The Union Budget 2013 has left a sour aftertaste for mobile buyers with the rise in prices. Mobile penetration in the country has been phenomenal and mobile phones have been enjoying an excise duty of one percent. The government has decided to impose a six percent hike in the excise duty, owing to which the prices of phones are set to rise. This additional amount will be imposed only on phones priced over Rs. 2,000, as revealed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Trying to add some relief, he said that 70 percent of imported mobile phones and 60 percent of home-brewed handsets are priced less than Rs. 2,000. 

As the excise duty increases from 1 percent to 6 percent, a phone priced at Rs. 10,000 is likely to sell for an additional Rs. 600. Look at the table below for the expected new prices.

excise duty

Possible prices after implemeting the new excise duty hike

This also means mobile phone companies are busy crafting new price tags for phones and the increase could be around 5 to 6 percent. As the Union Budget is usually implemented for next financial year, these new prices should be effective from April 1, 2013. This leaves you with just one month to buy your desirable smartphone before the prices are hiked. So, in case you plan to upgrade to a new smartphone, then we suggest you do it soon.

We tried getting in touch with our grey market sources to know about the price hike in the other side of the gadget market. According to our sources, the devices will continue to sell for the same price and market vendors haven’t been intimated about the possible new prices. If you plan to buy the current crème de la crème of the smartphone market, then the 16GB iPhone 5 is now available for Rs. 43,800, the Samsung Galaxy Note II at Rs. 35,750 and the Galaxy S III at Rs. 29,000. From HTC, you will get the HTC Butterfly for Rs. 47,000 and the HTC One X+ for Rs. 38,500. Nokia's Senior VP had recently announced a possible price slash of its Lumia range. However, post the Budget 2013, lets see if they implememt the price slash. Smartphones with exhorbitant prices will suffer the most from the hike in excise duty. The latest move will also put paid to all those who hoped for a reduction in smartphone prices post budget. There's only one month  to lay your hands on the nifty feature-loaded smartphone, before you are forced to shell out at least a thousand more.

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