Apple has hiked the cost of its entry-level 128GB iPhone 13 by 18% in Japan, which is battling a weakening yen currency and rising inflation.
Apple’s current mainstream iPhone, the 6.1-inch iPhone 13
The Cupertino, California-based manufacturer’s entry level iPhone 13 now costs 117,800 yen ($870), Apple’s website showed, compared to 99,800 yen previously.
With the dollar up 18% against the yen year-to-date, the higher cost of the iPhone, which dominates Japan’s smartphone market, comes as consumers’ wallets are being squeezed by price hikes for daily necessities.
[Apple] increased the prices of its iPad and iPad Air by 10,000 yen each, according to checks with Apple’s local website.
Apple joins a growing list of retail brands from Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. to Lawson Inc. that are hiking consumer prices in Japan to contend with soaring production costs, compounded by a weakening local currency. Apple’s move may presage hikes from other makers of consumer electronics.
With wage growth still anemic, retailers in Japan have long been reluctant to raise sticker prices for fear of scaring off customers accustomed to years of deflation. Now that’s starting to change, with everything from the price of beer and soy sauce, to fried chicken nuggets and burgers, starting to climb as businesses pass on costs to shoppers. The yen broke through its 24-year low against the dollar last month as risk assets rebounded, heaping more pressure on retailers.
Technovanguard Note: The annual inflation rate in Japan hit 2.5% in April, May, and June 2022. The Yen’s increasing weakness vs. the U.S. dollar can be seen here.
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