Apple has slashed the prices of certain iPhone models in China. Chinese iPhone vendors reportedly received the word from Apple that they can offer discounts on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
Of these, the biggest price reduction amounts to around $66 off the price off the iPhone XR. Other iPhones are receiving price cuts of around $59.
The move comes shortly after Apple supposedly further reduced iPhone orders to its manufacturers. Tim Cook last week revealed that Apple’s earnings guidance would underperform for the first time since 2002. This is entirely due to the iPhone, and largely thanks to Apple’s declining business in China.
Another issue Apple faces in China is a reported informal boycott of its products. While Cook has disputed the extent of this, a recent Bloomberg report claimed that Apple sales are suffering “from a general redirection of Chinese demand away from U.S. products.”
Apple typically doesn’t reduce the cost of its products so as to maintain its high profit margins, along with the prestigious appearance of its products. However, as of late it has been more willing to experiment with this — for instance, by aggressively marketing its “generous” device buyback terms to make the new iPhones seem more affordable.
In the past, Apple has also been willing to cut its prices in important markets where it wants to try and get more handsets into the hands of customers.
Whether the price cut will have a noticeable effect on its fortunes in China remains to be seen. While a $66 reduction is pretty notable in a country where the average phone sells for a couple hundred bucks, the iPhone is still out of reach for many, many customers. Add that to the other challenges Apple faces in China, and this is unlikely to be the major fix Apple is looking for.
It certainly won’t hurt, though — anything other Apple’s profits, that is!