Retailers in China are discounting the iPhone for the second time in 2019.
According to Reuters, Chinese mobile vendors and e-commerce stores have been promoting discounts on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max amid growing pressure to shift stock and increase Apple’s dominance in the country, following weaker-than-expected 2018 sales.
Suning.Com Co Ltd, for example, is offering up to 1,000 yuan off of the price of the iPhone in China, equating to more than $148 off of the retail recommended price.
The retailer has also reduced the price of other iPhone models in the same period, offering $200/$300 off of select models, like the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Pinduoduo Inc, on the other hand, an e-commerce giant known for selling cut-price goods in the country, is selling the 64GB version of the iPhone XS for 6,999 yuan, more than 1,000 yuan less than the asking price in the country, whilst JD.com is also expected to announce major savings in the coming days, as is Alibaba, the country’s leading e-commerce platform.
Although these discounts may seem extreme from the outside, and that retailers are taking a hit to sell Apple stock, Apple has dropped iPhone prices in China as of January 2019, which means vendors can pass on savings to customers and list iPhones for less than their RRP.
This is a hugely tactical move by the Cupertino firm, as Apple continues to sell its products at full price online and in its Apple Stores, allowing the firm to retain its premium brand image whilst selling iPhone stock at a significantly reduced rate in order to compete.
According to reports, Apple has seen an increase in iPhone sales in China now the devices are cheaper, and the company has partnered with Ant Financial, owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, to allow consumers to purchase iPhones interest-free, and pay on a monthly basis.
Whether this partnership and the discounts will be enough remains to be seen.
Apple is still considered the 12th most reputable brand in China, although the company has struggled under the US-China trade deal, and had to fight off competition from a growing number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo.
Keep it AppleMagazine for all of the latest on Apple’s fight to reclaim its dominance in China.