Mobile custom duties in India tick up from 15 percent to 20 percent

Indians are getting ready to shell out more for obtaining and maintaining one of the 21st century essentials to life on earth: the mobile phone.

The Union Budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year has been revealed and in it is a double whammy for phones produced outside India: custom duties on the devices are now up to 20 percent. The tariff was introduced just last July at 10 percent and was raised to 15 percent in December. Another new 15 percent tariff on key phone components is now also in effect.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been on a continuous campaign to drive tech manufacturers into building plants in the country. Many brands from neighboring China have taken the initiative to begin the process with the hopes of at least supplementing Chinese output with domestically-made shipments.

Taking Apple’s output as a prime example, the company domestically produces the iPhone SE in partnership with Wistron. While we don’t have specifics on how the tax applies to which parts, it looks as though the cheapest iPhone will be least impacted by the changes.

The most visible revision to the price brackets will come at the top with the iPhone X. The 256GB version started life in November at Rs. 1,02,000. After the first tariff hike, the cost went up to Rs. 1,05,720. Now, the price has been logged at Rs. 1,08,930 or roughly $1,697 — a total change of 6.8 percent upwards. The prices for other iPhones, as iMore notes, have also gone up across the board by between 2 percent and 3.2 percent.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.