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Why Apple raised the price of the iPhone, but not in the US and China

Buyer inspects iPhone 14 Professional Max inside an Apple retailer in Marunouchi, Tokyo.

Stanislav Kogiku | SOPA Pictures | Lightrocket | Getty Pictures

Apple‘s latest iPhones, the collection 14 fashions, include higher shows, cameras, and satellite tv for pc messaging, amongst different options and updates. But relying on the place you reside, in addition they could include the next price tag.

Whereas some analysts projected that Apple would possibly improve the price of its newest iPhones throughout the board on account of continued provide chain challenges and inflation, potential consumers in the U.S. and China noticed no will increase in comparison with the collection 13 fashions.

But for shoppers in markets like the U.Okay., Japan, Germany, and Australia, the latest fashions additionally got here with vital price will increase.

For instance, the base iPhone 14 mannequin begins at $799 in the U.S., the identical price that the firm charged for the iPhone 13 at its launch final yr.

In the U.Okay., the base iPhone 14 prices £849, or roughly $975. The bottom iPhone 13 was priced at £779, a rise of £70 or roughly $80.

That price distinction solely will increase with the extra enhanced fashions. For instance, the iPhone 14 Professional Max in the U.Okay. is £150 dearer than the equal final yr’s mannequin.

The rationale Apple took the step to extend the price of telephones in these markets has to do with foreign money fluctuations.

“Primarily each foreign money round the world has weakened in opposition to the greenback,” Apple CFO Luca Maestri mentioned on the firm’s fourth-quarter earnings name with analysts final week. “The robust greenback makes it tough in a quantity of areas. Clearly, our pricing in rising markets makes it tough, and the translation of that income again into {dollars} is affected.”

Whereas Apple reported that its income elevated 8% in the quarter to $90.15 billion, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner instructed CNBC final week that the firm would have grown “double-digits” if not for the robust greenback.

“The overseas alternate headwinds had been over 600 foundation factors for the quarter,” Cook dinner instructed CNBC’s Steve Kovach. “So it was vital. We might have grown in double digits with out the overseas alternate headwinds.” 

Overseas foreign money alternate is “a really vital issue that has effects on our outcomes, each income and gross margin,” Maestri mentioned. Apple does hedge in opposition to its foreign money exposures “in as many locations as potential round the world,” he mentioned, but these types of protections do begin to scale back as the firm must proceed to purchase new contracts.

But Apple additionally examines the overseas alternate panorama when it launches new merchandise, Maestri mentioned, which led to those most up-to-date price will increase.

“In some instances, for instance, prospects in worldwide markets needed to … they noticed some price will increase once we launched the new merchandise, which is not one thing that, for instance, U.S. prospects have seen,” he mentioned. “And that is sadly the scenario that we’re in proper now with the robust greenback.”

Whereas current foreign money fluctuations versus the U.S. greenback are inflicting some worldwide consumers to pay extra for an iPhone, there have been cases the place Apple as an alternative absorbed these prices.

In 2019, when the U.S. greenback additionally noticed an increase in worth in comparison with different currencies, Apple adjusted overseas costs in some markets and reset them to close or the identical as they’d been in native currencies a yr prior.

Nevertheless, the cause Apple did that was on account of a decline in gross sales because of this of the price improve. For instance, in Turkey, the place the native lira had fallen 33% in opposition to the greenback in 2019, Apple’s gross sales had been down $700 million.

“We have determined to return to [iPhone prices] extra commensurate with what our native costs had been a yr in the past, in hopes of serving to the gross sales in these areas,” Cook dinner instructed Reuters in an interview at the time.

But in 2022, Apple says it has not seen any drop off in demand in these markets. Maestri famous that it noticed double-digit development in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, and different nations even in their respective reported currencies.

“It is vital for us to have a look at how these markets carry out in native foreign money as a result of it actually provides us a great sense for the buyer response to our merchandise, the engagement with our ecosystem, and in normal, the power of the model,” Maestri mentioned on the earnings name. “And I’ve to say, in that respect, we really feel very, superb about the progress that we’re making in quite a bit of markets round the world.”

The U.S greenback has additionally risen steadily in opposition to the Chinese language yuan over the six months, but there have been some indicators that demand for the new Apple iPhones in the nation could be weakening. Whereas Maestri mentioned Apple noticed new September quarter information in Larger China, a current report from Jeffries mentioned that China gross sales of the 4 new iPhone 14 fashions over their first 38 days of being offered are down by 28% in comparison with the iPhone 13 fashions over the identical interval of time.

Listed here are some different comparisons of the costs of the base iPhone mannequin between the 14 and 13 collection:


  • iPhone 13: 1,349 Australian {dollars}
  • iPhone 14: 1,399 Australian {dollars}


  • iPhone 13: 98,800 Japanese yen
  • iPhone 14: 119,800 Japanese yen


  • iPhone 13: 899 euros
  • iPhone 14: 999 euros

Corporations feeling impression of robust greenback

Apple is not the solely firm acknowledging the impression that foreign money headwinds are having on its enterprise and pricing selections.

McDonald’s reported that foreign money dragged down its income by 7 proportion factors, accounting for its 5% year-over-year decline in gross sales – which might have elevated by 2% with out the foreign money impression. With 60% of its gross sales coming from exterior of the U.S., “Clearly, we’re translating these gross sales again into much less U.S. {dollars},” CFO Ian Borden mentioned on the firm’s earnings name final week.

At P&G, the foreign money hit retains getting larger. The buyer merchandise firm reported a 6% decline in internet gross sales on account of “unfavorable overseas alternate,” which adopted 3% and 4% unfavourable foreign money impacts in every of its earlier two quarters. The corporate needed to elevate its forecast for the alternate fee impression this yr to $1.3 billion, with CFO Andre Schulten saying on the firm’s earnings name final week, “Overseas alternate has continued its robust transfer in opposition to us.”

James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, which makes roughly 80% of its earnings exterior the U.S., mentioned the greenback has been a excessive single-digit headwind this yr. “It is prone to be a giant headwind like that subsequent yr,” Quincey mentioned on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Avenue” final week.

Coca-Cola, like Apple, has appeared to offset some of the foreign money headwinds by elevating costs, one thing it mentioned it expects to proceed to do as the U.S. greenback reveals little indicators of waning. “We predict pricing to be forward of regular subsequent yr on high of what’s occurred this yr,” Quincey mentioned.

To this point, Coca-Cola has not reported demand dropping because of this of the greater costs, but Quincey did say there are some potential shopper issues on the horizon.

“We do see our shoppers are starting to reply in a standard manner they’d in a recession; delaying discretionary and high-ticket discretionary objects and maybe going to extra non-public label or low cost greenback channels,” Quincey mentioned, noting “some results of discount of buying energy on the market in the market.”

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