Sunday, June 16, 2024

Apple announces price cuts ahead of 618 shopping festival

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A screenshot of the Apple TMall store, showing discounts for iPhones of up to 2,300 yuan.

In a surprise move ahead of China’s annual 618 shopping spree, Apple has announced price cuts for its products, with some models seeing reductions of up to 2,300 yuan (US$319).

With sales starting from Monday, they include phones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, headphones, and accessories, according to Apple’s official store on Alibaba’s e-commerce site TMall.

The iPhone, Apple’s flagship product, will have the most significant discounts, maybe “the biggest one in the history of Apple China,” market observers said on media and social media, adding that it was the best time to buy.

The sales will last until next Tuesday, according to the Apple TMall store’s webpage.

Apple announces price cuts ahead of 618 shopping festival

The discounted price for iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Apple’s strategy behind the price cuts

Apple’s decision to cut prices ahead of the shopping festival is likely a strategic move to boost sales and gain market share. The Chinese smartphone market is highly competitive, and Apple faces stiff competition from domestic brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo.

By offering significant discounts, Apple hopes to attract more consumers and increase its sales during this important shopping period, industry insiders said.

Apple is no longer in the top five in the Chinese smartphone market due to poor sales, according to an industry assessment report from TechInsights published in May.

It was the first time that Apple had slipped so far down the order in China, with Oppo, Honor, Huawei, Vivo, and Xiaomi dominating the market. TechInsights classified Apple as “others.”

A drop in Apple sales in China, despite several rounds of iPhone discounts, suggests that some Chinese buyers no longer see Apple’s flagship products as the most technologically sophisticated.

According to research, Huawei recovered its market share in the Chinese smartphone market with domestic sales rebounding in the first quarter of 2024.

Huawei, which lost its top spot due to US tech sanctions, led the top five in Canalys statistics and tied with Honor for first place in International Statistics Corp data. Both showed Huawei with a market share of around 17 percent.

Chinese smartphone brands, as regular marketing strategies, will also start promoting for the shopping festival.

On Tuesday, OnePlus announced 500 million yuan in subsidies and discounts for its 618 sales campaign.

Apple announces price cuts ahead of 618 shopping festival

dong jun / SHINE

Apple opened a new store near downtown Jing’an Temple in Shanghai in March.

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