In our part of the world where mobile phones are never available at carrier-subsidized rates, getting hold of premium devices is a privilege reserved only for the privileged, pun intended. The iPhone 5S isn’t official in Nigeria (like it ever will be), so it’s no surprise that a 16GB iPhone 5S will set you back N215k on Konga  (compare N165,995 over at Jumia) – shipping and customs have to be factored in, among other things.

Regardless of these relatively high prices, we Nigerians still love our premium devices. But we would never pass on a chance to get them at premium bargains.

That brings me to the question –

Here’s 4 ways you could probably get an iPhone 5S for less than N150k

1. The Apple US way

The US Apple store displays the 16 GB iPhone 5s – unlocked and off contract – at $649. That’s about N103k. You could either:

A. Have someone send it; some friend of a friend, of another friend who’s coming to Nigeria could bring it over for you from the US;

B. If you can’t wait that long,  you could pay to have it freighted in. There’s traditional courier services like DHL. Or you could go with the likes of, and DHL, for example would charge you somewhere around a $140. I imagine that’s about how expensive it can get.

Total cost A: ~ N103k.

Total cost B: ~ N126k.

2. The Verizon US way

I heard through the tech grapevine that  contract iPhones from Verizon US actually ship unlocked. What’s even more interesting is Verizon’s Share Everything plan, where users can share the same plan across 10 devices.

Down payment for an iPhone 5S on 2-year contract is $199 . A friend who’s already on a Verizon US contract could let you piggyback on his Share Everything plan, possibly at a small agreeable fee. They have nothing to lose as they get to use the same plan on their device.

Total cost: from ~ N32k to definitely-way-less-than N150k (depending on level of familiarity)

3. The Apple UK way

The iPhone 5s is available on the Apple UK store, unlocked and contract free, at £549 (inclusive of 20% VAT). Traffic from the UK to Nigeria is very frequent so you can always be sure there’s someone coming over almost every other week. Remember to have that person make VAT claims on your behalf at the airport. That beats down the cost from £549 to £458. That’s somewhere around N118k.

Total cost: ~ N118k

4. The “London used” way

For the very patient ones, waiting till some random impulse-buying Londoner has had enough of their iPhone is not much of a torment. Just remember that the iPhone does not depreciate fast so your wait might be longer than you expect.

Do you know any other ways that I might have left out? Feel free to add in the comments.

*UPDATE, [13:44pm]: The iPhone 5S is now N164,990 at Konga. Thanks to Ifeanyi for pointing that out. We expect that the listed prices on local e-commerce sites will continue to inch downward for a while yet.*

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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