Cheapest countries to buy iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products

Abu Dhabi IStyle storeIn our never-ending quest to sort out the best-value destinations around the world, we are examining a topic that is certainly more of interest to long-term travelers as well as those who travel a lot with gadgets.

We recently published a list of the cheapest countries to buy electronic items in general, but we separated Apple products into their own list because the Apple world doesn’t work the same as other brands.

>>>NEW WITH MORE COMPLETE DATA: iPad prices in 35 countries from cheapest to most expensive

(The article linked above uses late 2012 prices for iPads in 35 countries. The article below uses 2011 prices for 28 countries)

As with the other list, the data here is provided by Pricerunner, which is a UK-based comparison-shopping service. In late 2011 they researched the 28 different cities below (in 27 different countries) to find the best price possible for 3 different popular Apple products.

Unlike the other brands, Apple is famous for tightly controlling its retail market, with prices being virtually identical within each country. With that in mind, it’s perhaps even a bit more surprising to discover that the exact same products cost almost double in the most expensive city compared to the cheapest.

Products researched for this list

  • Macbook Air, 13.3″
  • Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi, 32GB
  • Apple iPhone 4, 16GB

Each of the three items was researched in late 2011 for the prevailing price in each city, and then the total of all three was combined. The Macbook Air costs about the same price as the other two items combined in every market, but still most things are proportional so it’s not like there’s a city that has cheap iPhones and expensive Macbook Airs.

Cheapest countries for Apple products

(Research was done in GBP and converted to USD in March, 2012)

  1. $2,225 – Tokyo, Japan
  2. $2,446 – Bangkok, Thailand
  3. $2,548 – San Francisco, USA
  4. $2,601 – Sydney, Australia
  5. $2,745 – New York, USA
  6. $2,779 – Dubai, UAE
  7. $3,006 – Cape Town, South Africa
  8. $3,160 – Stockholm, Sweden
  9. $3,222 – Warsaw, Poland
  10. $3,264 – Prague, Czech Republic
  11. $3,280 – London, England
  12. $3,308 – Oslo, Norway
  13. $3,347 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
  14. $3,411 – Dublin, Ireland
  15. $3,436 – Mumbai, India
  16. $3,452 – Copenhagen, Denmark
  17. $3,480 – Brussels, Belgium
  18. $3,484 – Madrid, Spain
  19. $3,516 – Moscow, Russia
  20. $3,544 – Paris, France
  21. $3,576 – Athens, Greece
  22. $3,591 – Reykjavik, Iceland
  23. $3,619 – Rome, Italy
  24. $3,645 – Lisbon, Portugal
  25. $3,646 – Helsinki, Finland
  26. $3,753 – Vilnius, Lithuania
  27. $3,800 – Vienna, Austria
  28. $4,160 – Sao Paolo, Brazil

Japan is cheapest again

Hanoi IStoreJust as on the list of electronic gadgets in general, Japan comes out as the cheapest, which seems at least a bit surprising. Their high rents and high wages seem to be more than offset by low import taxes combined with great wholesale prices due to massive demand.

Perhaps just as surprising is that Stockholm comes out as the cheapest of the European markets researched for Apple products. They are among the most expensive for other electronics gear, and one of the most expensive places in the world in general. Cape Town also shows up as a relative bargain for Apple products compared to other high-tech gear.

Where to buy if you are traveling

Most people seem to know that the United States has among the lowest prices on almost anything electronic, especially if you can buy tax-free either online or in one of the states with no sales tax. Many people routinely bring an empty suitcase when coming from Europe to the US because savings are so big.

Most European countries seem to charge about 40% more for Apple products than in the United States, which is frightening when you consider how much more Apple products cost compared to other brands of the same type of item.

Needless to say, new Apple products will continue to be released, but the rankings above should continue to stay very constant, at least until some countries unexpectedly lowers taxes or Japan unexpectedly raises import duties.

With Apple products at least, it’s comforting to know that anyone heading to Australia or Thailand (plus Japan, of course) can also find great deals compared to home.



43 Responses to “Cheapest countries to buy iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products”

Danny says:

Depends which country you reside and the exchange rates.

I am staying in Singapore and from my exchange rate, Malaysia is the cheapest followed by Hong Kong is the cheapest and the States third place. I can save about SGD$260-$280 if I purchase a Macbook in Malaysia. That is a lot of money from a consumer point of view.

In my home country, Mac products are expensive compared to my neighbouring countries. Singapore Dollars is a very strong currency against this countries I mention.

 

    Danny, the data I used is from a company that took all exchange rates into account at the time they did it, so it should have been valid for everyone then. But by now there might have been currency shifts so your experience might be more accurate. I’m always surprised by how expensive Apple products are outside the US and Japan, and especially in countries where the average salary is relatively low. I guess it’s the import tax and the lack of demand that means they have to charge a lot. -Roger

     
Kolis says:

No way that Malaysia is not in the list.

 
Daniel says:

All this reflects is the currencies’ exchange rate at the time – unless you use a historical currency data source and generate prices in today’s figures, this is meaningless, sorry.

