The price difference of over ₹35,000 for the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models in India compared with other countries such as the UAE, Thailand and the US is set to stir up demand in the grey market. Traders in grey market hubs like Delhi's Gaffar Market have already started taking advance bookings with a promise of giving iPhone 15 Pro 256 GB at ₹1.10-1.20 lakh, against the India launch price of ₹1,44,900.
"There is a huge gap in pricing of the Pro models between India and Dubai, Thailand, US, and other regions, almost a ₹32,000 price arbitrage between India and Dubai which is absolutely staggering," Navkendar Singh, associate vice-president at research agency IDC India, told The Economic Times.
The high price arbitrage - going up to as much as ₹52,120 compared with US prices - "may lead to more sales through grey markets as well as consumers picking up units for themselves and their relatives when they go abroad to these regions, especially during the holiday season," Singh added.
The risk for parallel import is higher mainly for the 128 GB and 256 GB variants of the iPhone 15 Pro, he said. Apple now offers international warranties for all its products, so consumers can easily purchase the Pro models at cheaper prices abroad, he added.
Prices in India for the new iPhones, especially the high-end Pro models, are among the highest across key regions. The iPhone 15 Pro starts at ₹1,34,900 in India, while the same model is available at about ₹97,000 (AED 4,299) in Dubai, $999 (roughly ₹82,780) in the US, RMB 7,999 (about ₹92,170) in Mainland China and HK$ 8,599 (₹91,070) in Hong Kong.
Increasing currency arbitrage between the dollar and the rupee is one of the leading causes for the steep price hikes in the Pro models in India, experts told ET. Also, Apple needs to pay customs duty of 22% on the Pro models, which are not made in India.
Meanwhile, social media is full of posts on Wednesday on how consumers buying iPhone 15 Pro series models in Dubai can even recover the cost of travel with the savings, or add the latest Apple watch too to the purchase list at the same cost of buying the phone in India.
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