The iPhone X had a price tag of $999 on launch day in November 2017 making it the most expensive version of the device ever manufactured. Most of the time it was even more expensive outside the U.S. due to sales and import taxes. Even though many feared the phone could flop due to that high price tag, Apple reported better than expected results for its second fiscal quarter in early May. The company is still firmly on course to surpass the trillion-dollar mark in market capitalization.
Even though the phone is proving a financial success for Apple, it is still prohibitively expensive for people on an average wage across much of the globe. Swiss Bank UBS conducted an analysis of the device’s price for someone on an average wage in 15 different professions in major cities. It found that in Zurich for example, which is incredibly affluent, somebody would have to work almost 5 days straight to get their hands on the iPhone X. For an average New Yorker, 6.7 days would be required.
If that sounds like a lot, spare a thought for people in Africa dreaming of buying Apple’s flagship smartphone. Lagos, Nigeria, is one of the world’s fastest growing cities and the most populous conurbation on the African continent. Wages are still extremely low there and somebody hoping to buy an iPhone X on an average wage would have to work for 133 days. The Kenyan capital of Nairobi is a little bit better off with an average earning needing 72 days of work to purchase the handset.
To calculate this, two things were analysed: the price of an iPhone* in a given city and an average salary in that city across 15 professions (for the full list click here). This is then combined with the numbers to derive the number of days you’d have to work in each city to purchase the latest version of the iPhone X.
*While the iPhone is just one of the many globally available options, we used it as a representative product in our study to compare the cost of living worldwide.
*The previous version of this story incorrectly indicated that residents of Lagos would need to work 133.3 days to afford an iPhone. In the corrected version, this number refers to the residents of Cairo.