Here’s Why the iPhone 15 Pro Models Cost a Lot More than the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus in India

Why are iPhones so expensive in India despite of local manufacturing?

  • The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone Pro Max cost almost 50% higher in India than in the US.
  • Indian users have been questioning the high iPhone prices in the country, given that Apple manufactures the devices locally.
  • The price difference for Pro Models is significantly higher than the pricing parity for regular iPhones.

Apple has launched the iPhone 15 series globally, with huge improvements over the last year’s lineup. The company has finally left behind the legacy of the lightning port in favour of the modern USB Type-C port. Apple has also used the world’s first 3nm processor, the A17 Pro chip on the iPhone 15 Pro models.

As much as we appreciate the upgrades, there has been a consistent complaint by Indian users about the iPhone Pro models. Apple users in India have been paying as much as a 50% premium over the USA pricing for the Pro model iPhones, as compared to a 10% difference for the regular iPhones.

Apple’s Huge Price Difference Between India and the US

Let’s first compare the price of the base models of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in India, the United States, and Dubai (UAE). Note that the prices have been converted from local currencies to Indian Rupee. We have also added a 10% sales tax on the US pricing, as the Indian pricing is inclusive of GST.

Region US Dubai (UAE) India
iPhone 15 128GB Rs 72,890 Rs 76,745 (+5%) Rs 79,990 (+10%)
iPhone 15 Plus 128GB Rs 82,012 Rs 85,780 (+5%) Rs 89,990 (+10%)

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are priced 10% higher in India as compared to the US, and almost on par with the Dubai pricing. Now let’s have a look at the same comparison for the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Region US Dubai (UAE) India
iPhone 15 Pro 256GB Rs 1,00,263 Rs 1,06,105 (+5%) Rs 1,44,990 (+45%)
iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB Rs 109,375 Rs 1,15,125 (+5%) Rs 1,59,990 (+45%)

As you can see, Dubai maintains the same 5% premium on the Pro models over the US, whereas the Indian pricing goes as high as 45% extra on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Why are the iPhone 15 Pro Models Costlier in India?

Now, the first common question among Indian users is, “Why are iPhone prices so high in India even though they are Made-in-India?”.

Apple has been marketing their Make-in-India program for the better part of the decade. The company has been manufacturing iPhones in India since 2017. As of today, India contributes to 7% of the total iPhone production in the world.

Here’s the catch; Apple only manufactures regular models, like the latest iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and so on. As per Counterpoint Research, the Pro model iPhones are exclusively made in China. Hence, Apple has to import the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max from China to India.

The Government of India levies a 20% import duty on fully manufactured phones. Hence, when Apple imports the iPhone Pro models to India, the prices are already raised by 20% by default. On top of this, iPhones are also charged 18% GST, which is included in the MRP of the phone.

This means that the Pro Model iPhones are already 38% more expensive in India, as compared to global prices. Abhilash Kumar, Industry Analyst at TechInsights said that Apple is also fighting against the depreciating value of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar, causing it to keep a buffer margin on its product pricing in India.

Made-In-India iPhones Are Indeed Cheaper

make in india

Apple currently manufactures only the regular iPhone models in India. Counterpoint Research has confirmed that Apple currently manufactures only the iPhone 15 in India, while the production for the iPhone 15 Plus will start soon. Since Apple is making it in India, the company only has to pay a 2.5% import duty on the components and saves 17.5% taxes by local manufacturing.

This makes the pre-tax value of the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus almost the same in India and the US. Hence, Made-in-India iPhones are actually cheaper, because otherwise, even the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus could have cost 45% more in India, as compared to the US pricing.

Of course, the high taxes in India is a debatable topic. The Indian government levies heavy import duty to push businesses to manufacture goods locally in India. And so far, it has worked in favour of both Apple and India.

Counterpoint Research had also added that Apple has been looking for an alternative for China, for its phone manufacturing. Last year, workers in the Foxconn Factory in China went on strike, which resulted in a global shortage in the supply of the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Hence, there is a good chance that Apple may consider to start manufacturing the Pro iPhone models in India, to have a secondary source of production. If this comes true, then the price difference of iPhone Pro models will surely reduce in India. We just have to wait and watch, while keeping our fingers crossed…