Smartphone prices up in India after GST rate hike (Lead)

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New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Several smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Xiaomi, Realme and Vivo on Wednesday increased prices of their devices in India due to the GST hike from 12 per cent to 18 per cent which became applicable from April 1.

The most popular iPhone 11 (64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 64,900 will now cost Rs 68,300 — up by Rs 3,400.

Another hit model iPhone XR (64GB) which was priced at Rs 49,900 will now cost Rs 52,500 — a price hike of Rs 2,600.

The Rs 101,200 iPhone 11 Pro (64 GB) is now priced at 106,600 while iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB) which costs Rs 111,200 will now be available for Rs 117,100.

The iPhone 7 (32GB) which was earlier priced at Rs 29,900, is now priced at Rs 31,500.

With the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, increasing the GST on mobile phones from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, industry experts had indicated that it would hit the industry and brands would not be in a position to absorb this impact.

Chinese smartphone maker Realme announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate.

Realme 6 (4GB+64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 12,999 will now cost Rs 13,999 — up by Rs 1,000.

Realme X2 (4GB+64GB) which was priced at Rs 16,999 will now cost Rs 17,999 — a price hike of Rs 1,000. Realme XT (4GB+64GB) which costs Rs 15,999 will now be available for Rs 16,999.

Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research aid that this was expected as OEMs don’t have much choice than increase the prices.

“With thin margins and a strong dollar along with ongoing slump in demand due to Covid-19, it is going to be tough for OEMs. The handsets OEMs will also let go some of aggressive promotional offers too,” Pathak told IANS.

Consumers are likely to settle for a similar upgrade as against their previous purchase.

“This will impact the overall revenue of the smartphone segment especially now looking at the possible economic implications of Covid-19,” he added.

The novel coronavirus which has already hampered smartphone manufacturers 2020 plans in India owing to supply chain issues has also forced them to postpone new launches for an indefinite period as online retailers have prioritized their operations and services keeping the essential services in mind.