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There’s a massive difference in the price of the new iPhone in the US and the rest of the world. But could you actually save money by buying your iPhone in the US?


South Africa – The price of the new iPhone X is so high globally that it’s led thousands to eye-up transatlantic flights to see if it’s cheaper to fly to the United States.

Thanks to the usual combination of currency valuations, import fees, and local sales taxes, the most expensive iPhone ever will be even more expensive around the world.

In the US, the 256GB costs just $1,149 (R16 247.95) but in the rest of the world, the price increases as per the location.

  • Russia: $1,590 (R22 363.03)
  • Italy: $1,620 (R22 784,98)
  • Turkey: $1,690 (R23 760,89)
  • UK: £1,521 (R28 244,36)

The actual prices for the new iPhone X have not been released in South Africa yet but many are speculating that the new must-have-piece of hardware will start retailing  at the R23 000 mark (for the bottom of the range) which could see the 256GB version sitting between R25 000 and R28 000.00 (again speculation as the price has not yet been released).

So we asked the question… is it cheaper to fly to New York to buy a new iPhone X cash than pay for it here in South Africa.

The answer… kinda (if you don’t look at all the extra costs).

A quick google search found that we could get a flight from Johannesburg to New York at R8 469.00 return plus Airbnb for 2 nights at R1 414.00 ($100). Totaling R10 063.00.

There are some catches though: while South African prices would be quoted inclusive of VAT, American prices don’t include sales taxes, which are no higher than 11% but vary by state.

There’s also the legal question. Legally, you cannot buy expensive electronic equipment without declaring it at the airport.

The moment you enter South Africa, customs officials will be nearby and ready to inspect your luggage, and goods brought into South Africa bought overseas are subject to the payment of customs duty and value-added tax (VAT).

The price for a new iPhone X at the customs desk could cost you up to 20%.

So would it be cheaper to fly directly to New York to buy the new iPhone? Probably not… but it would make for a very, very cheap holiday.

Without taking VISAs, VAT, entertainment, food & drinks into consideration, we found that you could actually get a flight and 2 nights stay in New York at almost the same price a new iPhone X.

And let’s be honest, if you’re willing to drop that amount of cash on a phone, then adding a little more to give you a holiday overseas wouldn’t be that far of a stretch.

Sources: Travelstart | Apple | Brand South Africa
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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