Advertisement
Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    8,205.50
    -3.10 (-0.04%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.6597
    -0.0023 (-0.34%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,963.70
    -7.40 (-0.09%)
     
  • OIL

    77.56
    +0.60 (+0.78%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,413.40
    +6.10 (+0.25%)
     
  • Bitcoin AUD

    100,860.05
    -632.59 (-0.62%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,370.16
    +4.27 (+0.31%)
     

Apple slashes prices of iPhone 15 models to new low in China amid heated competition in world's largest smartphone market

Apple is offering a new range of steep discounts for iPhone 15 models to consumers in mainland China, with online retail platforms bringing prices to a new low amid the US tech giant's efforts to boost sluggish sales in the world's biggest smartphone market.

The top-of-the-line 256-gigabyte iPhone 15 Pro Max model, for example, on Monday started selling for 7,949 yuan (US$1,100) on Apple's official online stores on JD.com and Alibaba Group Holding's Tmall platform - down 2,050 yuan, or 20 per cent off, from its 9,999-yuan price tag when the new series was released last September. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

The basic 128GB iPhone 15 model, meanwhile, now costs 23 per cent less at 4,599 yuan, down from its previous price of 5,999 yuan, on both JD.com and Tmall. The sale runs from May 20 to 28, according to the two platforms.

Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

ADVERTISEMENT

Apple's mainland online Apple Store, however, kept the recent prices of iPhone 15 models unchanged. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

A large iPhone 15 Pro advertisement is displayed on a large screen at the Apple Store in Wangfujing Street in Beijing. Photo: Shutterstock alt=A large iPhone 15 Pro advertisement is displayed on a large screen at the Apple Store in Wangfujing Street in Beijing. Photo: Shutterstock>

The aggressive discounts on the two major online platforms show the lengths being taken by Apple to reinvigorate domestic demand for its flagship product, more than a month after iPhone sales in the firm's Greater China region - comprising the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan - declined 8 per cent to US$16.4 billion in the March quarter.

Apple's atypical iPhone discount drive on Chinese online marketplaces started in January, following online and offline campaigns of rival Chinese smartphone vendors - including Xiaomi and Honor - that knocked down prices on their various Android models.

Discounts of up to 800 yuan were offered by Apple through its mainland online store in the same month, covering iPhones, iPads, MacBook laptops, AirPods and the Apple Watch.

People check out various iPhone 15 models at Apple's launch event in the firm's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on September 12, 2023. Photo: AP alt=People check out various iPhone 15 models at Apple's launch event in the firm's headquarters in Cupertino, California, on September 12, 2023. Photo: AP>

In the March quarter, the iPhone's share of the mainland smartphone market shrank to 15.7 per cent, down from 20.2 per cent a year earlier, amid stiff domestic competition, according to a report by market research firm Counterpoint. Apple was overtaken by Vivo's 17.4 per cent share and Honor's 16.1 per cent.

Huawei Technologies, which had been riding its successful 5G handset comeback with the Mate 60 Pro, was ranked fourth with a 15.5 per cent market share in the same period.

Still, the recent iPhone discount drives appear to have helped Apple. Shipments of foreign-branded smartphones in March grew 12 per cent from the same period last year, according to data published earlier this month by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology earlier this month. The state-run academy did not identify the brand, but the bulk of foreign handsets sold on the mainland are from Apple.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.