Vendors in China have slashed the price of Apple’s iPhone 8 by up to a fifth off the usual cost of the smartphones due to low demand in advance of this week’s iPhone X launch.
According to news from Reuters, consumers can now get Apple’s new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at discounts of between nearly 14 percent and 20 percent in mainland China — an amazing deal considering iPhones have been known to sell for as much as four times the price in Hong Kong.
In fact, research firm Canalys reveals that Apple’s China smartphone sales grew 40 percent in the third quarter from a year ago to 11 million units, which is Apple’s best performance in China in eight quarters.
But some analysts aren’t sure this demand can be sustained.
“Apple’s growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X,” said Canalys analyst Mo Jia. “Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4.”
Apple has countered any investor uncertainty with last week’s announcement that smartphone sales for the iPhone X are already “off the charts.” Wait times in the U.S. rapidly stretched past five weeks shipping time for online pre-orders, while Hong Kong ran out less than half an hour after purchases began mid-afternoon. French customers are also reporting wait times of three or four weeks, as is most of Europe. In Japan, Australia and China, shipping times extended to as much as five or six weeks.
In the meantime, Chinese customers can now order a basic model of a 64GB iPhone 8 for 4,788 yuan ($722.61) from the country’s top home appliance retailer’s online site. A more expensive iPhone 8 Plus 256GB model costs 6,888 yuan ($1,039.54). Both deals offer a significant reduction from the original price tags in China of 5,888 yuan and 7,988 yuan, respectively.