Want to buy New iPhone from abroad
Buying an iPhone abroad is sometimes cheaper. For example, you pay less VAT in countries such as the United States and Germany when buying a separate iPhone. This can often save a few bucks in price, although the savings often do not outweigh the travel costs you pay. If you are already abroad, it can be worth it. If you can bypass the import costs, you save on the purchase of a new iPhone in the US around 150 euros.
An iPhone from abroad also works in principle in the Benelux, although you have to take into account a few things. Think of things like warranty and sim lock. In this article, we provide answers to frequently asked questions and share tips regarding buying a foreign iPhone.
Foreign iPhone X prizes
The foreign prices of the iPhone X are quite different from India. Sometimes it pays to order the iPhone in India so that in some cases you are cheaper. Handy to know if you happen to be in that country or if you are still cheaper with shipping costs. The iPhone X price in the United Kingdom thanks to Brexit is a lot cheaper than in India.
You have these options
There are several ways to buy an iPhone abroad. You can book it through the Apple Store, but then you need a delivery address in the relevant country. If you happen to have friends or family there, you can have the device delivered to their address. They can then send the iPhone to you, even if you have to pay import costs if your package comes from outside the EU (more on that later). You charge the additional costs to the courier.
You can also travel to the country where the iPhone was released earlier. Or maybe you are already there and you can save the travel costs. Keep in mind that many Apple fans have probably reserved the new iPhone, leaving relatively few iPhones for free sales. If you risk it and you stand in line, make sure you are on time (the night before) and use the Apple Store app to view the inventory per store. This will prevent you from being disappointed after a long wait.
On auction sites like eBay, after every iPhone release, there are countless traders who offer the new device for a significantly higher price. This way they try to make a salad out of the limited range. If you have not managed to get hold of an iPhone via the usual ways and you really cannot wait, then you can try to purchase one via such a merchant. Always read the advertisements carefully and only go with eBay sellers with a lot of positive feedback. This way you avoid being scammed. If you buy the iPhone through a trader outside the EU, you can count on import costs for the purchase price.
Checklist for buying a foreign iPhone
If you consider buying the new iPhone abroad, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Below we have made a checklist that you can use to determine whether it is worthwhile.
- Import costs: If you order a new iPhone from outside the EU, you have to take into account import costs. From 22 euros you pay VAT on your order and from 150 euros import duties are added. With the Import Calculator, you can calculate what amount you have to pay for your imported iPhone. If you are abroad (e.g. the US) and you fly back to India with your purchased aircraft, you must file a tax return. Usually, the value of the iPhone exceeds the exemption of 430 euros per person. You pay 21 percent VAT on top of the purchase amount. The money you save by buying the iPhone abroad is then only a few tenners.
- Customs: If you arrive at customs in India, then there is nothing to worry about if you state your iPhone and pay the VAT. Are you going to use your device business, then that is necessary anyway. The disadvantage is that you are hardly cheaper. Many people, therefore, choose to throw away the packaging and purchase order of the iPhone to avoid the extra costs. If you are checked and cannot prove that you already had the iPhone with you during the outward journey, you still have to pay customs costs. You can also count on a hefty fine. Know what you can and cannot enter and what costs are involved, and then download the Customs Travel app. It requires iOS 6.0+, also works offline and can scan purchase receipts, so you can prove that you’re previously purchased products that you take with you have actually purchased earlier.
- Warranty: the warranty on an iPhone from abroad is in almost all cases the same as if you were to purchase the device in India: standard 1 year (via Apple), and only on defects that are demonstrably not caused by the user. With a device purchased within the EU, you are legally entitled to 2 years warranty. Note: you do not have that extended warranty if the iPhone was purchased outside the EU. Is it something wrong with the iPhone, then you can only knock on an India Apple store when the device has appeared in our country? If that is not the case, then you are dependent on the same store where you bought the iPhone.
- Repairs: within Asia, Apple basically uses the same model numbers. That means that you can easily repair an iPhone from Dubai in an India Apple Store. Provided the device has already appeared in our country. If your imported iPhone appears from the USA for example, then you can also look at it in an India Apple Store. It may be that the repair takes longer because appliances with other model numbers have to be ordered. So keep that in mind; it is possible that you should miss your iPhone for a few weeks.
