Apple responds to competitive pressure with rare discounts on iPhones in China



In response to growing competitive challenges in the world’s largest smartphone market, Apple has initiated rare discounts on its iPhones in China, slashing retail prices by up to 500 yuan ($70). 

The U.S. tech giant implemented a 5% price reduction on select iPhone models, as indicated on its Chinese website on Monday. 

This time-limited promotion, labeled as a Lunar New Year event, is set to run from January 18 through January 21, leading up to the mid-February holiday.

The move comes as Apple faces intensified competition in China, with its latest iPhone 15 series experiencing lower sales compared to previous models.

Homegrown rivals like Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi have been offering competitive alternatives.

Additionally, reports suggest that certain companies and government departments in China have been limiting employees’ use of Apple devices, echoing U.S. government restrictions on Chinese apps for security reasons.

According to Jefferies analysts, Chinese iPhone sales witnessed a 30% decline in the first week of 2024 compared to the same period the previous year. 

They also noted a 3% decline in sales for all of 2023. 

Analysts anticipate a more challenging competitive landscape for Apple in China throughout the year.

The decision to reduce iPhone prices is a departure from Apple’s trend of not cutting prices for its latest models in recent years. 

This move follows the surprise announcement at the September launch of the iPhone 15 series, where Apple chose not to raise prices. 

Online shopping platforms, including Pinduoduo, have also been independently lowering prices on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro by as much as 16% since the beginning of the year.

Nicole Peng, Senior Vice President of market research firm Canalys, commented on the situation, stating that the discounts were not unexpected as Apple faces the challenge of boosting global sales, particularly in China. 

She noted, “It is clear that Huawei is making a comeback. Some Chinese consumers may return to using Huawei as driven by patriotism.”

Canalys anticipates that Apple’s sales will remain flat worldwide this year, with a slight decline expected in China. Apple has yet to comment on the situation.

Stay tuned for further updates on Apple’s market strategy and performance in China.

Source: Reuters


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