One month after Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would lower the prices of iPhones sold in certain foreign markets to account for a stronger dollar, major Apple resellers on the Chinese mainland have apparently beaten the company to the punch once again.
The Taipei Central News Agency reported Tuesday that several of the biggest retailers of Apple products in China – including Suning and JD.com – have cut prices on the iPhone XS, just months after similarly steep discounts were offered for the company’s top-of-the-line XR models.
According to Reuters, which cited the TCNA report, Chinese retailer Suning has cut the price of the XS by 1000 yuan ($150) in store, and up to $195 via online promotions.Though the company has kept mum on its price-cut plans in China, it’s believed that Apple is offering these retailers wholesale discounts to allow more wiggle room.
Meanwhile, online retailer JD.com affirmed it planned to offer discounts on a range of Apple products, including the XS and XS Max, with the latter selling at discounts of up to 1,700 yuan. Like Suning, JD also avoided discounting the cheaper XS during a round of price cuts in January.
While Apple’s sales in Europe and Japan fell only modestly during the holiday sales quarter, its revenues from China dropped by 26.7%, which prompted the company to cut its quarterly sales guidance for the first time in 16 years.
While resellers have discounted iPhones twice now, the official sticker price on Apple’s China website hasn’t changed, even as it has partnered with local lenders like Ant Financial, Alibaba and state-owned banks to offer zero-interest financing, according to Reuters.
But as more affordable competitors flood the market with cheaper phones, we imagine it’s only a matter of time before Apple will make these price cuts official, not only in China, but in its developed markets as well, as investors continue to regard iPhone sales as a key metric for the company – even after it stopped breaking out sales numbers.