GUANGZHOU / PALO ALTO, USA – iPhone prices have dropped from 10% to 20% on large Chinese e-commerce platforms in recent days, an important change for a company that sees premium pricing as a crucial part of its branding.
The iPhone 8 now sells for 3,999 yuan ($ 591) on JD.com, a reduction of 600 yuan, according to the Chinese news. The platform has posted on social media that will also cut prices for the new iPhone XR of over 1,000 yuan on Monday.
Suning.com, which specializes in home appliances and electronics, offers a discount of about 1
Sales in China slowed more than expected, prompting Apple to reduce revenue guidelines for the first time since the flagship phone hit the market and granted rare discounts despite the risk of compromising image.
"Apple told us that it will lower wholesale prices," said a source at a Chinese e-commerce platform. Local media reported that the American technology company gave the notice Tuesday
However, prices have not been reduced in brick shops.
"We offer online discounts only", an attendant at the Guangzhou store Suning said Saturday. Also the prices remained unchanged in the shops directly managed by Apple.
"Apple probably wants to see how online discounts affect sales before deciding next steps," said a familiar source.
Apple rarely lowers prices for its distributors and mobile operators. Finding an iPhone with a discount is also unusual in China, except on special occasions like the annual Singles Day sales event.
But the technology giant has lost momentum lately. After cutting the guidelines for the October-December quarter of this month, Apple expects sales to fall from $ 9 billion to $ 84 billion for the first time. The company has also communicated to suppliers that it will produce about 10% of iPhone less than planned in January-March, as reported by Nikkei.
Sales were slow for the three most recent models released in the fall: XS, XS Max and XR.
"We had not foreseen the magnitude of the economic slowdown, especially in big China," said CEO Tim Cook in a letter to investors. Sales in China, which account for about 20% of Apple's total, are expected to fall for the first time in six quarters.
Local smartphone makers such as Huawei Technologies have gained ground rapidly in recent years. Apple holds the fifth largest share in China at 7.4% for the period July-September, according to the market research group International Data Corp .. But that share has decreased by almost half compared to 2015, when the company ranked in third place.
The newest models of Huawei and its peers cost only half of the iPhone, even if they recover the capacity.
The market as a whole has been stunted by the trade war between China and the United States, "Ellike Chen told Sigmaintell Consulting in Beijing.
Changes are slowly spreading to other markets. stores and the Apple website in the United States offered the XR starting at $ 449 and the XS to $ 699 as part of its trade-in program, the models would normally start at $ 749 and $ 999, respectively The company may have to put pressure on lowering prices in Japan and Europe.