iPhone 15 Series Experiences a Significant Price Drop, Dubbed as “Diving”
Just two days after a rare major price drop on the Apple official website, on January 17th, the topic of #iPhone15 prices hitting an all-time low once again trended. (Related article: Rare, Apple’s Big Price Drop!)
Apple Kicks Off the “Price War”
As early as January 15th, the Apple official website announced the limited-time “Chinese New Year Promotion” event: from January 18th to January 21st, customers who purchase selected Apple products using specified payment methods can enjoy discounts ranging from 50 yuan to 800 yuan.
It is reported that compared to the 500 yuan discount on the official website, the Apple Tmall flagship store offers even greater discounts on iPhones. From 8:00 PM on January 17th to January 31st, customers can receive surprise coupons of up to 1600 yuan on selected products and also enjoy free installment stacking. By checking the specific promotion page, iPhones can be discounted by up to 1000 yuan.
Among the three major online sales platforms, the Apple products on JD.com’s self-operated flagship store have the deepest discounts. During the JD New Year Shopping Festival, customers can enjoy up to 1050 yuan off the iPhone 15 series and 750 yuan off the iPhone 14 when placing an order after 8:00 PM on January 18th.
Apart from that, the MacBook Air laptops can be discounted by up to 1400 yuan, while Apple Watch and AirPods also have price reductions.
Some netizens expressed their hope for even further discounts.
Some netizens also expressed feeling offended for having paid a higher price for the iPhone 15 initially.
The Chinese New Year promotions are an annual tradition for Apple, but this time is a bit different. Not only are the discounts more substantial, but the promoted products include the latest generation of iPhones. Moreover, the significant price drop in the iPhone 15 series can be described as “diving,” breaking the 5000 yuan mark for the first time, with prices starting as low as 4949 yuan. This not only surprises consumers but also shakes up the entire smartphone market. After all, in many people’s minds, Apple has always been synonymous with high-end and expensive products. However, with the price range of the iPhone 15 series lowered by a tier, it undoubtedly reduces the purchasing threshold for consumers.
According to Guo Tianxiang, a senior analyst at IDC China, “Apple adjusted the channel prices of the iPhone 15 series at the beginning of this year, marking the earliest adjustment in history. This indicates that there is still greater room for adjustment in some third-party channels and platforms.”
Surpassing Samsung to Claim the Global Top Spot
Why has Apple been offering frequent discounts this year? Guo Tianxiang explained that the main reason is the lower-than-expected sales performance of the iPhone 15 series in the Chinese market.
In 2023, Apple sold 234.6 million phones with a 20.1% market share, marking a 3.7% growth and surpassing Samsung to become the world’s highest-selling phone brand. However, some investment banks are pessimistic about Apple’s performance this year, fearing insufficient demand and excessive inventory. Recently, two investment banks downgraded Apple’s ratings.
Investment banks believe that Apple will face significant pressure in the Chinese market. Barclays Bank pointed out in a report that in one of Apple’s largest markets, China, iPhone 15 sales are “disappointing” while there is a lack of rebound in Macs, iPads, and wearable devices.
According to research firm Counterpoint, iPhone 15’s sales decreased by 4.5% in the first 17 days after its release compared to the iPhone 14.
Analysts at Wall Street investment bank Jefferies stated in a report that in the first week of 2024, iPhone sales in China dropped by 30% year-on-year.
The Three Giants Competing in the High-End Market
From the perspective of the Chinese market, Xiaomi and Huawei have seen more significant market share increases in the high-end segment. BCI data shows that in November last year, in the market for phones priced above 4000 yuan, Apple’s market share dropped to 50.8%, a decrease of 21 percentage points, while Huawei’s market share increased by 8.8 percentage points to 22.3%, and Xiaomi’s market share rose by 11.8 percentage points to 14.4%.
Why can Chinese smartphone brands enter the high-end market? Guo Tianxiang explained, “The upgrade of the iPhone 15 series itself has limited appeal to Chinese consumers. Chinese brands have improved competitiveness in flagship products, not just with Huawei’s return, but also with Xiaomi’s 14 series, vivo’s X100 series, and Honor’s foldable series putting significant pressure on Apple’s market performance. The acceptance of domestic flagship products by high-end consumers is also increasing.”
Now, with Apple’s price drop, the pressure is also mounting on domestic smartphone manufacturers. For companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, and OPPO, Apple’s price reduction provides further room for channel partners to lower prices, which will undoubtedly impact the sales of domestic flagship products.
Source: Securities Times, Beijing Business Daily, JD.com APP
Editor: Xin Jiayi
Editor-in-chief: Li Gengguang
Reviewer: Tan Lugang
Producer: Wu Ji
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