TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Apple raised the prices of its iPhones and iPads in Japan in an uncommon move to account for the yen’s precipitous drop in value this year.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant added as much as 25 per cent to the cost of its mobile gadgets in the country, taking the iPhone 13’s starting price up to 117,800 yen (S$1,207).
It increased the prices of its iPad and iPad Air by 10,000 yen each, according to checks with Apple’s local website.
Apple joins a growing list of retail brands from Asahi Group Holdings to Lawson that are hiking consumer prices in Japan to contend with soaring production costs, compounded by a weakening local currency.
Apple’s move may presage hikes from other makers of consumer electronics.
Apple already raised prices of its MacBook computers by more than 10 per cent in June, though that change was accompanied by the launch of new models.
It is making steeper increases with its mobile devices and doing so at a time when no new releases are expected for several months.
With wage growth still anaemic, retailers in Japan have long been reluctant to raise sticker prices for fear of scaring off customers accustomed to years of deflation.
Now that’s starting to change, with everything from the price of beer and soy sauce, to fried chicken nuggets and burgers, starting to climb as businesses pass on costs to shoppers.
The yen broke through its 24-year low against the US dollar last month as risk assets rebounded, heaping more pressure on retailers.