Major retailers in China have significantly cut the price of the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models before the release of the more eagerly anticipated iPhone X on November 3. Yet iPhone shipments are up 40% in China according to Reuters.
Response worldwide has been muted and in the US figures suggest that the iPhone 7 has outsold the iPhone 8 since its release as people wait for the more advanced iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’). In China there were no signs of queues on the model’s launch and, as we reported, scalpers were having to discount the handsets they’d prematurely snapped up.
Now the price cuts have gone mainstream. Apple is still selling the handsets at the original asking price, but other major retailers are making cuts of up to 20%, neutralizing and even dropping below the price difference in Hong Kong.
Suning has cut the price of the most basic 64GB iPhone 8 from RMB 5,888 to RMB 4,768, a saving of RMB 1,120 or 19%. The top of the range 256GB 8 Plus has dropped from RMB 7,988 to RMB 6,878, saving shoppers RMB 1,110 or 13.9%.
JD.com has cut the cost of the iPhone 8 in its authorized reseller store. They’ve knocked off RMB 1,111 (to match the 11/11 sales day) to make the 64GB iPhone 8 RMB 4,777 and the 64GB 8 Plus is down RMB 900 to RMB 5,788.
The above price cuts have nudged the cost of the handsets to below the official price in Hong Kong, the traditional preferred shopping ground for mainland customers (and smugglers).
Despite the discounts, research firm Canalys has been quoted by Reuters as finding that iPhone shipments in China have increased 40% in Q3 YoY to reach 11 million units, making it Apple’s most successful quarter in China for 8 quarters.