of an iPhone in “purchasing power parity” (PPP) terms, one can compare the value of the goods that can be purchased – which should be a more accurate measure of the proportion of people’s disposable income they would have to spend to buy an Apple phone.
In that sense, it resembles The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which uses PPP to compare the prices of the McDonald’s burger in different countries to point to disparities in pricing and exchange rates.
On that basis, the iPhone 5S is actually most expensive in India – where it costs a whacking 22.3% of per capita GDP. Vietnam is second, at 19.8%, and Jordan comes in a close third with 18.3% of GDP per capita.
Despite being built in China, within the oft-criticised factories of Foxconn, the iPhone 5S costs 9.6% of personal GDP there. Compared to its effective price in the UK of 2.4% of personal GDP, and 1.4% of personal GDP in the US and the demand for the iPhone within China becomes even more impressive.
The cheapest iPhone 5S by this measure is found in Qatar, where a 16GB iPhone 5S is just 0.76% of per capita GDP.
Ireland beats the UK
Within the world rankings of iPhone 5S pricing by personal GDP, the UK comes 16th, beaten by neighbours Ireland, a key part of Apple’s profit machine, at 14th by 0.1% or £477.21.
While you might be travelling this Christmas, and fancy picking up an iPhone 5S at a slightly cheaper price in the US or UAE or even Hong Kong for that matter, remember that not all iPhones work on all mobile phone networks in all countries, at least on 4G due to the different frequencies used around the world.
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