April 14, 2011, 3:44 PM — Buyers of Apple products in Brazil pay more than Apple consumers in most other countries because of Brazil's high tariffs.
Which has been frustrating not only to Apple, but to other tech companies that want to do business in Brazil, which has the world's eight-largest economy. However, the import tariffs hurt sales by adding to the price of their products, making it harder for some Brazilians to afford them.
For example, an imported iPad that retails for $400 in the U.S. would cost $860, or more than twice as much, in Brazil, according to Reuters.
Now Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that makes Apple products, intends to open a factory in Brazil, according to the Brazilian government. Thus, any iPads, iPhones or other Apple products manufactured there would escape the import tariffs, vastly lowering prices for that South American nation's consumers.
While Foxconn wouldn't comment about what it will manufacture at the rumored facility, IDG reports that the company's "planned plant will make digital displays, the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology said."
Foxconn intends to invest $12 billion in Brazil operations over the five years, according to Brazilian officials. A Foxconn spokesman said a new plant would not replace an existing one.
It's not a done deal yet -- Foxconn needs approval from its board of directors -- but since there's no apparent downside for Foxconn or the Brazilian government, it's going to happen.
Don't be surprised if other electronics manufacturers follow suit. Getting around that big tariff opens up a pretty big market.