- Sim lock: If you buy an iPhone without a subscription in, for example, Germany or Great Britain, you can use it with an India SIM card without any problems. However, it is wise to always check this with the relevant salesperson. If you buy an iPhone in the United States, China or Japan, you may have to deal with a CDMA variant. Most CDMA variants work smoothly in India, although it is wise to check with the seller whether the iPhone supports all India LTE frequencies. Certain models in the US fall out because they have a sim lock from American providers such as AT & T or Verizon. You can ask for an unlock code after a while, but always check this with the relevant provider.
- Connector: the plug system is not the same in all countries. In principle, that is not a problem, since you can also charge the iPhone with a USB cable and plugs are available separately if desired. If you buy the iPhone in Europe, you will get a plug that also fits into our outlet. If you import the iPhone from the US, you have to purchase a replacement plug at home. If you already own an iPhone or iPad, you can of course also use the adapter of that device to charge your new device.
- Language: Whether you buy the iPhone in Germany, France or Spain, the language can simply be changed to India. There are dozens of other languages to choose from, including English, Arabic, and Chinese. So you can always use your new iPhone in the language you want.
- Subscription: you do not need a subscription from the original provider if you purchase an iPhone abroad. Most iPhones that are sold abroad, for example in the Apple Store, are sim lock free. As a result, you can simply use your Indian SIM card, provided it has the correct format. Recent iPhones use nanosat. Finally, make sure to check whether you are actually buying a sim lock-free iPhone, otherwise, you will need an unlock code from the relevant provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
With the checklist above you have come a long way to determine whether it is worth buying a foreign iPhone. Below we answer some questions that we regularly get from people who are abroad and there are doubts about the purchase of an iPhone.
- I want to purchase an iPhone abroad. What do I have to do to avoid any penalties when entering?
- Free movement of goods applies within the EU. This means that you do not have to file a customs declaration when you purchase an iPhone in Germany or France and travel back to India. If you come from outside the EU with your brand new iPhone, then you must indicate this to customs. Use the Customs Travel app to see what you can and cannot enter and what costs are involved.
- I do not have an American address, but I still want to purchase an iPhone in the US. Is that possible?
- Yes! There are various services, such as Parcel and Borderlinx, with which you can get a PO box in countries such as the US or Great Britain. There you can have the iPhone delivered, after which he is sent to our country for a fee. Many services also offer a so-called shopping assistant, so you do not need a US credit card to order the iPhone. Please note that you cannot avoid import costs with these services.
- Is it wise to buy an iPhone abroad?
- No less than if you were to purchase the device via the India Apple Store! Keep in mind that the saving is only a few bucks if you return the iPhone to the customs when you return home in India and pay VAT. If you do not do that, then you save that money, but you risk a hefty fine. We advise business buyers to always purchase a new iPhone in India.
- Cannot I just throw away the packaging and purchase order to avoid customs costs?
- That is possible, although the customs are not unfamiliar with this kind of tricks. If you cannot prove that you have purchased the iPhone before your trip, then you still have to pay. You can also count on a fine, depending on the value of your ‘contraband’. There is a chance that your iPhone will be confiscated, although a settlement is more common. Logically you are then a lot more expensive than if you had indicated the purchase at customs.
- What exactly is the warranty?
- That depends on where you purchased the iPhone. On every new iPhone, you get 1 year Apple warranty anyway, which can be expanded with AppleCare if desired. If you have purchased the device in the EU, you are entitled to a 2-year legal guarantee. That does not apply if the iPhone comes from the US or an Asian country.
- My foreign iPhone is showing defects, what now?
- In principle, you can use the device to go to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. If the iPhone in question has not yet been released in India, you can go to the store where you bought it. First, check what exactly falls under the iPhone warranty. Fall or water damage does not fall under the standard warranty, but you can insure yourself for that.
Share your experiences!
iPhone has imported iPhones, iPads and other Apple products from abroad several times in recent years. Have you ever bought a new iPhone abroad, and then we are very curious about your experiences.