September 28 will be the official launch date for the iPhone 8 in Israel. Despite the cool reception and interesting competition from the new Galaxy models, iPhone fans and Apple Inc. are waiting with bated breath for the new smartphones, and the retail chains are one by one unveiling their prices.
Prices for the iPhone 8 model with a 64-gigabyte memory will start at NIS 3,300 (the cheapest prices are NIS 3,280 at Machsanei Hashmal and NIS 3,290 for those ordering on the HOT Mobile Ltd. website). Prices for the iPhone 8 model with a 256-gigabyte memory will begin at NIS 3,940 at Machsanei Hashmal, and Hot Mobile is offering the same price to those buying from its website.
Prices for the iPhone 8 plus model with a 64-gigabyte memory will start at NIS 3,680 (Machsanei Hashmal), and prices for the iPhone 8 plus model with a 256-gigabyte memory will start at NIS 4,390 (Machsanei Hashmal and Hot Mobile), rising to NIS 4,650 at iDigital and iStore, Apple Israel's marketers.
The iPhone 8 plus are being priced at $800 and $950 in the US, depending on the memory capacity. The more intriguing iPhone X models will reach Israel towards December (the global launch is scheduled for November), and the prices will be $1,000 for a model with a 64-gigabyte memory and $1,150 for a model with a 256 gigabyte memory. The prices are valid for early orders through the Apple website involving a deal with a local operator (meaning that the device cannot be used outside the US).
Competition making its mark
Each retail chain has been waiting to see what prices the others will publish, and the prices have been changed accordingly in some cases. Machsanei Hashmal published higher prices earlier today, then reduced them to make them cheaper than its competitors (consistently NIS 10 less than Hot Mobile's prices published earlier today).
Furthermore, all the retail chains are offering some sort of sweetener for those buying the devices: a trade-in for used devices at iDigital or Hot Mobile, for example (we recommend a careful reading of the small print and the terms of the deal), and gifts such as a smart watch at Machsanei Hashmal and Bluetooth earphones at the Bug chain.
As part of the tax reform that started in April, purchase tax on cellular devices in Israel was canceled. This measure substantially reduced the gaps between smartphone prices in Israel and overseas. The iStore chain emphasizes that Apple raised the prices of its new models by $50 worldwide (in comparison with last year's launch of the iPhone 7 model), and said that the prices in Israel were the same or even cheaper than those in Europe. Prices in Eilat, where there is no VAT, have made electrical appliance stores there a magnet for consumers visiting the town and seeking to buy a smartphone without paying VAT.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on September 26, 2017
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