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Don’t buy an iPhone XS Max in Italy at launch – unless you want to pay almost $2,000

September 13th, 2018 at 6:47 PM

If you’re a US consumer who’s been grumbling about how normal $1,000 price tags for shiny new flagship phones are getting these days, well, maybe count yourself lucky instead.

You could be an iPhone user in, say, Milan, where Apple just opened a glam new retail store a couple of months ago. If you wanted to get your hands there on a 512GB iPhone XS Max, which starts shipping Sept. 21, you’d have to fork over — almost $2,000.

Based on the international pricing for Apple’s newly announced handsets, the general historical pattern is again holding true, whereby Apple’s smartphones are generally more affordable (relatively speaking) here in the US than they are abroad. As with anything, of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule of global customers generally needing to pony up more now than they would have had to for the iPhone X at launch. In Russia, for example, you could snag a 64GB iPhone XS for $1,292, slightly below the $1,380 iPhone X launch price that same Russian customer would have paid.

The Verge is out with a report today adding some context to the reality of why there’s so much variance in prices around the world — and why iPhone customers outside the US can generally expect to have to cough up a lot more money than they would here. Currency valuations, for one thing, are cited as a big reason for the pricing, as are import fees.

“It’s well worth mentioning that many countries include taxes in the upfront cost, unlike in the US,” The Verge notes. “An extra 5 to 10 percent sales tax rate will be tacked on in the states depending where you reside, but at most, a US resident is paying $1,099 for a base model iPhone XS with tax included.

“Similar to last year, there are places outside of the US where it’s not ludicrously pricey to pick up a new iPhone. In Japan, the iPhone XS costs equivalent to $1,008, just a smidgen above US pricing, excluding tax. It’s just a bit more in Canada, too, sitting at a comparable $1,059.”

Among other examples of the variance in pricing around the world:

If you wanted an iPhone X at launch and you live in the UK, you’d have paid $1,322. That same iPhone user lusting after the 512GB iPhone XS Max? It’s gonna cost you almost $1,900. In Poland, someone who wants that same iPhone XS Max will have to pay $1,956 (compared to $1,449 here in the US, of course).

So just remember, as we all empty our wallets to get our hands on Apple’s shiny newest handsets … we’re the lucky ones. The lucky ones!

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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