ISTANBUL: Turks trying to buy iPhones and other electronics received error messages online Wednesday, including from local Apple Inc website, after a historic 15% drop in the read the day before which has wreaked havoc on prices.
The currency slipped to its all-time low on Wednesday, prompted by concerns about the wider fallout for the economy after President Tayyip Erdogan defended recent sharp rate cuts despite widespread criticism and calls for a reversal.
The pound has lost 43% of its value this year and more than 22% since the start of last week alone.
In turn, products valued in the local currency have enjoyed a strong effective discount to prices elsewhere, with retailers struggling to keep up with price adjustments amid the market turmoil.
A Turkish Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Apple’s Turkish website halted sales of most products, posting a “Currently not available” message, a Reuters request showed. Local prices for phones and computers were about 10% lower than US prices following the sudden depreciation of the lira.
A sales representative from an Apple Store in Istanbul said people see electronics as an investment as much as items to be used.
“It’s pretty surreal with the economy and everything, but people see it as a store of value and flock to the stores. They know they can sell it a year later for more than they paid for. the person said, requesting anonymity.
Customers were flocking to high-end import brands, mostly electronics and cosmetics, an official at a Turkish e-commerce company said.
The collapse of the pound coincides with Black Friday sales and the start of New Year’s discounts, fueling fears that some consumer goods may not be available or face sharp price increases.
“Most markets ask their big sellers to keep prices stable and refrain from rising, at least during discount week. As sellers and the market need each other, sellers oblige,” an Istanbul-based e-commerce official told Reuters. .
Caner, an Istanbul graphic designer in the electric scooter market, said: “This is the worst time to spend money, but there won’t be a better time. The prices may seem expensive now, but they are cheaper than they used to be. it will be next week. “