Christmas 2013 (iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Apple Store 001)

As shocking as it is to folks who live in the United States, in most places around the world smartphones are actually sold contract-free. This is especially true for Europe and certain parts of Asia, where people typically buy even the highest-end devices full price and separate of wireless contracts. It is also true, however, that off-contract unlocked iPhones usually command the lowest prices in the U.S.

Elsewhere, an unsubsidized iPhone can set you back a fortune due to local regulations dealing with import taxes, fees and other factors affecting cost of doing business locally. Here’s an interesting chart depicting iPhone prices around the world, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP)…

Here’s a fun interactive chart put together by MobileUnlocked, which tracked the price of the iPhone 5s across 47 countries in native currencies with native sales tax, and then converted those prices into US dollars or British pounds via Open Exchange Rates.

The map reveals that, in terms of a percentage of GDP, China is the most expensive country to own an iPhone 5s: the handset’s cost typically represents 9.55 percent of the country’s average GDP.

The cheapest country?

The United States, where an average selling price of the iPhone 5s is just 1.15 percent of the nation’s average per-capita GDP.

iPhone 5s prices around the world (MobileUnlocked 001)

In terms of iPhone prices versus average income, customers in Vietnam will need to fork out a whopping 22.3 percent of their annual salary for a contract-free iPhone.

India is followed by Vietnam (19.8 percent), Jordan (18.2 percent) and Philippines (18 percent). Compare that to the United States, where paying for your iPhone 5s upfront means taking a 1.4 percent hit on your annual salary, or 2.4 percent in the case of the United Kingdom.

If we take a look at retail prices of the unlocked iPhone 5s, normalized by translating native currency into U.S. dollar, the United States comes in cheapest at $707 (including California sales tax).

The most expensive iPhone in cash terms?

Jordan, where buying an iPhone means parting with $1,091 worth of local currency.

iPhone 5s prices around the world (MobileUnlocked 002)

It should be noted that iPhone prices before and after taxes vary greatly from one country to another, due to the vast differences in local regulations and tax laws.

Blame it on the governments, writes Tim Worstall over at Forbes:

The prices used include sales taxes (and for the US, Californian ones are used for the whole country) and those obviously vary in each taxing jurisdiction. Then there are also various places that have import taxes on electronics.

The author also explains the magic of price points:

No one at all goes out and sells something at $501. This might not be entirely rational but it is the way we humans see things, that $499 is much cheaper than $501. Certainly, we all act as if it’s much more than $2 cheaper. So price points are going to be at $499, perhaps $489, $449, instead of $451.

You can interact with the chart yourself over at the MobileUnlocked website by hovering over the country in the table on the right for the specific source.

The chart is based on the entry-level iPhone 5s with sixteen gigabytes of storage, with prices taken from the local Apple Online Stores where available, otherwise from Apple authorised resellers.

Does the unlocked, off-contract iPhone 5s cost too much in your country?

Feel free to share anecdotal evidence down in the comments.

  • Joseph

    A contract-free iPhone 5s 16GB here in the Philippines is $814 including taxes. -_- oh gracious.

    • Julio Cesar

      Here in Brazil … US$ 1179

    • Carlos Gomes

      US$ 951 in Portugal

      • Hussain Alsanona

        In Saudi Arabia iPhone 5s 16GB $746 including Tax

      • Vivek Choudhary

        I want
        I

    • Matt

      Can’t you buy it unlocked from here (U.S ) and have it shipped to you which would save you money?

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        Yes on verizon unlocked iphone 5s. not sure if the bands would meet internation cellular requierments.

  • Fikri CanCankurtaran

    In Turkey contract-free 5s 16 gb is $1049. Thanks to government for taxes !

    • Umut Bilgiç

      Ben bu hukumeti yerim 😀

    • JOHN

      IN WHICH SHOP CAN I FIND THAT PRICE BECAUSE I AM COMING TO ISTANBUL IN 3 DAYS

  • Julio Cesar

    Prices in Brazil:

    iPhone 5s
    16GB —- US$ 1179
    32GB —- US$ 1347
    64GB —- US$ 1516

    iPhone 5c
    16GB —- US$ 842
    32GB —- US$ 1010

    iPhone 4s
    8GB —- US$ 589

    iPhone 4
    8GB —- US$ 463

    • Tom

      what the helll????????????? 😐
      its freaking tooo muchhh!!

