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Would you take to the skies for a cheaper iPhone X?

Bailey Bennett
September 14, 2017

On September 12, Apple unveiled their most expensive iPhone model ever, a 10th anniversary edition called the iPhone X, which will retail at $999 for 64GB of storage and a whopping $1,149 for 256GB of storage. These costs, however, seem relatively reasonable when compared to prices across the pond.

For people in the United Kingdom, the 256 GB iPhone X will run you £1,149, or about $1,533 with the exchange rate. The price is even higher in other areas of Europe. Those sky high prices are already prompting iPhone lovers to consider taking to the skies for a better deal — in the form of a transatlantic flight.

But could booking a flight across the pond to purchase an iPhone in the United States actually save U.K. natives any money?

According to The Guardian, the answer is yes.

One Twitter user did the math, and showed that the combined price of a WOW Air flight from Europe to New York City, two nights in an inexpensive Airbnb, and the cost of a U.S. iPhone X could still cost you less than an iPhone X in Europe. (Factor in U.S. sales tax and the argument starts to fall apart slightly.)

Still, should every tech-loving Londoner start packing their bags for a weekend in New York City? Not quite.

As The Guardian explains, purchasing the phone in the U.S. and bringing it back onto say, British soil, would actually be considered illegal. According to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), travelers are allotted a personal allowance of £390 per trip (about $522) — much less than the cost of an iPhone.

Anything above that allowance must be declared and properly taxed the 20 percent import tax, virtually negating any savings the trip would have resulted in. While one could feasibly smuggle the phone into the country without being detained at customs, the act would most certainly be illegal.

Our advice for residents of the United Kingdom? Take advantage of those cheap WOW Air flights for an unforgettable weekend in the Big Apple, but skip the overcrowded Apple store until you’re back on U.K. soil. 

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