The iPhone 7 was launched recently at Apple’s Keynote on September 7th. The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with some major upgrades – both in terms of specs as well as design. Ditching the 3.5 mm audio jack, dual cameras on the back, smartly placed antennae lines and IP67 certification for water and dust resistance are some of the cool new additions to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this year.
However, they don’t come cheap. Especially in India. Indian prices are quite higher compared to say, US, Dubai, Hong Kong etc. Understandably, you may be interested in knowing if you can save money by importing an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus from outside. Before you do that, though, there are a few things that you should know.
Buying iPhone 7 Outside India – What You Should Know
Many Apple users that I know of want to purchase their Apple gadgets from places like USA, Dubai or Hong Kong. One of the main reasons for this is that the prices there, after taxes, are lower the the prices in India. Due to import duties and other delivery expenses, Apple’s prices in India are often quite higher compared to prices in USA, Dubai or Hong Kong or even Singapore. In such a scenario, it’s understandable that you would want to save money.
However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you buy an iPhone 7 outside India. We have listed out some things that are important and should factor in your decision to purchase (or not to purchase an iPhone 7 outside India).
One of the most important aspects of buying an iPhone 7 is the warranty. This is not only applicable for the iPhone 7 – we suggest you should consider this while buying any gadget outside India.
Coming back to the iPhone 7, you will not get warranty for an iPhone 7 purchased outside India. In other words, if you purchase an iPhone 7 outside India, you will not be able to claim warranty for it in India. This is applicable to iPhones purchased from Apple Stores as well as Apple Store online, or other official sales channels.
To be able to claim warranty on your iPhone 7 purchased outside India, you will have to ship your iPhone back to that particular country. Apple will honor the warranty there and service it, and you will have to get it shipped back to India. Customs may be applicable additionally.
Customs And Shipping Costs
One of the biggest issues with importing anything in the country is customs. While things are getting better, customs still remains one of the more annoying aspects of bringing anything back to India. For the purpose of this article, you have two possibilities:
Shipping an iPhone 7 via DHL, Fedex etc
In case you are getting an iPhone 7 shipped to you in India via couriers like DHL, Fedex or others, you will have to bear the shipping cost in addition to the cost of the phone. In valuation of the total cost of the imported iPhone, the following will be used:
Cost of iPhone 7 = Cost + Insurance + Freight
Now here’s the tricky part – the Cost here refers to the price of the iPhone 7. In Customs parlance, Cost of any product that is imported is determined as under:
- Cost of the product in India, if it is sold by the company in the country officially
- Translated Cost of the product in India – this means the value of the iPhone 7 in foreign currency is translated to INR on the date of purchase
However, all this trouble will be for nothing. While the Ministry of Commerce has enhanced the amount of imports from a paltry Rs. 2000 to Rs. 50,000, you will not be able to purchase an iPhone 7 that costs less than Rs. 50,000. In the end, you will have to bear the customs duty, shipping charges as well as lose the warranty in India. (read more below for clarification)
Carrying an iPhone 7 with you
It gets a little complicated if you’re bringing an iPhone 7 with you to India. This is because of a couple of things:
- How you bring it to India matters – whether the phone is with its packaging or not
- Customs authorities are very strict with imposing customs duty on iPhones. There’s precedence for this – specificially, Mumbai customs warned people bringing iPhones from outside India.
Now, if you are bringing the iPhone 7 as a used item – i.e., you are using it as your primary phone, then you will not have to pay customs duty. However, if you are bringing it back to India with the packaging (as in, boxed, brand new), you will more likely than not be forced to pay customs duty.
Actual Price Difference
One of the more important aspects of bringing an iPhone 7 to India – the price difference. The prices quoted in the USA, for example, are before taxes. In comparison, Apple’s official prices in India are inclusive of all taxes. If you compare the iPhone 7 prices in the USA with the prices in India, you will end up noticing a huge difference between the two. This is because the US prices are exclusive of taxes while India prices are inclusive of taxes.
However, that is not to say that Indian prices are not higher. Customs duty at 18% makes up for a significant price difference. When you are buying an iPhone 7 outside India, make sure you compare the final price you pay there with the official prices in India.
Servicing And After-sales Support
If you purchase an unlocked iPhone 7 outside India, Apple Service Centers in India will not be able to repair your phone – regardless of whether the issue is covered under warranty or not. At best, you will be asked to ship the iPhone 7 back to the origin country, get it serviced there and have it shipped back to you.
For software issues, however, you can get support from Apple Service Centers in India.
iPhone 7 is compatible with all carriers in India, so you don’t have to worry about this anymore.
To sum it, you will have to calculate what are your total costs of buying and shipping your iPhone 7, add in customs duty on the total cost and then compare it with the official prices in India. Additionally, you also have to factor in the issue of hardware defects and warranty claims – both of which will not be honoured by Apple on imported iPhones.