Apple announced the iPhone 5C yesterday, and while rumors suggested that it would be available for $350 to $400, the device will in actuality cost the equivalent $728 in China and India.

iPhone 5C Apples iPhone 5C costs over $700 in China and India

The iPhone 5C won’t be the budget iPhone we’re waiting for, if the prices are any indication. Off-contract, the device costs $549 for the 16 GB model and $649 for the 32 GB variant. Apple China lists the device for $728 (4488 yuan), which is just $130 less than what the 16 GB iPhone 5 is available for. And that is before carrier subsidies enter the equation. In contrast, devices like Red Rice from Xiaomi cost just $130. Xiaomi overtook Apple last quarter to become the sixth-largest smartphone vendor in the country.

The pricing scenario is the same in countries like India, where the device will cost close to $700. Although Apple saw a huge growth in the number of device sales once it initiated easy financing schemes earlier this year, the iPhone 5C would not be affordable to the common man.

Financial analysts are also baffled by the pricing of the device. “This price point is approximately $100 above our expectation,” said Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald.

Another analyst, Markellos Diorinos of Upstream, said, “According to recent research we conducted, a third of emerging market consumers would pay only $100 or less for a smartphone. Only 15 percent of the 3,500 consumers we polled in emerging markets would pay more than $450 for their mobile device – putting Apple’s hefty price tag way off the mark.”

SourceApple (China)