Both Xiaomi and POCO have revealed plans to raise the prices of their smartphone products in India due to the increase in Goods and Service Tax on mobile phones. The rate has gone from 12% to 18% and Xiaomi and POCO will soon be updating their smartphone prices accordingly. POCO has also blamed the value of the rupee and supply problems for the price hike.
Unfortunately for smartphone customers in India, this is not an April Fools’ Day prank. Both Xiaomi India and POCO have released statements to advise fans of their brands that product price increases will be taking place today, mostly down to the increase in the GST in India, which has been raised from 12% to 18%. Other brands are expected to follow suit, including Samsung, while Oppo and Apple have already been updating their lineups with more expensive price tags.
The POCO statement offered some idea of what the upcoming price differences will be. In regard to the POCO X2 smartphone, the new prices will be ₹16,999 (~US$224), ₹17,999 (~US$237), and ₹20,999 (~US$277) for the 6 GB + 64 GB, 6 GB + 128 GB, and 8 GB + 256 GB models, respectively. This is a price increase of ₹1,000 (~US$13) per variant from the previous figures. Xiaomi has yet to specify the percentage increase but has defended the rise with mention that it pursues a “less than 5% profit margin”.
Unsurprisingly, the statements from Xiaomi and POCO have been met with a mix of general displeasure and the forlorn hope that it is an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke (it is not). The GST increase for mobile phones from 12% to 18% was announced in the 39th GST Council. The rupee’s falling value against the US dollar and apparent “supply chain issues” have also contributed to Xiaomi and POCO making this unwelcome decision.
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Daniel R Deakin, 2020-04- 1 (Update: 2020-04- 1)