Over the weekend Apple celebrated the opening of its first Apple Store in Brazil, but the company still faces several challenges in conquering the Latin American market, not the least of which are inflated prices that saw iPhones selling for nearly double their US pricing.
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First Apple Store in Latin America now open — hope you have $1200 for an iPhone


Over the weekend Apple celebrated the opening of its first Apple Store in Latin America. Tim Cook marked the occasion with a tweet that read, “‘Obrigado’ to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!” as the doors opened to the new location in Rio de Janeiro’s Village Mall.

It’s not without reason that Apple took so long to expand their retail operations to Brazil and Latin America as a whole. Steep import tariffs have resulted in already pricey gadgets like the iPhone 5s to sell at an even higher premium. On Saturday at Apple’s new location the unlocked 16GB iPhone 5s was priced at 2,799 reais, or about $1,174. The price is nearly double the $649 the same phone sells for in the United States.

To combat the high cost of imports, Apple has begun manufacturing some iPhone and iPad devices locally in Brazil. Despite growing popularity among Brazilian and Latin American consumers, Apple still has a long way to go in the relatively untapped market.

High prices weren’t enough to drive away eager shoppers wanting to get their hands on the latest Apple tech. The grand opening events drew more than 1,700 shoppers to the suburban Rio mall.

[via LA Times]

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