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£702 Apple iPhone 5S goes on sale in Brazil

Apple’s iPhone 5S is on sale in Brazil for the first time with an eye-watering price tag of 2,799 reais [£702] that makes it the highest priced country in which to buy an Apple smartphone to date.

Related: Apple iPhone 5S review

Bloomberg reports Apple’s first Latin American store that opened in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend has started selling the Apple 5S 16GB model contract fee for the over exorbitant sum and it becomes the 15th country where Apple has opened a store.

The same story also reports that authorised Apple resellers in Brazil have increased the price by some 17 per cent since September.

In comparison, Apple sells the same model in the UK for £549 SIM free, in China it costs 5,288 yuan [£521], and in the US the same device sells for just $649 [£388].

Apple’s move into Latin America is reportedly due to saturation in the US and a willingness to expand into a market that is fast becoming one of the world’s fastest growing, according to Neil Mawston, director of global wireless practice for Strategy Analytics.

“The hype and shine around the Apple brand is not quite as strong as it was two or three years ago, so I wouldn’t expect as strong a buzz. But it still should be quite an exciting launch for Apple, the country and the region as a whole,” Mawston told Bloomberg.

Related: The best Apple iPhone 5S alternatives

Brazil currently ranks as one of the top 10 smartphone markets worldwide and had around 50 million users at the end of 2013, which represents around three per cent of the worldwide user base. The country is also the venue for this summer’s 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, which take place in Rio de Janeiro.