      • Julio Cesar

        Yes, I know…
        Most Brazilians can’t afford it… Me too…
        If I want it, I would have to save money…
        Or pay in several parts in one year…

        I already tried giveaways, but I never win anything.
        I guess that I never will have an newer iPhone…

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        Don’t worry bro it’s a good investment! Wait for iPhone 6! It beats quality compared to other manufacturers.

    • Rowan09

      Damn I need to start buying and selling to these countries then. The government is the reason the prices are so high. I’m from Jamaica and the prices are $1000+ for an iPhone.

      • Julio Cesar

        If you can bypass the brazilian taxes, do it, please.
        You will sell a lot, believe me.

      • Rowan09

        I need to visit Brazil but my fiancé would never let me go there. Lol

      • Julio Cesar

        I understand, but if you do come, bring an iPhone 5s that I buy! Lol
        And then you will have Brazilian money to buy things here!

        Deal?

      • Rowan09

        I would love to but I heard from friends your women are no joke there, hence the reason I can never go to Brazil unless I lie about it.

      • Julio Cesar

        What you mean with “no joke”?

      • Rowan09

        I mean they will snatch a guy away from his woman’s hand and they love American men. I heard stories before. Is that true?

      • Julio Cesar

        Not really.

        Not every person here speaks English, and most of them are too shy to speak to an American man. Like in any country, there’s “no joke” people, but if you keep your man close (especially in ballads and parties) your relationship are totally safe.

        Brazilian people are just too curious, when hear someone speaking another language they can’t stop paying attention, even if they have no clue of what people are saying.

      • Rowan09

        Got you same thing in Jamaica, nevertheless she won’t let me go Bro

      • Julio Cesar

        It’s okay, thanks anyway 😀

      • Jason Johnson

        If you buy iPhones. Send me an email. I’m here in the US. Jason.johnson@earthtron.com

      • Glenn DolFan Baptista

        Força Brasil !!!!

      • El Arqui Tecto

        Lol! Americas think world loves you… Not at all.

      • Glenn DolFan Baptista

        No they just love our money and give up the bunda for it Força USA !!!

      • Falk M.

        I guess if that was such a big problem, there were travel agencies specialized in selling trips to people who otherwise order wives… ;D

    • What are GS4 prices there?

      • Julio Cesar

        8GB —- US$ 513

        But I’m developer, already have an Android device (Nexus 4), now I need an iPhone…
        But for personal use, I prefer the iOS.

  • Tom

    In Israel, where most of Apple’s technology comes from, the iPhone costs about

    1036.79 US Dollars, and we don’t have official Apple Stores.

    • Jonathan

      Is that with or without a 2 year contract?

      • Tom

        We don’t have an iPhone with a contract

      • Jonathan

        Oh. :/

  • bryananta

    in my country (Indonesia), I buy iPhone 5S 16GB Space Gray is about USD$904 (contract-free).. iPhone 5S 16GB Gold is about USD$1024 (contract-free too)..

    • Umut Bilgiç

      Higher price for the gold?!?

      • bryananta

        yes.. space gray, white is same price.. but for gold is more expensive..

      • Umut Bilgiç

        That is rather insteresting :0

  • blckaapl

    US$788 inc. taxes for unlocked 16GB 5S here in Singapore.

  • hkgsulphate

    I live in Hong Kong

    iPhone 5s (unlocked)
    16GB — US$ 721
    32GB — US$ 824
    64GB — US$ 927

    iPhone 5c (unlocked)
    16GB — US$ 605
    32GB — US$ 721

    iPhone 4s (unlocked)
    8GB — US$ 450

    wow o_O

  • chumawumba

    So where is it the cheapest?

    • batongxue

      Normally, US, Japan and HK would be three of the cheapest location, cheaper than most regions by a relatively large margin.

  • Erik

    iPhone 5S 16GB Silver – 643.51 € (cca 874$)…

  • Rosan

    we dont have official apple store here in Nepal but retailers my friend just got iphone 5s space grey 16gb for around US$955..

  • Shrey

    In India, iPhone 5S 16 GB – $965

  • Giel Konink

    i NEED jailbreak for iOS 7.X come one it takes way to long ! !

    • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

      we need messages+ and bitesms!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dani Hayes

      Get cracking, then. Good things come to those that wait but better things happen to those that do.

  • Aaron Sattan

    In Guyana iPhone 5s Gold 16gb $1000 usd

  • shali Yfrimashvilly

    i bought my 5C for 851 dollars in Israel

  • vs511

    Apple really needs to price their phones like Nexus devices or at least around that price range. At least in countries like India, Brazil, China etc. Oh I wish.

    • Rowan09

      Won’t work. The Nexus phones are not really there to make money particularly on device sales, it’s more for promoting Google services. The Nexus in stores are $500+ only on the Google store it’s cheap and they are always low on stock. If price was the deciding factor the Nexus phones would sell tons of phones but they don’t compared to Samsung and Apple.

      • vs511

        Still, even $500 was 5s would be reasonable. $550 for a year old phone (plastic, too) is mental. Still can’t get my head around it.

      • Rowan09

        Cheap is never cheap enough unless it’s free. Apple is a luxury brand and selling phones for $500 when it costs $300 is counterproductive. I agree though would love to see the prices drop but that’s wishful thinking.

  • Germany
    The iPhone 5s (any color) with 16GB storage costs about 948 US$ (no contract)
    The 5C with 16GB is 811 US$ but you can get it at eBay for 609 US$

  • Vivek Raja

    The iPhone seems so over priced!
    In UAE, (we have no taxes)
    iPhone 5S 16GB –> $707
    iPhone 5S 32GB –> $816
    iPhone 5S 64GB –> $925

    • the 707$ is actually including the duty cost. when you purchase from apple store. there is a label included with the package which contains the cost of the Duty. That and price of iPhone sums to AED 2599.

    • Ok I just checked my iPhone invoice its 2389 AED excluding the duty. that is approx $650.

  • Tomas Suarez

    Prices in Chile:
    (The lowest I could find.)

    iPhone 5s
    16GB —- US$ 844
    32GB —- US$ 975
    64GB —- US$ 1125

    iPhone 5c
    16GB —- US$ 713
    32GB —- US$ 844

    iPhone 4s
    8GB —- US$ 544

    iPhone 4
    8GB —- US$ 497

    PS: This prices are with taxes (19%), contract free.

    • ben

      Ware in Chile?

  • rahuljhs

    India 862.00 $$ for 16 gb iphone 5S

  • Antish Ittoo

    Here in Mauritius it’s around $1200 :S

  • @dongiuj

    Don’t know. Can’t buy unlocked iPhones in monopolised Japan.

  • n0ahcruz3

    $650, cost of making one around $199. I can imagine tim cook diving in a pool of money somewhere in cupertino.

  • Never Hide

    In nowhere it’s only 499US$ for 5s

  • MHCsk

    Around 850$ fo iPhone 5s 16GB in Slovakia. No official Apple Stores.

  • ali_plus

    In Saudi Arabia we don’t have official Apple stores. iPhone is offered by all three network providers in the Kingdom. The prices of contract-free iPhone is:

    iPhone 5S 16GB –> SR 2800 / $747
    iPhone 5S 32GB –> SR 3200 / $855
    iPhone 5S 64GB –> SR 3650 / $975

    Add $50 for Gold color since it is out of stock. iPhone in Saudi Kingdom does not have FaceTime because of government policies. We have 2-Year contract in the Kingdom but thee are a lot of terms and conditions in order to avail it so 90% of the customers prefer off-Contract.

    • Σαλαη αββας

      it’s sad that you don’t have FaceTime , is saudiarabia the only Arabic country with logic , here in Algeria FaceTime is allowed , providers encourage people to used it

      • im using an asia pacific iphone 5s (A1530 model) in saudi arabia , still got 4G on my phone and i have facetime but the price is US $ 842

      • ali_plus

        It is not blocked by Government, but by Carriers. Dont k ow the reason. If someone needs iPhone with FaceTime, they can buy from Authorised Resellers. Add additional $50 for that 🙂

  • Brent Aerts

    In Belgium:
    Contract-free
    iPhone 5s:
    16 GB 699 €
    32 GB 799 €
    64 GB 899 €

    iPhone 5C:
    16 GB 599 €

    32 GB 699 €

    iPhone 4S:
    8 GB 399 €

  • The Ashok Paudel

    I think I seem to have got the cheapest among all. I have a white iPhone 5s 16 gb, factory unlocked purchased in India at $ 499. Don’t know how it was possible but I have bills for the same and comes with a year apple warranty. To ensure it was a genuine one, I had it checked at the Apple Store in Mumbai, turns out it was genuine.

