GST hike: Prepare to pay more for your next smartphone as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Realme increase prices

By: |
Updated: Apr 20, 2020 1:48 PM

Your next smartphone purchase will cost you more and coronavirus has nothing to do with it. Check updated prices here.

iphonePrepare to pay more as Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Realme others hike prices.

Buying a new smartphone should be the last thing on your mind these days. Not that you can readily buy one these days, anyway. The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought manufacturing to a grounding halt around the world, hitting supplies, while in countries like India which is under a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, you can’t even buy a new mobile phone – just in case your old one fails due to x, y, or z reason. You can’t get it repaired either. Online, offline, it doesn’t really matter.

If buying a new smartphone is in your to-do list once all of this–lockdown–goes away, hopefully taking coronavirus along with it for good, you must brace yourself for some ‘big’ changes once the dust starts to settle down. There would be sometime before supplies become somewhat abundant, obviously, but you must also prepare yourself for price hikes. Your next smartphone would likely cost you more than what it used to. To be fair, coronavirus has only a minor role to play in this.

It’s actually the government of India that’s behind why your next smartphone would be a more expensive affair. Starting April 1, 2020–which is today–the government of India’s updated GST rate of 18 percent on mobile phones and ‘specific’ parts comes into effect — this was 12 percent previously. Smartphone brands have two options now. They can either choose to absorb the government’s GST hike or pass it on to the consumer, which means raising prices. While it’s up to the brand on how they plan to go about doing this, the current economic scenario (made only worse by the coronavirus outbreak) and depreciating value of the rupee could ‘force’ them to opt for the latter. An increase in smartphone prices thus becomes inevitable.

Apple

Apple had increased the prices of some of its iPhones in India following proposed changes made to import duty in the Union Budget 2020 — this was in March. Apple iPhones including the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 8 got a price revision in India – effective from March 2, 2020 – making them costlier by up to Rs 1,300. Locally assembled iPhones including the iPhone XR and iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus prices remained unchanged though. So did the price of the iPhone 11, which was interesting suggesting Apple might have been absorbing the duty hike in the case of its most-selling iPhone of 2019.

With the GST hike coming into effect, Apple has raised the prices of its iPhones again – a second time, in almost a month.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max now starts at Rs 1,17,100 (up from Rs 1,11,200) for the base 64GB variant, going all the way up to Rs 1,50,800 (up from Rs 1,43,200) for the top-end 512GB version. The 256GB variant of the iPhone 11 Pro Max will now be available for Rs 1,31,900 (up from Rs 1,25,200).

The iPhone 11 Pro now starts at Rs 1,06,600 (up from Rs 1,01,200) for the base 64GB variant, going all the way up to Rs 1,40,300 (up from Rs 1,33,200) for the top-end 512GB version. The 256GB variant of the iPhone 11 Pro will now be available for Rs 1,21,300 (up from Rs 1,15,200).

The iPhone 11 Pro now starts at Rs 1,06,600 (up from Rs 1,01,200) for the base 64GB variant, going all the way up to Rs 1,40,300 (up from Rs 1,33,200) for the top-end 512GB version. The 256GB variant of the iPhone 11 Pro will now be available for Rs 1,21,300 (up from Rs 1,15,200).

The iPhone 11 now starts at Rs 68,300 (up from Rs 64,,900) for the base 64GB variant, going all the way up to Rs 84,100 (up from Rs 79,900) for the top-end 256GB version. The 128GB variant of the iPhone 11 will now be available for Rs 73,600 (up from Rs 69,900).

–iPhone XR new prices:

64GB: Rs 52,500

128GB: Rs 57,800

Samsung

Samsung had already confirmed during the launch of its last smartphone, aka Galaxy M21, that from April 1, 2020 prices may revise as per new GST rates. And as expected, it’s doing just that.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra now starts at Rs 97,900 (up from Rs 92,999), while the Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 now start at Rs 77,900 (up from Rs 73,999) and Rs 70,500 (up from Rs 66,999).

The recently launched Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite are also getting a price hike. While the Galaxy S10 Lite now starts at Rs 42,142 (up from Rs 39,999), the Galaxy Note 10 Lite now starts at Rs 41,000 (up from Rs 38,999).

Xiaomi (Mi, Redmi) plus Poco

Xiaomi, which is currently India’s top smartphone brand has announced that it is increasing the prices of–possibly–all its smartphones effective midnight April 1, 2020. Xiaomi’s newly independent spin-off brand Poco has also announced that it is raising the price of its sole new smartphone, aka Poco X2, in India, also effective from April 1, 2020.

Xiaomi said the new prices will reflect soon on Mi.com/in which is its official online store. Poco has meanwhile shared updated prices of the Poco X2. While the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version of the Poco X2 will now cost Rs 16,999 (up from Rs 15,999), the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage and 8GB RAM and 256GB storage versions will sell for Rs 17,999 (up from Rs 16,999) and Rs 20,999 (up from Rs 19,999) respectively.

Realme

Realme says it hasn’t increased the prices of its smartphones since H2 2018. But now it is. Here are the updated prices of some if its new phones —

–Realme 6: Rs 13,999 starting (up from Rs 12,999)

–Realme 6 Pro: Rs 17,999 starting (up from Rs 16,999)

–Realme 5i: Rs 9,999 starting (up from Rs 8,999)

–Realme X2: Rs 17,999 starting (up from Rs 16,999)

Oppo, Vivo

Although Oppo and Vivo haven’t officially confirmed a hike in prices, according to Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom, there phones are getting expensive too.

Update: Oppo has confirmed that while it is increasing prices of its phones post the GST hike, it would keep monitoring the situation and pass on the benefits to its consumers.

“Oppo respects the decision from the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council, after serious consideration, we will be revising the prices of our products from April 1, 2020, across all platforms. We will keep monitoring the market situation and pass on the benefits to our consumers in our endeavour of bringing the best products to them at an affordable price range in the future,” an Oppo spokesperson said in a statement over email.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Instagram has apparently started testing Reels in India just in time of TikTok ban
2Samsung now offering customer care service through WhatsApp for quick, contactless support
3Aarogya Setu adds three big features for users including delete account option; All you need to know