iPhone 15% more expensive online than in-store

By Khuong Nha   May 19, 2023 | 11:31 pm PT
iPhone 15% more expensive online than in-store
The new iPhone 14 Plus is exhibited at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 7, 2022. Photo by Reuters
An iPhone 14 Pro Max costs 15% more at the Apple Online Store than in-store at Apple Authorized Resellers (AAR).

The prices are VND30.0 million ($1,317) and VND26.2 million, respectively. The Apple Online Store opened for business in Vietnam on May 18.

The standard iPhone 14 on the Apple Online Store is now VND22.5 million, while at FPT Shop it goes for VND19.3 million.

Other AARs like Di Dong Viet sell the gadget for VND4 million cheaper. As for the 14 Pro Max model, the price difference can reach VND4.7 million.

Not only the iPhone, but most other products on Apple Online Store are more expensive than at Vietnam AARs. For example, the Airpod Pro 2 sells for VND6.1 million online, while at CellphoneS and Mobile World it’s only VND5.9 million.

The MacBook Air M1 has one of the largest price differences: online it starts at VND24.9 million, while AARs sell the laptop for just VND17.9 million.

According to Hoang Ha Mobile, Apple’s pricing will provide customers a base for comparison and decision making. This also helps prevent AARs from raising the price ceiling of newly released devices like the iPhone when it starts going on sale.

Mai Trieu Nguyen, CEO of Mai Nguyen store chain, added that the price difference is also due to competition between Vietnamese retailers.

Nguyen The Kha, an FPT Shop representative, said that for the moment the online Apple Store has not affected retailers.

"In this highly competitive market, Apple online store’s pricing is not attractive. Customers also cannot try out the product first when they buy online," he said.

He added that the online store’s presence does not take away from in-person retailers’ market shares, but rather establishes a ceiling price for customers’ reference.

Mai Trieu Nguyen, however, thought that saying "Apple online store does not affect AARs" is an incomplete assessment. Most retailers’ profits come in the early days of an Apple product release, and the profits decrease over time, he said, adding that some retailer eventually end up selling the product at a loss.

Nguyen said that when the iPhone 15 launches in September, Vietnamese customers will be able to order it from the online store. "When they receive their orders from the online store, they will cancel their pre-orders from retailers. AARs will then feel the weight of the online store," he concluded.

He also added that in the long term, this online store signals Apple’s impending physical store opening in Vietnam. By then, users will not only go there to buy products, but also to experience Apple’s services and customer care, which local retailers cannot provide. Thus, they will lose a considerable number of customers, and competing by price strategy will not be as effective.

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