 

    Daniel, the research in this survey isn’t my own, but I can assure you that your theory is way off. At any given moment, Apple products tend to be cheapest in the US and Japan, followed by Thailand and Malaysia, and insanely expensive in Brazil and a few others. It has a lot to do with local taxes and import duties, and exchange-rate fluctuations are a small factor. -Roger

     
shivam says:

i want an iphone 5
so what will it cost me in bankok considering bankok is on the second position on the list

 

    Shivam, when the iPhone 5 is available in Thailand it will cost TB22,900 for the 16GB model, unlocked and unsubsidized. That translates to US$743 right now, so really Japan and the US are the cheapest places. -Roger

     
rania says:

i think you ignor Saudi Arabia or you didnt notice it.its cheaper than dubai and Malaysia??iam a journalist there and i would like to publish your survay with opinion about price in it?waiting for your replay.best regards

 

    Rania, the data in this article was gathered from research by the company mentioned, and it seems that they just picked countries but not all of them. Sorry. -Roger

     
Clinton says:

Thank You and appreciate this info alot. :)

 
Clinton says:

Just want to ensure, Malaysia will be in 5th or 6th place if it is included in this list? :)

 
Aniruddha says:

Hello,I want to bring an iPad in India from America with help of my
Uncle so how can I get it in India or how can my uncle bring it in
India from America ???

 

    Aniruddha, while the iPad isn’t yet officially sold in India, I don’t believe the import of one for personal use is banned, so you can probably just bring it. -Roger

     
Shawn says:

Having been to dubai and Abu Dhabi I can tell you that the iPad is about 250-300$us more in the UAE! Although Mac books are competitively priced.

 
RD says:

Zurich Switzerland outside the EU not mentioned. iPhone was significantly cheaper than in UK or Germany; doubtful about Stockholm. Easier to get to Seitzerland from the rest of Europe.

 
Kelli says:

Im going to Vietnam this summer..would it be cheaper to get a 13 inch Macbook Pro there? How much would it be in US dollars?

 

    Kelli, There are no official Apple Stores in Vietnam so far, and very few stores that stock Apple products at all. And they will charge more than most places as well. If you are going to Thailand or Malaysia you can get deals close to the US price, but otherwise you’ll be paying more. -Roger

     
anurag jain says:

I want ipad4 with wifi and cellular.In India its pretty costly comparision to other country.can u guide how can i buy online from dubai or malasiya and use it in india??

 
Nadia says:

How does it work if we purchase an iphone in Japan, for example,living in different country? cheers

 

    Nadia, you’d have to buy an unlocked iPhone in Japan for around US$600 rather than one with a contract subsidy. Also, make sure it’s GSM and CDMA so it can run on either standard. Japan (like the US) has both, so it’s worth getting the model with both instead of the GSM-only one. -Roger

     
john says:

hi, how did this company do the research? if you go online on apple store and compare prices, hk is cheapest than Thailand… and for Japan, it points you to their telco companies who do the reselling which should include airtime charges.

 

    John,

    I assume the company did the research in the obvious way. I’ve done it myself a couple times for iPads after I first published this and it turns out the US is the cheapest. There was a time earlier this year when the Yen started dropping and Japan was the cheapest place, but then Apple raised its prices there. In other words, it can change a bit based on currency fluctuations, but generally the US is cheapest. -Roger

     
Jessica says:

I want to buy a Apple 1 pad mini with retina display. Could you please give me a address in Japan to contact. Thanks

 
Richard dada(dj dreelz) says:

Pls give me the address or the contacts of the company I can get cheap ipads from in japan or maleysia. Want it imported to me. Pls kindly add me on bbm 26088b66. Thanx

 

The cheapest place is Malaysia not Japan.

 
Pallavi says:

My frined is in Germany. I want him to buy electronic (I phone 5s, Galaxy Note 3) for me to India. Would that be beneficial when compared with the prices in India? I will have to pay him as per the euro-INR conversion rate. Please suggest.

 
yash says:

i want to buy apple macbook pro 13, should i buy it from india?? or should i buy from canada?

 
sagar says:

i want to buy an iphone 5s ? how much does it cost in bangkok . is it under global warranty scheme . i m frm india……thanks in advance

 

Good information, how did you get the part of the cheapest countries tu buy apple products???

I’m doing an important labor and I need to know the source!

Thanks!

 
Jo Lee says:

One point worth mentioning, I now live in Switzerland but prior to that I lived in California where I bought my iPhone & iPad for much less than they cost here. However, when I had problems with the iPhone ( after 18 months) Apple in Switzerland were not interested in repairing it because it came from California. I called Apple US & they confirmed that while it is a Universal company, each country operates independently when it comes to problems. I had to buy a new iPhone here so I’m covered if there is a problem. Right now I would like a MacBook Pro & they are so much cheaper in the US, but I’m cautious because just in case I have problems, then what?

 
Birch says:

Here’s my source, Proven Malaysia’s the cheapest as there’s no or minimal Import tax for Computer due to “Computer Education In Malaysia”

http://store.apple.com/my/buy-mac/macbook-pro
3,699.00 myr in usd-1129.12 US Dollar

http://store.apple.com/jp/buy-mac/macbook-pro
134,800 yen in usd-1324.1404 US Dollar

http://www.arabcomputers.com.sa/index.php/macbookpro.html
5,399 saudi riyal in usd- 1439.62 US Dollar

 
siyamak says:

hey … first of all thanks for this good article !!
but can i ask question !? i wanna buy phone accessories for my reseller store include Apple,samsung …. etc !! can you tell me where is cheapest today !?
regard

 
ridhima says:

hey
i want to purchase sony experia z series mobile from USA. will it be wiser to buy it frm USA rather than India itself?

 

    ridhima,

    In my experience, name-brand electronics tend to be cheaper in the US than in India, as long as you can buy them at a cheap place and hopefully also pay no sales tax. But I doubt there is a big difference, so probably better to buy it where it’s easiest. Good luck. -Roger

     
Kaks says:

im planning to buy a mac book in Japan. will that be in Japanese?

 

    Kaks,

    I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but all Mac products have all languages pre-loaded, so you can choose any of them when you are first setting the machine up, no matter where you buy it. -Roger

     

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