Update: The new iPhone 12 is out and there are many people in India who want to buy it from the US and ship it to India. If you’re one of those, this article will help you.
Is Buying iPhone from the US a Wise Decision?
The Apple iPhone 12 is priced at $999 minimum in the USA. However, in India, the iPhone 12 Pro costs about Rs. 1,19,900. Therefore, the price difference is significant. On paper, the iPhone 12 is cheaper in the USA.
This takes the cost of the iPhone 12 to somewhere around $1600 in India, as compared to the $999 in the US.
So, it looks like the iPhone 12 is cheaper in the US and it makes sense to buy it from US. But is it really practical? Let us check.
Varied Sales Tax
The US doesn’t include sales tax, unlike India and Hong Kong, where sales tax is applied on every electronic item. However, in America, state-wide tax is taken into consideration, which can vary from state-to-state.
For instance, the state-wide tax in California is higher than that in Texas and is nearly zero percent in Delaware. So, you might start praying that someone you know lives in Delaware and can help buy the iPhone for you!
But don’t worry, no matter how much sales tax is applied, depending on the state, you are still likely to save on your purchase of the iPhone in the US.
How to Buy iPhone from USA & Ship to India
If you are planning to fly to the US, nothing would be easier. All you have to do is bring back the smartphone with you to India. However, don’t forget that you may have to pay duty on it. For one piece, customs don’t usually charge you anything but if you have multiple pieces, they might.
You can also shop for the iPhone online in the US, using an Indian credit/debit card, and then get it shipped ship to India. Use a forwarding service like the Parcel Service, which specializes in shipping the newest gadgets even before they are released in a certain country.
Coming to the customs duty and taxes, these need to be paid by the receiver, when the shipment reaches India, according to an article published by The Economic Times, on July 1, 2017. Post GST, effective from July 1, 2017, the Indian government is imposing a basic customs duty (BCD) on imported smartphones of 10%. Some people have mentioned that they had to pay 40% in custom duty.
Update: Customs duty on imported smartphones can go upto 20-30%. (Source – Hindu)
To get further information and to know more options, read my article on How To Buy Things From USA & Ship To India.
Will iPhone bought from USA work in India?
Yes. The factory unlocked iPhone bought from the USA will work well in India. Additionally, since Apple has introduced an international warranty on iPhones lately, you will have a warranty on newly bought phones from the US, even in India for a full one year!
Where to buy unlocked iPhone in US?
You can either buy it from Apple.com directly or Amazon (here’s the product link). While choosing a carrier you’ll need to select AT&T or T-Mobile. In the checkout window, you’ll need to confirm that it’s unlocked from AT&T. You’ll need to then ship it to India.
Is it better to buy the iPhone from US or India?
That’s a difficult question to answer but here are my thoughts.
If you’re an Indian with no connections to US, it is better to buy it from India because..
- You will need to pay custom duties when importing iPhone from US.
- You will end up paying more for the phone including shipping.
- You may not get international warranty.
However, if you have someone in the US to help, you could ask them to get it for you and pay them for the price. This way, you don’t have to pay for customs duties or shipping. But you may still end up with a phone without an international warranty.
So ideally, if you are in India, without any options to buy the iPhone from the US, go to Amazon and get the iPhone at a discounted price when available.
So, what are you waiting for?
Check out your options for owning Apple’s futuristic smartphone even before it hits the Indian markets!