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.