Getting an iPhone 14 from the US? 4 things to keep in mind – The Indian Express

The iPhone 14 series is out with a new iPhone 14 Plus option this time, instead of the mini. With the Pro models getting major design and hardware updates and new features and improvements across the series, the iPhone 14 models are roughly the same price as last year’s iPhone 13 series during launch, but only in the US.
In India, the iPhone 14 series starts at Rs 79,900 for the non-Pro models and Rs 1,29,900 for the Pro models. Comparatively, Apple announced a much lower starting price of $799 (about Rs 63,590) for the non-Pro models and $999 (about Rs 79,507) for the Pro models. That’s a pretty big difference in price, but does it justify getting an iPhone 14 from the US via a friend or relative? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind before you do that.
Let’s start with the most important aspect, the pricing. While the iPhone 14 series kicks off at $799 in the US, these are models locked to a specific US-based carrier like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. To be able to use an iPhone outside the United States with an Indian cellular service like Airtel or Jio, you will need what’s called an ‘unlocked’ iPhone.
Apple charges a $30 premium for an unlocked iPhone 14, meaning the non-Pro variants start at $829 and not $799 (about Rs 65,978 instead of Rs 63,590), while the Pro models will start at $1,029 and not $999 (about Rs 81,895 instead of Rs 79,507). There’s sales tax as well which is added to the purchase. This differs by state to state, though some US states have 8 to 10 per cent sales tax, which will push up the price further. The price is still lesser than what you’d spend in India, but you should still keep the small bump in mind.
The iPhone 14-series has made a complete switch to e-SIMs or electronic SIMs, which means any iPhone 14 model purchased from the US will not have a physical SIM slot where you can push in your own SIM card, irrespective of size. To use an iPhone 14 series device from the US or any other e-SIM phone in India, users will first need to switch their number from a physical SIM to an e-SIM by getting in touch with the respective telecom’s customer care. Major Indian telcos like Jio, Airtel and Vi do support e-SIMs, but this will be an extra process.
Switching to e-SIMs is actually convenient in the longer run. If you travel a lot, getting an e-SIM in another country may be quicker than visiting a store and getting a physical SIM card. You can also store multiple e-SIM profiles and switch on-the-go if you’re a really frequent traveler.
If you think about it, one less opening in the frame of your smartphone is also one less opening for dust or water to penetrate the phone from. But do keep in mind that if you switch back to a phone with no e-SIM connectivity, you will have to go through the process of getting a physical SIM card again.
One of the key features of the iPhone 14 series is satellite connectivity, which Apple advertised during its launch keynote, showing how users with an iPhone 14 series phone could send out emergency messages with the help of satellite connectivity even in the absence of any cellular coverage. The feature is only available in the US and Canada. The feature is restricted via software, so even if you get an iPhone 14 from the US, you will not be able to use satellite connectivity in India, just like an iPhone 14 purchased locally.
Apple’s iPhones are sold with global warranty, so unlike some other restrictions, this will not be an issue. You can claim the warranty on an iPhone 14-series device purchased in the US in India as well. However, it’s best to keep all proper documentation safely with you along with the device for this process to be smooth. If you wanted extended warranty, you will likely have to buy the AppleCare+ separately in India.
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