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The True Cost of the iPhone X, Based on What You Actually Earn

The new iPhone X is displayed in the showroom after the new product announcement at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif.

The new iPhone X is displayed in the showroom after the new product announcement at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. // Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP File Photo

With the iPhone X, we have entered a new age of ultra-premium smartphones.

Apple is calling the iPhone X the “smartphone of the future,” loaded with new features meant to entice consumers into getting used to the idea of paying the same price for a phone as they would for a laptop. The new model, available for pre-order Oct. 27 and purchase Nov. 3, costs a whopping $1,000 in the US (and a lot more than that in other countries, if you convert local prices to other currencies). The price goes up even more if you want the bigger 256 GB model, which costs $1,149 in the US.

But are the new bells and whistles and bigger screen worth, for example, 50% of your monthly salary?

That’s a decision consumers in Spain will have to reckon with when the iPhone X goes on sale next month. In India and China, smartphone markets poised for massive growth and where Apple is trying to expand, the iPhone X costs far more than the typical monthly income in each country; in India, the new model will cost almost as much as the average citizen makes in a year.

The real price of the iPhone X becomes clear when put in terms of the average income in the countries where it will be sold.

iPhone X global prices compared to average monthly wages

Based on the retail prices listed on Apple’s various global sites and 2016 global wage data from the OECD and others*, we looked at the cost of the 64GB iPhone X in the countries it will be available for purchase and ranked them in terms of the percentage of average monthly income† per person.

Ranking Country Local price Monthly wages Percentage
1* India ₹89,000 9619 925.25%
2* Russia 79,990 pyб. 34,030.00 235.06%
3 Mexico Mex$23,499 12,730.00 184.60%
4* China RMB 8,388 5,169.00 162.28%
5 Hungary 379,990 Ft 259,358.75 146.51%
6 Poland 4,979 zł 3,993.25 124.69%
7 Czech Republic 29,990 Kč 27,665.42 108.40%
8 Portugal 1,179 € 1,381.17 85.36%
9* Taiwan NT$35,900 62,688.67 57.27%
10* UAE AED 4,099 7,451.00 55.01%
11*† Hong Kong HK$8,588 16,200.00 53.01%
12 Spain 1,159 € 2,306.17 50.26%
13 Italy 1,189 € 2,426.17 49.01%
14*† Singapore S$1,648 3,949.00 41.73%
15 France 1,159 € 3,067.42 37.78%
16 Germany 1,149 € 3,191.83 36.00%
17 UK £999 2,845.17 35.11%
18 Sweden 11,495 kr 33,332.33 34.49%
19 Finland 1,179 € 3,434.08 34.33%
20 New Zealand NZ$1,799 5,337.75 33.70%
21 Austria 1,149 € 3,451.75 33.29%
22 Belgium 1,159 € 3,591.42 32.27%
23 Japan ¥112,800 353,781.67 31.88%
24 Netherlands 1,159 € 3,892.42 29.78%
25 Ireland 1,179 € 4,278.00 27.56%
26 Norway kr 10,990 44,172.92 24.88%
27 Denmark 8,899 kr. 36,060.67 24.68%
28 Canada CA$1,319 5,374.42 24.54%
29 Australia A$1,579 6,672.50 23.66%
30 Luxembourg 1,120,68 € 5,030.08 22.28%
31 US $999 5,012.83 19.93%
32 Switzerland CHF 1199 7,035.83 17.04%

As of Oct. 24, 2017, iPhone X retail prices were not available on Apple’s website in Andorra, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, or Slovenia.

*Wage data for China (urban areas only), Russia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates are from the International Labor Organization; for Hong Kong from the Government of Hong Kong Census and Statistics department; for India from Government of India Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation; and for Taiwan (pdf) from the Taiwan Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

†Represents median, not average wage.

By Molly Rubin Quartz October 25, 2017

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