SHANGHAI, Apr 9 (Reuters) – Several Chinese online retailers are offering Apple Inc’s iPhone 11 at a discounted price, Reuters controls revealed on Thursday.
The company is preparing for an uncertain year for the smartphone sector as the worldwide spread of the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus reduces demand and Chinese rivals rush to release 5G models.
Suning’s online store, a popular Chinese electronics retailer, offers the 64GB version of iPhone 11 for 4,999 yuan ($ 707.54), a 500 yuan discount from the price listed on the official website of Apple in China.
Meanwhile, the 64GB version of the iPhone 11 Pro Max sells for 7,499 yuan ($ 1,061.38), a 1,600 yuan discount from the price on Apple’s China website.
Other e-commerce providers, including JD.com, Gome, and Dangdang, as well as several Apple authorized resellers on Tmall, a site managed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, offer similar price reductions.
Apple used to give little leeway for its Chinese external sellers to cut prices. But in early 2019, various e-commerce sites in that country cut prices on various iPhone models.
The cuts came when the company faced weak demand in China, in part due to competition from its national rivals.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said later that the cuts played an important role in helping the company regain sales in China.
The last round of discounts occurs when Apple prepares for the impact of the coronavirus. In February, Cook warned investors that the firm would not meet next quarter’s revenue guidance in the face of a cut in the Chinese supply chain and the demand from the country’s consumers.
Mo Jia, who tracks the global smartphone industry at research firm Canalys, said that while some smartphone brands have seen sales in China rebound as the virus disappears in the country, Apple is not yet one of them. .
He attributes the delay in adoption to the rapid launch of 5G devices by Chinese brands, as consumers looking for new phones want models compatible with the country’s up-to-date telecommunications networks.
“Apple only offers 4G phones and they are expensive compared to their counterparts,” said Jia.
(Report by Josh Horwitz and Shanghai table. Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)