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Apple's wearables and HomePod to cost more from Sept 1

San Francisco

APPLE Inc's AirPods, Apple Watch and HomePod, which have helped the company offset waning sales of its best-selling iPhone this year, have not been included in a temporary reprieve on tariffs by the Trump administration - and will thus face a 10 per cent levy on Sept 1.

The administration said on Tuesday that some major items, such as laptops and cellphones, including Apple's MacBooks and iPhones, will not face tariffs until Dec 15. President Donald Trump said the change was to avoid an impact on US customers during the Christmas shopping season.

The tariff delay that affects some of Apple's biggest-selling products helped send its shares up more than 4 per cent in late trading.

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Mr Trump and his administration did not say why some electronics received a reprieve and others did not. Many products set to face tariffs on Sept 1 - smart watches, fitness trackers, smart speakers and Bluetooth headphones among them - had been spared once before. These include popular products from Apple rivals, such as Fitbit smart watches and smart speakers from Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

The Trump administration had proposed tariffs on those devices to take effect last September, but they were spared at the last moment after Apple, among other companies, told the government that the levies would "result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers".

Some accessories have been central to Apple's efforts to diversify revenue beyond its signature iPhone, which pushed the company's market cap past US$1 trillion in 2018 (though that slipped this year).

In Apple's latest reported fiscal quarter, the iPhone contributed less than half the company's revenues for the first time in seven years. Its decline was somewhat offset by a 50 per cent jump in sales of wearables such as the Apple Watch and AirPods, helping Apple beat Wall Street estimates. REUTERS