Japanese and South Korean consumers will have to shell out relatively more for the latest iPhones this year compared to last year’s model as currencies of both these countries have depreciated significantly against the dollar.
What Happened: The iPhone 14, which will be available in Japan beginning September 16, is priced at 119,800 yen according to the Apple website. This is about 21% higher than the price of iPhone 13 when it was released a year ago, reported Nikkei Asia. In comparison, despite historically high inflation, the price of the iPhone 14 in the U.S. is still $799, the same as last year’s model, according to the report.
Expert Take: Hideaki Yokota, an executive analyst at Japan's MM Research Institute, told Nikkei Asia the sharp weakening of the Japanese and South Korean currencies left Apple with little choice but to raise prices of its flagship device to maintain profitability in those markets, according to the report.
Currency Movement: In the past year, this yen has lost value relative to the dollar by more than 23%, while the Korean won fell by more than 15%. Although the Bank of Korea has been raising rates to control inflation, the Bank of Japan has been maintaining its ultra-easy monetary policy, deviating from the stance taken by global central banks. This deviation has led to a drastic depreciation in the Japanese yen that fell to as low as 144.99 against the greenback on Wednesday.
Pricing In China: The Chinese yuan, too, has depreciated against the dollar by over 7% in a year. However, the prices of the latest iPhones have remained largely the same at about $866 in China, the report said. According to Yokota, the sluggish economic situation in China could be one of the reasons that prompted Apple Inc AAPL to maintain its pricing in the country despite a weak currency.
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