Apple’s September event is always a big one that attracts the world’s attention—especially those from the world’s largest smartphone market: China. However, the high price tag this time may come as the main hurdle for the smartphone giant to pump its market share in China.
Apple just announced its latest lineup of smartphones. The new iPhone X is priced at RMB 8,388 (roughly $1,284) and RMB 9,688 ($1,483) in China, much pricier than those in the United States where it goes for $999 and $1,149. That’s almost double the average monthly salary of China.
Local media in China are reporting that the new iPhone lineup comes with no surprise other than the Face ID and the high price tag. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 also doesn’t show much innovation compared to the iPhone 7, local media reports.
In fact, just a day before the iPhone reveal, the local smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi launched the latest Mi Mix 2, which also boasts its large full-screen display with a much lower price at RMB 4,699 ($719) for its most high-end model. The Chinese consumers indeed have many local smartphone options, and the Mi Mix 2 is among those to beat.
It’s worth noting that the Chinese leading smartphone maker Huawei has overtaken Apple in global smartphone sales since June, according to Counterpoint Research’s report. The report also suggested that the iPhone’s share of China’s smartphone shipments fell to 9 percent in the period of January to June, down from 14 percent in 2015, which was when iPhone 6 took over the country by storm.
The Cupertino-based firm has slipped to the fifth position in China, falling behind local rivals Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, Reuters reported. Given the high price tag of iPhone X, it remains uncertain if Apple can turn around its business in China this time.