Apple Resellers Slash iPhone 15 Prices in China Amid Economic Challenges and Huawei’s Resurgence

Amid economic headwinds and the resurgence of Huawei in the Chinese smartphone market, resellers of Apple’s iPhone 15 series have resorted to significant price cuts, signaling a notable shift in demand dynamics.

Discounts and Demand Dip:

Resellers on Alibaba’s Tmall are reportedly offering discounts of up to 1,300 yuan ($180) on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, surpassing the price cuts observed around the same period last year. This steeper reduction aligns with a dip in demand for Apple’s latest iPhone generation since its September launch. Economic challenges in China, coupled with Huawei’s unexpected revival, have contributed to Apple’s sales in the country dropping 13% to $20.8 billion in the quarter ended December.

Apple Adapts to ‘Deflation’ Trend:

The move by Apple to align with the ‘deflation’ trend in China, as noted by IDC analyst Will Wong, is seen as an effort to rekindle demand for iPhones. The decision to offer short-term promotional prices to third-party channels post the Lunar New Year holiday follows rare price reductions on Apple’s official website in January. Ivan Lam of Counterpoint Research suggests that Apple’s move is an early promotional strategy tied to International Women’s Day.

Market Response and Competing Dynamics:

Apple’s response to the evolving market conditions comes after its announcement of rare discounts in January, indicating a strategic move to address weakening demand. Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s report in February highlighted a challenging start for iPhone sales in China in 2024. As Apple navigates these challenges, Chinese tech giant Huawei’s impending launch of the Mate 70 series in September poses a formidable competition, positioning itself against Apple’s anticipated iPhone 16.

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