Jakarta. Indonesia is predicted to be the country in Southeast Asia with the second-highest price for Apple's new iPhone 7, according to a recent price study by iPrice Indonesia, local arm of online shopping startup the iPrice Group.
The iPhone is manufactured in China, which neighbors Southeast Asia, but according to the iPrice Indonesia study, the iPhone 7 will be significantly more expensive in the region compared to the United States, due to shipment export costs, import duties and taxes, and other fees imposed by governments.
According to iPrice, the iPhone in Indonesia will be one of the most expensive worldwide.
"For countries where the iPhone 7 has not yet been officially launched, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, the tech savvy have resorted to going abroad in the hope of being the first to own it," iPrice said in a statement e-mailed to the Jakarta Globe by Andrew Prasatya, the company's content marketing executive.
"Unauthorized retailers are purchasing the iPhone 7 from Singapore and Hong Kong [where the iPhone 7 has already been launched] and selling them in their home countries at higher prices, which can go up to 14 percent in Vietnam and 49 percent in Thailand," iPrice said in the statement.
Apple has not yet announced the official release date for the iPhone 7 in Indonesia.
A price comparison for the iPhone 7 in Southeast Asian countries and the average number of days a middle-income buyer needs to work to be able to afford Apple's latest model smartphone. (Infographic courtesy of iPrice Indonesia)
How Expensive Can It Go?
The study estimates that an iPhone 7 with 128 gigabytes of internal storage will cost about $1,268 when it arrives in Indonesia, making it nearly $500 more expensive than in the United States, from where it originates.
As for neighboring countries, buyers in Thailand are expected to pay the most, where a new iPhone may cost up to $1,340.
The cheapest is in Singapore at $897, where the iPhone 7 has been available since last month.
The study said middle-income Indonesians, with an average salary of $1.80 (or Rp 23,900) per hour, have to work at least 87 days to afford an iPhone 7, assuming that the whole salary is spent on the phone.
They may likely think twice before purchasing a 128 GB iPhone since the price is equivalent to the latest automatic scooter by Japanese manufacturer Honda. The price would also be equivalent to three-months' rent of an apartment located in the heart of Jakarta, or 32 bags of rice at 50-kilograms per bag.
Still, the iPhone 7 is eagerly awaited in Indonesia. And despite negative reaction around the replacement of audio jack with Apple AirPods, the latest model is in demand because of innovations such as increased storage, a new home button and water-resistance, according to reports from various local media and online tech-focused news portals.
IPrice said regardless of its fairly high price, the iPhone generally remains popular in Indonesia.
It referred to industry data showing that about 61.2 million units of the previous generation iPhone 6 and 6s were sold in the country during the first quarter of 2015.
"In addition to the innovation of the iPhone 7, the iPhone is a status symbol in Indonesia where the owners are perceived as being rich, successful and living in luxury," iPrice's statement said.