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Three years to afford an iPhone? New global data reveals how long it could take you
Fri, 4th Feb 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The affordability of the latest iPhone model has been put to the test in a new global study, and New Zealanders may have to start saving their pennies.

iPhone Price Index by was created as part of a more extensive study that examined the costs of popular electronics in addition to their availability around the world.

To encourage accurate reporting, prices and salary levels were expressed in local currencies and converted into EUR. The researchers then used this data to calculate how many minimum wage working hours it would take in each country in order to afford an iPhone from a brick-and-mortar store.

Out of the 50 countries examined in the study, ​​workers earning the minimum wage in New Zealand are 24th in line to be able to afford an iPhone 13, working on average 104 hours to match the cost. This puts us roughly in the middle of the data, behind the likes of Australia, the UK and Ireland.

Astoundingly, workers in Venezuela who earn the minimum wage would have to work a total of 7062 hours which is the equivalent of working full time for more than three years. Workers in India would also have to work for a while to afford the new phone, with the country coming second place at 3667 hours.

Other Asian countries required more work as well despite being the location where the phones are manufactured. Workers in China, Thailand and Vietnam must work 680 hours, 760 hours and 917 hours to afford an earlier iPhone 12 respectively.

Danish citizens were found to be able to work the fewest hours at minimum wage to afford the latest iPhone, clocking in 63 hours at minimum wage. Norway came in a close second with 64 hours required, a little over a week.

“It is now hard to imagine life without smartphones given our reliance on them in almost every aspect of our lives,” says Grover's international and Growth VP Giacomo Dalle Vedove.

“With the growing extent to which we interact with each other through digital platforms, the affordability of smartphones has never been a more relevant topic than now.

Vedove says the results from the survey signal a change in the way the current supply chain structures and economic forums are operating and that pandemic constraints may also increase price boundaries.

“It is interesting to note the drastic difference in affordability between different countries, with an overall price difference of 70% between the most and least expensive xxx [iPhone 12 or whatever it is],” he says.

“Even though this study is intended to draw attention to the present time, supply chain challenges and economic inflation are relevant now as they will be in years to come.