Tech

Apple Discounts the iPhone 15 Series in China Amid Low Demand

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In a rare instance, Apple has decided to offer a discount on its newest iPhones in China through its official retail channel. The sale will run from 18th to 21st January, ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Buyers can enjoy 500 Yuan ($70) off on the entire iPhone 15 range, including the most expensive model.

For the top-end iPhone 15 Series model, the 500 Yuan discount is equivalent to about 5% of its price.

All iPhone models ranging from iPhone 13 to iPhone 15 Pro Max will be discounted this year, alongside most of the iPad models, the MacBook Air, the Apple Watch, and some of the AirPods.

The MacBook Air will sell for as much as 800 Yuan cheaper than its retail price, marking a significant effort by Apple to boost sales in China.

It’s worth noting that the announcement comes at a time when Apple has been facing stiff competition in the Chinese market and fears a decline in demand.

Local Chinese Brands Cause Demand Woes for Apple

For a while now, Apple has been dealing with stifling competition from local Chinese brands like Huawei and Xiaomi. Not too long ago, Jefferies analysts estimated that iPhone sales in China saw a 30% drop in year-on-year sales in the first week of January 2024.

Overall annual iPhone sales in China fell by 3% last year, according to Jeffries.

The sharp decline in sales came soon after the launch of the Huawei Mate 60 series, which boasts a 7-nanometre made-in-China processor. Chinese Media greatly praised the feat as a national breakthrough that Huawei managed to pull off despite sanctions by the US.

Indeed, the new handset marked a powerful comeback for Huawei, which suffered a heavy blow to its smartphone business due to US restrictions.

With Chinese brands offering such high-end products at competitive prices, it’s no surprise that Apple’s sales in the market have begun to dwindle.

With Huawei making a comeback in the Chinese market, experts believe that patriotism might drive many customers to go back to choosing Huawei over Apple once again. Besides the growing competition, the reluctance of Apple’s fans to upgrade to newer devices is another reason behind the brand’s declining sales.

While things are going downhill for Apple in China, the tech giant is struggling to boost its global sales as well. According to market research firm Canalys, Apple’s global sales are likely to remain flat this year.

A Rare Move by Apple

For third-party retailers in China, it’s not uncommon to offer big discounts on iPhones around the holiday periods. However, Apple officially discounting iPhones on its own retail channel is an extremely rare instance.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls in February this year, is considered to be the most important holiday in China. Apple typically offers discounts on a variety of gadgets during the shopping season ahead of the holiday.

It has been years since the tech giant discounted the latest iPhone models. However, whether or not Apple would succeed in its bid to reduce the drop in sales remains a matter of speculation.

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