Leading iPhone resellers in China have placed huge discounts on the latest iPhone models this week. The price drop is expected after the Chinese market pretty much gave the newest iPhones a cold shoulder since its release.
Experts believe that weak sales in China stemmed from Apple's poor pricing and iPhone's lack of innovative features.
Up To 20 Percent Discount
Local Chinese retailers Suning and JD.com have posted price reductions on Apple's premium phones.
iPhone reseller Suning is giving out 128 GB iPhone XR at 5,799 yuan ($858), cutting down the price by 1,200 yuan ($178) from the original price of 6,999 yuan ($1,036). The 64 GB version is now marked down at 5,699 yuan ($845) as compared to Apple's original price of 6,499 yuan ($963).
JD.com, on the other hand, sells the iPhone 8 for 3,999 yuan ($591), slashing the original price by 20 percent.
All iPhones starting from 2017's iPhone 8 to the recently released iPhone XS Max are included in the price drop.
Just to be clear, Apple's Chinese website still shows the original pricing.
Poor Sales In China
Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a public letter released Jan. 2, pointed fingers at the Chinese economy and the ongoing debacle with the U.S. government as the reason for iPhone's lackluster performance in the world's largest smartphone market. However, experts believe that iPhone's popularity decline in China was caused by pricing problems in the region.
To explain things further, the 512 GB iPhone XS Max, currently the most expensive in the newest line of iPhones, was originally priced at 12,799 yuan ($1,900) in the Chinese market, a 26 percent jump from the U.S. price of $1,499. Even the iPhone XR in China, supposed to be the "budget version" among the recent iPhone models, is priced 28 percent higher than the U.S. counterpart.
Another contributing factor is the iPhone's lack of novel and appealing features. Huawei and other rivals now offer cheaper alternatives with features that can match an iPhone. CNBC pointed out that Chinese consumers have been "attracted to Huawei's newest features, the price points and the fact that it's a domestic brand."
A Rare Occurrence
Apple is not known to cut its iPhone prices mid-cycle. In fact, the last major price revision for an iPhone happened around 12 years ago, when its original model saw a $200 price drop after just months in the market.