Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 5S and 5C are now available in Indonesia, but regular readers would understand by now that it is cheaper to buy iPhones in neighboring countries Singapore and Malaysia instead. See the table below to see how cheap:
Compared to the prices in Singapore, iPhone 5S in Indonesia1 costs $90 more while iPhone 5C costs $50 more. The price difference is much crazier when compared to Malaysia. Indonesia’s iPhone 5S is more expensive by a whopping $150 while iPhone 5C is more expensive by $100. These price differences are a big deal because $150 is about 75 percent of Jakarta’s minimum salary of IDR 2.4 million ($196).
But I guess people who buy iPhone 5S are earning a lot more than that, so they won’t have a problem. Still, because this, I don’t think Indonesia’s commerce minister need to even wonder why a lot of Indonesians decide to just buy their handphones in Singapore or Malaysia instead. Not only it is cheaper there, some phones are launched earlier too.
The iPhones look very expensive in rupiah
A lot of people in Indonesia also raised their eyebrows to the heightened prices of iPhone 5S and 5C. The unlocked version of iPhone 5S is now sold at IDR 10.5 million ($860) or about 20 percent more expensive than iPhone 5’s launch price in December 2012. What happened? The answer lies to the weakened state of Indonesia’s rupiah currency.
The table below shows that though iPhone’s rupiah price is more expensive by 20 percent, its dollar value remains about the same. In December 2012, $1 equals to IDR 9,360, but today $1 equals to IDR 12,200. That’s a 30 percent value decrease and is a nightmare to all gadget lovers in Indonesia. That would also explain the heightened prices of other gadgets in the country like Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
(Editing by Terence Lee)