    • Breaking Good

      bhai..kahan se liya itna sasta iphone,hume v toh batao

  • Aqiladhans

    Unlocked Asia Pasific iphone 5s 16 GB in Saudi arabia US $ 842
    Unlocked UEA iphone 5s 16 GB (non facetime) in Saudi arabia US $ 740

  • Aleksandar Kojić

    In Croatia base sim-free model in Premium Reseller store (iStyle) is slightly above 1100US$, in Croatian T Mobile, also without contract 960US$.. Premium reseller’s prices are kind of ****!

  • Vaidotas

    In Lithuania off-contract unlocked iPhone 5s 16GB costs ~$1100 all taxes inc. 🙁 The Lithuanian price listed in MobileUnlocked website is actually for contract-free but locked to the carrier iPhone

  • Mario Britten

    Here in Germany the 16GB model costs 699€ (949$), 32GB 799€ (1085$) and the 64GB model 899€ (1221$).

  • Jojourena

    US $900 here in Chile

  • Mohammed

    For all of you that are complaning about it’s price.
    What if i told you that an unlocked IPhone 4S 16GB is 1200$ in my country (without any taxes)
    Mind-blown.

    • ali_plus

      Mention your country 🙂

      • Mohammed

        Not so-known country
        Sudan.

  • Jo Henning Børven

    Very interesting!

    Here in Norway a new 16 GB iphone 5s (unlocked) cost about 1000 USD, pluss minus a few dollars.
    The average salary in Norway is 65 000 USD (which is quite a lot lower than I expected, considering my salary in a normal job as an electrician, anyway) and would be about 1,65% of the average income.

    I am married to a Brazilian, and often they ask me to bring electronics to Brazil, since it’s a lot cheaper here.

    🙂

  • Jarryd Richards

    A 32GB iPhone 5s here in Australia is AUD$999, around USD$900, but if you get it on a contract the phone does not cost a single cent.

  • Chan

    Phone 5S costs about 800-840USD max here in Sri Lanka, without official Apple representation.

  • NSA

    In Australia, contract free iPhone 5S 16GB $869 including Tax. However, last year iPhone 5 was $800. I have no idea why Apple has its prices

  • Kenrick Fernandes

    since my dad stays in singapore, i just ask him to get one with his plan. Every 2 years he’s eligible for a new phone.. that’s how i got an iphone 5

    • Breaking Good

      dude thts like frigin wow

  • Rudy

    699 USD in Lebanon for the 5S 16GB unlocked.
    No Official apple stores.

    • Breaking Good

      send one to me

  • H5ire

    See there only place shining in red..
    I live there in India and
    iPhone 5S cost $1100+ & iPhone 5C $800.!!

  • Martynet

    Got iPhone 5S 64GB from Apple store Ireland for €899 ($1.222). Trying to sell 1 year old iPhone 5 64GB now. Doing the same thing every year 🙂

  • eMJayx

    Czech Republic Contract-Free 5s 16GB —- US$ 800

  • Ritvik Choudhary

    US $1163.927 in india 😛

  • redzuan1972

    in Malaysia all iphone unlocked :

    Iphone 5s 16gb – US$745
    Iphone 5s 32gb – US$857
    Iphone 5s 64gb – US$981

    Iphone 5c 16gb – US$623
    Iphone 5c 32gb – US$745

    Iphone 4s 8gb – US$467

    All iphone Unlocked and same prizes for gold, space grey or silver for iphone 5s…

  • ivanp62

    Indonesia is the expensive iPhone prices. iPhone 5s starts IDR 10,499,000,-

  • Adrian Tofighi

    come to dubai its only 640 usd for 16 gb
    745 usd for 32 gb

  • Maggi

    People, tell me, how much does 5s cost in Spain????

  • Faizan Shah

    hey! why do u people buy such expensive iphones.
    you can get Iphone 5s in just 350$ in PAKISTAN

    LOL!