Why are iPhones so much cheaper in America?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacintoshMaster, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. MacintoshMaster macrumors 6502

    MacintoshMaster

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Britain
    #1
    to buy an iPhone in America costs 50 dollars which is like £40

    In England it costs £400? How is this possible? Could I buy an iPhone from America and put my own sim in it?
     
  2. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    They are subsidized by the carrier and locked to that carrier. They are not any cheaper.
     
  4. edk99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    Well right now you can get the 3gs for free on ATT. They are cheap only because you have to sign a 2 year commitment to service. Which I don't think you want to do. Anyway the phone will then be locked to ATT.

    Come sometime in November Apple will be selling the unlocked iPhone 4s and it will cost $649, $749 & $849. These are contract free phones.
     
  5. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #5
    You can get contract phones in the UK for free provided you are prepared to sign up for two years and subscribe to the right plan. The price you are referring to is for a SIM unlock phone the equivalent in the US is $649.
     
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    The iPhone 4S sells for $199/$299/$399 with a contract. I know in Europe, depending on what you pay each month, you can get a 16GB 4S for free. Doesn't happen that way in the US.

    Additionally, phones here are locked to US carriers. The only way you could take a phone from here and use it in the UK is if you buy an unlocked iPhone, which starts at $650. You can't get it for the $199/$299/$399 price points because you need to sign a contract for that, and they won't let you sign a contract knowing that you don't live in the US.
     
  7. b24pgg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    #7
    If you're referring to the $50-200 price, then that's because of a carrier subsidy.

    If you're referring to the full retail 16GB costing $649 in the USA vs £499 (~$800) in the UK, then I'm assuming because of import taxes/higher cost of living/etc.
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #8
    Wow, you're comparing a subsidized iphone 3GS with a full price non-contract iphone.
    Perfect comparison:D

    Exactly what he said above.
    And even if you could get one in the US you would have to sign a 2 year agreement and the phone will be locked to AT&T and wont work with any other carriers sim.
     
  9. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #9
    The actual cost is not that much different. A big factor is Tax the UK price of 499 includes 20 percent tax. So the real price from Apple in the UK is actually 415 which is $645.
     
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #10
    Not only are you locked into a carrier and a contract, but our voice/data plans are seriously expensive compared to much of (the entire rest of?) the world. It isn't any cheaper in the long term.
     
  11. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

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    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Washington DC
  12. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Our unlocked iPhones are $649/749/849...about the same price, what are you saying? The $199/299/399 you see come with contracts in which case I see you guys giving out 4Ses for free with contract. So you guys actually have the cheaper subsidized phones even.
     

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