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How much cheaper is an official iPhone5 or iPad Mini in Asia?

Let's examine the different prices for official Apple products across South East Asia, relative to the US, Europe and UK.

Why Apple? As well as its products being very much in demand, Apple uses virtually identical pricing in its official online store (now available for many Asian countries) and Apple shops.

Using a method previously explained by AffordAsia.com reader ‘KL Mike’, this enables price differences in South East Asia (and elsewhere) to be compared - by looking up the Apple online store prices for each country, then converting them from the local currency to USD, EUR and GBP.

As the table below shows, even with the present pathetically weak exchange rates for the US Dollar and UK Pound, relative to Asian currencies, savings can still usually be made compared to purchasing the same items from Apple shops in America or Britain. Once the US dollar and Pound regain strength the savings will be much greater.

Malaysia emerged as the cheapest destination to buy a new iPhone5 or iPad Mini for those from the Eurozone and UK, although the weak US Dollar meant even Malaysian prices couldn’t beat the American home price for the iPhone5.

On the other hand, the better strength of the Euro (XE.com was used to convert each currency into USD, EUR and GBP on March 9, 2013) means those visiting Asia from Eurozone counties can enjoy big savings, over 130 Euros for an unlocked iPhone5 on the day the comparison was made! Most phones in Asia are unlocked as standard.

The Malaysian version of Apple's online store, where prices for other Apple products for sale in Malaysia can be found, is here: http://store.apple.com/my . Use the 'select a country' option at the bottom right of the Apple website to change the store location to another country.

Note: Phone signal specifications may vary depending on the telephone frequencies used within each country - so check where else in the world the phone will work. If in doubt buy products that are WiFi only (some iPads, all iPods, Macs). However always be aware that the warranty will normally only be honored in the country of purchase.

iPhone5 (16GB, unlocked)


Local Currency 
 USD  EUR  GBP
 'Home' price:
-
 $649   E679*  £529
 Thailand:  22,900 Baht  $770 E592
 £516
 Malaysia:  2,199 RM  $708  E545 (-E134)  £474 (-£55)
 Singapore:  948 S$  $760 E584 £509
 Hong Kong:  5,588 HK$  $720 E554
 £482
 Philippines:  NA  NA NA
 NA
 Indonesia:  NA  NA NA  NA
 Vietnam:  NA  NA NA  NA

iPad Mini (16GB)


Local Currency 
 USD  EUR  GBP
 'Home' price:
-
 $329   E339*  £269
 Thailand:  11,200 Baht  $377 E290 £252
 Malaysia:  999 RM $322 (-$7)  E247 (-E92)  £216 (-£53)
 Singapore:  448 S$  $359 E276 £241
 Hong Kong:  2,588 HK$ $334 E257  £223
 Philippines:  15,990 P  $393 E302  £263
 Indonesia:  NA  NA  NA  NA
 Vietnam: 7,699,000 d $368  E283  £247

* France chosen for typical Euro price.