Apple is offering a rare iPhone discount in China as concerns over demand grow

Apple flagship store in Shanghai in November 2023.

Costfoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Apple is offering discounts on a range of its products in China, including the latest iPhones, its website shows, as it faces growing competition and growing concerns about a lack of demand for its flagship smartphone.

Between January 18 and January 21, Apple is offering 500 Chinese yuan ($70) off its iPhone 15 lineup, including the most expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max.

There are also discounts on certain Mac and iPad models. The offers come before the Lunar New Year in mid-February.

While third-party retailers in China sometimes offer discounts on iPhones during the holidays, it’s very rare for Apple to do so on its own retail channel.

In a Jan. 7 note, analysts at Jefferies estimated that Apple saw a 30% year-over-year drop in iPhone sales in the first week of this month. Jefferies also reported that Apple saw a 3% year-over-year decline in iPhone sales in China in 2023.

This is mainly due to increasing competition from local players such as Xiaomi and Huawei, which offer competitive high-end products.

Last year, Huawei launched a smartphone that contained a cutting-edge chip despite US sanctions aimed at preventing the Chinese tech giant from accessing such technology. State media hailed it as a technological breakthrough. The device has helped Huawei boost its sales and return to the smartphone market in China after its mobile phone business was hit hard by US restrictions.

Jefferies attributes Apple’s iPhone decline last year in part to Huawei devices.

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