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Sep 13, 2017

'Turning the screws on our pocketbooks': Canadians face sticker shock with iPhone X

How Canadian carriers can help customers avoid iPhone X sticker shock

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Despite the recent strength of the Canadian dollar, Apple fans north of the border will continue to experience sticker shock when they try to upgrade their devices.

Even after adjusting for currency, Canadian consumers looking to buy the latest iPhone, Apple Watch, or Apple TV will face higher list prices compared to their American counterparts.

The iPhone X will retail in the U.S. for US$999 for the model with 64 gigabytes of memory. At the current rate of exchange, that works out to about $1,217, but Canadian consumers will have to pay $1,319 for the phone.

Canadians will pay a similar premium for the iPhone 8. U.S. consumers will pay US$699 for the model with 64 gigs of memory, while Canadians will pay $929 for the same phone. That’s a price difference of nearly 30 per cent between Canada and the U.S., despite the fact there is less than a 20 per cent difference between the value of the U.S. greenback and the loonie.

None of Canada’s main wireless carriers have released details on what they will charge customers who are willing to take on a new contract along with their new iPhone. As of mid-day Wednesday, only Telus Corp. responded to BNN with expectations for timing: the company will release pricing details for the iPhone X on Friday, Oct. 27th; the same day Telus customers can preorder the new device.

 

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    “Great move to inch up that pricing, as people really value their phones. They can't live without them,” Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, told BNN in an interview Wednesday. 

    “I know that $1,000 price really sounds like sticker shock, but at the end of the day, my reaction was 'nice move by Apple’...they’re just kind of turning the screws on our pocketbooks.”  



    The new Apple Watch will also command a steep premium in Canada. American consumers will pay US$399 for the Series 3 watch that now includes cellular capabilities and an enhanced heart rate monitor. But the blood pressure of Canadian consumers will almost certainly rise when they see the new upgraded device will cost them a whopping $519.

    Apple routinely charges wildly different prices for its products in different markets. Last year, U.K. Apple users were outraged when the company raised the price of its high-end Mac workstation to more than $4,800. A similar computer in Canada sold for about $3,000 at the time. Some complained they could purchase an airplane ticket to Canada, buy the computer, and still come out ahead.