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How much the iPhone SE will be priced in Zimbabwe, and why most won’t buy it here

Being a fan of the iPhone but never having owned one (because I don’t want to pay more than $500 for a phone), the announcement of the new iPhone SE some weeks ago, made for quite interesting news. Second only to Oculus‘s shipping announcement. I might finally own consider owning one. It’s been described as a phone that feels so fast it’s  “a little pocket rocket”.

This means I have to re-look at the options of acquiring one in Zimbabwe. Except for when I’ve bought GTels from their local office here, I generally avoid buying smartphones locally, especially from the authorised resellers like Econet, Telecel and them.

I want to support local business but it’s the prices that don’t make sense. Where in the US, you’d pay $649 for a 16GB iPhone 6s, the price in Zimbabwe is north of $1,000. Almost double. It’s not that they retailers are greedy – it’s taxes and I’m distribution channel overhead. Between a reseller in Harare and Apple in the US are many middle men & governments taking their pound of flesh.

So my plan so far has been to pay for it online on a US retailer’s website, have it delivered to an address there in the US, then wait for someone travelling back to bring it along. Ofcourse there are risk doing this (once I got a faulty device) but by and large benefits are beating costs. Back here at home I just make sure I insure the device, which is, at most, an annual premium of 10% of the phone’s value a year.

Here’s a quick comparison of US prices (plus Zim duty and VAT ) vs Zim reseller prices for the iPhone 6s.
In the second row are the likely prices of the SE once it’s available in Zimbabwe, based on the 6s percentages.

 Apple in the USEconet (iPhone 6, 6s not available)*Solution Centre ZimbabweiClik ZimbabweTelecel (iPhone 6, 6s not available)*Via Online + 25% duty & 15% VAT
iPhone 6s (16GB)$649$1,149$1,099$1,095$945$909
iPhone SE (16GB)$399$835$676$673$686$559

*note that the price of the iPhone 6 in the US is $549, even cheaper in some cases on Amazon.

Ofcourse I have the option of buying from the classifieds guys, but that has its own headaches – most stressing of all, if they are reselling a second hand phone that was stolen and you have to spend the weekend in jail for being in possession of stolen property.

The iPhone SE is not yet available locally but make no mistake, it’ll be priced just as high.  Again, just to be clear, it’s not because the authorised resellers are greedy but that’s just how the distribution is structured. Their margin is likely quite thin because of the stiff competition from the grey imports.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

17 thoughts on “How much the iPhone SE will be priced in Zimbabwe, and why most won’t buy it here

  1. i’d rather take a bus to South Africa and buy one at an Apple store than buy local. Zimbos tend to be greedy people, everything is 100% profit. Pisses me off nxaa

    1. There are no Apple stores in South Africa, only ‘iStores’ – they happen to be middlemen too!

  2. to be frank, i’d be a little careful of solution centre. things like iphones, ipods etc from them cannot be serviced under warranty within their office. they have to be sent down south (and they did have a notice about this in their office).

    in my case, an ipod touch was just out of warranty and had an issue with the power switch.. it was bought from solution centre, however i was just told nicely to goon off. unless its still in warranty they won’t really help much

  3. Our gvt is surving on tax money so there is no way anything is going to be cheap in Zim, add the Zim dollar mentality plus corruption and we have a country which will take four generations of hard working to recover.

    1. iPhone for life and this iPhone SE is a real plum to me just fitting into my palms and performing the same as an iPhone 6s

  4. I know personally the so called credible suppliers of mobile phones in Zimbabwe are totally too expensive. I got a 64G 6s from the smaller local dealers in Bulawayo for 600 bucks. If you really want a recent phone don’t bother looking for it from the credible guys.

    1. I have a friend who spent a weekend in jail for buying a new sealed brand new phone from a shop in town. Turns out it had been stolen from an operator. I now always recommend to avoid classifieds type sellers.

      1. Not everyone is a conman we have the GALAXY S7 of which no local operator has it, we source our products from our suppliers outside Zimbabwe

        1. Sorry if it came off as me saying you’re a conman. I have no reason to believe you are.

          My point was actually that there’s a risk buying from people and small shops in town. I think the problem is actually with the police, who treat the buyer and the shop both as criminals and lock them up ( usually to pressurise until you bribe) while they investigate.
          Some are ok with the risk of that hassle. I’m not.

  5. Return SA ticket=+/-$120
    iPhone 6s istore=+/-$1000(R15 500)
    When I wanted a new laptop and TV, I jus got on a bus

  6. Hi, We are looking at Investment Partner with capability of investing US$200,000- US$250,000 to start a Smartphone & Tablet distribution network in Zimbabwe. Our devices will cater for buyers that are keen on high end smartphone functionality, but need a more affordable alternative to highly priced brands. Only genuine parties with available finances capability may respond on –
    Thanks – Nash

  7. Guys let’s not blame the taxes for such abnormal prices, it’s the greediness that has crept into the system.
    Anyone looking for a brand new sealed iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 I can supply at less than half the said econet prices
    Wtsp Eli +27621477472

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