Retailers in China including JD.com and Suning have cut the price of Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It comes after China’s smartphone market had its worst year in a decade.
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Major retailers in China slashed the price of Apple’s high-end iPhone 14 models amid a slump in smartphone demand in the world’s second-largest economy.
E-commerce site JD.com, an authorized Apple distributor, is selling the basic version of the iPhone 14 Pro for 7,199 Chinese yuan ($1,062) after an 800 yuan promotion. The basic iPhone 14 Pro Max is listed for 8,199 yuan after an 800 yuan reduction.
Suning, another major retailer, is selling the basic model of the iPhone 14 Pro for 7,199 after discounts and the iPhone 14 Pro Ma for 8,199.
Apple’s official China website has not changed prices. The iPhone 14 Pro starts at 7,999 yuan and the Pro Max starts at 8,999.
Apple tightly controls the price of its products in China and very rarely lets third-party retailers offer such steep discounts. Apple previously allowed retailers to slash prices in June 2020, after China was re-opening its economy following tough lockdowns across the country to battle the initial Covid outbreak.
But the price cuts come after a major slump in China’s smartphone market last year. Smartphone shipments hit 285.8 million in 2022, down 13.2% year-on-year to below the 300 million mark for the first time in ten years, according to IDC. Apple iPhone shipments fell more than 4% year-on-year in China in 2022, IDC said.
Apple also reported overall sales for the December quarter were about 5% lower than last year’s, the first year-over-year sales decline since 2019.
The company faced major disruptions at its plant in Zhengzhou, China, the world’s biggest iPhone factory which is run by Foxconn. The factory was hit by a Covid outbreak and workers protested over a delay in bonus payments.
However, on the company’s earnings call last week, management suggested that Apple’s performance is improving in the current quarter.