CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

iPhone Demand in China Falls as Resellers Offer Discounts

Apple store n China

The iPhone is still apparently a tough sell for Chinese consumers.

As Bloomberg News reported Thursday (Feb. 29), resellers in China are marking down the latest version of Apple’s flagship product by as much as $180, a sign of an unusually long period of reduced demand.

The report said iPhone 15 Pro Max handsets are selling at reduced prices on online platforms like Tmall and JD.com, while Apple continues selling the smartphones at their original prices on its own store.

Apple launched the iPhone 15 in September, but as this report notes, it hasn’t been as popular in China as its previous iterations, thanks to economic pressures and competition from rival smartphone maker Huawei.

“Apple is catching up with the ‘deflation’ trend in China, intending to boost the demand for iPhones,” IDC analyst Will Wong told Bloomberg.

“Based on IDC’s preliminary January data, the pressure was mainly coming from other Android vendors as we saw Apple decline by around 10% year-on-year in the month while Huawei grew triple-digits over the same period.”

The newest discounts popped up following the Lunar New Year holiday and after some rare price reductions by Apple itself last month. The tech giant’s sales in China fell to $20.8 billion — a 13% decline — in the closing quarter of last year, marking its weakest performance in the country in years, the report said.

“Apple is offering a short-term promotional price to third-party channels as an early promotion for International Women’s Day,” said Ivan Lam of Counterpoint Research. “We observed that iPhone sales in the Chinese market are becoming increasingly dependent on promotions.”

IDC data has also shown Apple to be China’s most popular smartphone, securing 17.3% of the smartphone market share — up from 16.8% in 2022.

The news follows reports from last week that smartphone demand in the U.S. had fallen by 10% last month, according to data from Counterpoint Research.

“Budget-constrained consumers are waiting longer to upgrade their mobile devices, and U.S. smartphone sales last month were nearly half of the record levels during the same period in 2017,” PYMNTS wrote.

Smartphones enjoyed a sales boom during the pandemic, but have since weakened due to consumer caution and the lack of major new updates. However, Samsung’s recent Galaxy S24 has performed well, the Counterpoint report said, and could lead to a rally for February sales.