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Low demand drives online iPhone prices in China down

January 14, 2019

Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone models are facing huge discounts in China as retailers try to sell the struggling devices.

On, China’s second largest online sales platform, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are priced as low as 3,999 yuan ($592) and 4,799 yuan ($710) from January 11, down 22% and 20% respectively compared to the prices seen on Apple’s official Chinese website.

On, another Chinese online e-commerce operator, the iPhone XR 128G model can be purchased at 5,799 yuan ($860), which is 1,200 yuan cheaper than the official price tag of 6,999 yuan after the discounts. The platform also allows consumers to trade their iPhone 7 Plus for an iPhone XR by paying 3,500 yuan.

Related: Apple to pull iPhones from stores in Germany after Qualcomm court win

Apple rarely lowers prices for its distributors and mobile carriers. Finding an iPhone at a discount is unusual, even in China.

It seems like Apple is partly motivated by the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday. Earlier this month it admitted that December quarter revenues will be billions below guidance primarily because of Chinese iPhone sales.

Related: Apple sued for lying over iPhone X screen size

iPhones have often been hard to afford for the average person in China, and 2018 models are more expensive than ever — phones by local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi are much cheaper while having comparable features.

As compared to, in Japan, Apple continues closing stores outside the capital immediately after lowering its revenue guidance for Q1 2019.


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