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Apple raises French prices for iPhone 5s, 5c

updated 10:30 am EDT, Thu October 17, 2013

Company may be shifting tax burden to shoppers

Apple has silently raised prices for the iPhone 5s and 5c in France, reports note. 16, 32, and 64GB versions of the 5s previously cost 699, 799, and 899. Now, however, they cost 709, 811, and 911, making even the cheapest 5s worth about $968. French iPhones are sold unlocked, but in the US, an unlocked 5s still starts at just $649.

Costs for the iPhone 5c have been hiked from 599 to 609 for 16GB, and from 699 to 711 for 32GB. In US dollars those prices translate to $832 and $970.

While Apple hasn't offered up an official explanation for the increase, it's suggested that Apple may be trying to keep profits high by shifting the burden of a local tax to the public. The French government levies a tax on some products in order to support lower barriers to media copying/sharing by the public, and compensate for piracy. The tax isn't new though, and hasn't been changed recently.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. que_ball

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-14-00

    Kind of misleading to quote the price in France but forget to mention that the prices charged at the till include VAT sales taxes.
    If the USA had a single sales tax rate nationwide would you quote the price after taxes are added in the story or would you show the pre-tax pricing.

    Most of Europe just likes to hide the huge sales taxes in the product price instead of adding it at the Till so people are less aware of just how much tax they are paying on these purchases. Is it even legal in France to advertise the pre-tax sales prices and then note the added tax costs in some kind of fine print?

    19.6% is the sales/VAT tax.
    So without the VAT the price would be about $695 USD
    Then this media industry tax. Not sure what the rates are but I think it's in the range of $25 per device.
    So $670 in France compared to $650 in the USA.

    I guess it's actually more like a $20 premium for people in France once you remove all the government fees and taxes. Likely that amounts to no difference at all when apple accounts for other increased costs of doing business there.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-31-07

    que_ball: You perfectly answered my first thoughts on this.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by que_ballView Post

    Most of Europe just likes to hide the huge sales taxes in the product price instead of adding it at the Till so people are less aware of just how much tax they are paying on these purchases. Is it even legal in France to advertise the pre-tax sales prices and then note the added tax costs in some kind of fine print?



    They note the full price because sales tax is completely irrelevant to the consumer. A product costs what it costs, and that's what you pay. If I'm a consumer, and buy a product for 99€ within the EU, it is completely irrelevant whether that price includes 19.6% local VAT, or 19%, or 21%, or 7%.

    I pay 99€ plus shipping, end of story.

    If a business collects sales tax on a price, they MUST note the included VAT at least on the bill, but it is normal practice to list prices as effective price incl. tax.

    It's a different story only for business customers, because they typically figure VAT they've paid on purchased products directly against the sales/services tax they've collected (or reclaimed from the government if less tax was earned than spent).
    So business expenses (including the business-customer portals of any online store) are usually figured sans sales tax.

    Oh, and tourists, of course, can apply to be reimbursed for sales tax paid on products purchased for use outside the EU.

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