Brazil’s ‘Most Expensive iPhone’ Becomes The Subject Of Mockery

Anderson Antunes – Forbes, 11/24/2014

Home to the world’s most expensive iPhone, Brazil has long been considered one of the priciest countries. The high taxes paid by Brazilians (about 36% of the country’s GDP, considerably more than the 21% average for upper-middle-income countries and really a joke if the woeful public services provided to Brazilians are taken into account), Draconian import duties (Brazil applies a 60% flat import tax on most manufactured retail goods), harsh labor laws that make it hard to use workers efficiently and currency exchange fluctuations are some of the reasons behind the so-called “custo Brasil” — or simply the “Brazil cost.”

Just to keep things fresh, both Ikea and H&M, two of the biggest names in retailing, have recently given up on plans to open stores in Brazil due to the country’s import tax.

Last year Brazil topped a list compiled by Bloomberg of the most expensive countries to buy an iPhone. Keeping in mind that the list was released months before the launch of the new iPhone 6, the South American nation led the pack of “iPriciest countries” thanks to its tag price of $1,196 for an iPhone 5S. The same model could be bought at the time in the United States for $815.

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Why apple’s first retail store in Brazil is actually a really big deal

Roberto A. Ferdman – Quartz, 10/29/2013

Apple is about to take its much-awaited leap into Latin America.

According to Apple news site 9to5Mac, Apple is aiming to launch its first retail store in Brazil by March 2014. The store, which has been under construction since last year, will be located in Rio de Janeiro.

The move into Brazil is a big deal. Smartphone sales, for one, have been booming in the region — sales jumped by 53% in the first quarter of 2013 alone, and grew more than in any other region in the second quarter — and Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, has a lot to do with it. Customers in the country are so enamored with iPhones that many are willing to pay upward of $1,000 for Apple’s new 5c, which retails for about $550 in the U.S. Furthermore, Latin America is quickly becoming a digital-age goldmine. Internet penetration currently hovers around 45% in the region, and more than 250 million people are now connected to the Internet. Very soon, Latin America will have more Internet users than the U.S. and Canada. Sales of laptops and tablets in particular are set to skyrocket as more and more people move away from desktop computers in the region.

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Apple fights for the right to call iPhone an iPhone in Brazil

Nigam Arora – Forbes, 02/15/2013

It is true that you can buy an iPhone running Android and not iOS.  The phone comes unlocked and can be bought for about $300.  The phone features a 700MHz processor, a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 0.3 megapixel front camera, dual SIM support, and a 3.7 inch display.

Of course, Apple is having a fit over an iPhone running Android.  This particular iPhone is not manufactured by Apple but by a company by the name of IGB Eletronica domiciled in Brazil.  IGB was formed after the restructuring of a Brazilian electronics firm Gradiente Eletronica.  Gradiente had applied for exclusive rights to the name iPhone in Brazil in 2000.  Gradiente claims that it had foreseen the revolution of smartphones in 2000 long before Steve Jobs ever dreamed of iPhone.

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Apple challenges loss of iPhone trademark in Brazil

Reuters – 02/14/2013

Apple Inc, which lost the rights to its iPhone trademark in Brazil on Wednesday, is challenging the ruling by Brazil’s copyright regulator to prevent local firm Gradiente Eletronica SA from using the “iphone” brand name.

The regulator, Inpi, ruled on Wednesday that the rights to the trademark belong to Gradiente, prompting California-based Apple to request that the decision be reviewed in Latin America’s largest market.

Consumer electronics maker Gradiente had filed its request to use the “iphone” brand in 2000, seven years before Apple launched its smartphone, but received approval to use the trademark only in 2008.

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Apple loses Brazilian iPhone trademark ruling

BBC, 02/13/2013

Brazilian regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the “iPhone” trademark in the country.

The decision is the result of a local company, Gradiente Eletronica, registering the name in 2000, seven years before the US firm.

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment.

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Would Apple be hurt by a strike at Foxconn Brazil?

Lance Whitney – CNET, 04/26/2012

Around 2,500 workers at Foxconn’s plant in Jundiai in Sao Paulo, Brazil, could choose to strike on May 3 if management refuses to meet their demands.

Employees have been complaining of severe shortages in food and water and overcrowding on the buses used for transportation, according to the Journal de Jundia (English translation).

A director of the local union told the Journal that food has had to be sent in but that the quality is poor, and the lines to wait for a meal are long. Travel to work is also a problem for many.

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Apple’s iTunes inches closer to Brazil deal

Tom Murphy – Dow Jones Newswires, 11/30/2011

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is close to a deal with a Brazilian trade association that would bring iTunes to the Brazilian market, Brazil’s O Globo news organization reported Wednesday.

O Globo cited Brazilian Music Publishers Association President Michaela Couto as saying, “If all goes well, iTunes will be available in Brazil as early as December. At this point, it depends more on Apple than on us.”

The report said Apple has shied away from Latin America’s biggest country because of technical difficulties in collecting royalties.

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