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How Might Trump’s Stiff Tariffs Impact the Cost of Your iPhone?
Pres. Trump is expected to formally sign off on stiff and sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports today.
Jason Dedrick is a professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, who researches the globalization of information technology. Dedrick doesn’t predict tariff increases would have a significant impact on iPhone costs but says the retaliation consequences could be a bigger concern.
“The enclosure for an iPhone is a pretty expensive part, actually. We had it at $22 on the iPhone 7, but according to some reports, it’s $51 on iPhone 8 and $61 on iPhone X. Some of the enclosures are aluminum and others are stainless steel. In any case, I think the raw material cost is a very small part of the enclosure cost.
“Raw materials are bought by Apple outside the U.S. and imported from China as parts in the iPhone. I don’t predict the tariff would have any impact, any more than it would have on the cost of an imported car.
“If I were Apple, I might be more concerned that the Chinese government will retaliate against U.S. companies doing business in China. Apple’s position there is precarious enough, as China generally favors its own tech companies, and this might not help.”
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