Here’s why iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches got much pricier in Japan

Japanese customers have been hit with significant price increases across the most popular Apple products such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Apple's retail store in Shinjuku, Japan
  • The cheapest iPhone 13 costs nineteen percent more as of July 1. Prices of iPads rose 25 percent. The Apple Watch models also cost more than before.
  • At the time of writing, prices of Macs haven’t changed but don’t expect this to last — pricing for Mac computers sold in Japan could change at any moment.
  • Prices for Apple products were unchanged from June 30 on its online store in other countries. This price hike is temporary. Apple should bring product pricing to the usual levels once the value of the yen stabilizes.

Prices of iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches go up in Japan

Here’s an overview of the price increases, based on Apple’s Japanese website:

  • iPhone 13: The iPhone 13 mini now costs nearly one-fifth more (nineteen percent) than before the price hike. The device used to start at 98,800 yen ($730) but is now at 117,800 yen (an increase of 19,000 yen).
  • iPhone SE: Apple’s mid-range phone costs nine percent more than before, having gone from 62,800 yen to 67,800 yen.
  • iPad: The various models of Apple’s tablets are up to 25 percent more expensive in Japan than yesterday, climbing to 49,800 yen.

Other Apple products are also now pricier in Japan, excluding the Mac computers, but Japanese consumers shouldn’t on Mac prices stay intact for long now.

Why have Apple’s products get more expensive in Japan?

It’s Economy 101, stupid. For starters, a widening interest rate gap between Japan and the United States has made it more expensive for foreign companies to conduct business in Japan. But more important than that is the falling yen. When the value of a foreign currency such as the yen increases, this has the effect on Japanese goods becoming more expensive overseas. Conversely, when the value of the yen drops, foreign goods imported into the country become more expensive.

And that’s exactly what’s happened in Japan, a major Apple market with almost 126 million people. The yen has weakened sharply since the spring. The decrease in the yen’s value was so significant that it began to sap Apple’s overseas earnings. Reacting to those changes, Apple has decided to pass on these costs to consumers and simply raised prices for its most popular products, Nikkei Asia reports. Apple hasn’t commented on the reason for the price increase in the country, and almost certainly won’t. Once the value of the yen stabilizes again, prices should fall back to their normal levels. Read: How to chat love with Apple support