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Some online Stores in China, like, are selling iPhones at a discount. Is this going to be a trend or something short lived?

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A new Asian report today claims that Apple has only shipped 500,000 iPhones in China in February, based on Chinese government data. The good news is that some Apple fans in China are able to pick up an iPhone for just US$700 on some eCommerce sites. That might be on par with the starting price in the US, but it’s a huge discount for China.


On, the 64GB version of the basic iPhone 11 now costs 4,999 yuan (US$708) which is 500 yuan (US$70) cheaper than the original price. The more expensive iPhone 11 Pro has an even steeper price cut that shaves off 1,200 yuan (US$170). And the top-tier iPhone 11 Pro Max is selling for a whopping 1,600 yuan (US$227) off.


According to a new report by Strategy Analytics, 37% of 1,300 Chinese consumers surveyed between March 21 and March 25 have delayed buying a new smartphone. New 5G phones were expected to help boost the smartphone market this year, but 32% of consumers also said they delayed 5G adoption.


The outbreak’s toll on the economy means that there will be "almost certainly some pullback on discretionary expenditures by a generation of Chinese who have never known anything but boom times," Strategy Analytics’ David Kerr said in the report.


Strategy Analytics also found that China’s Apple users are optimistic about new purchases compared with users of other brands. The firm’s director of smartphone research Linda Sui said this is because Apple users tend to be younger people who are more ambitious and tech savvy.


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Sui added that a significant portion of consumers are not yet ready to return to previous purchase patterns. That means sellers will have to work extra hard to convince hesitant smartphone users to replace their current devices. Slashing prices could be one effective way to do that, Sui said. Read the full South China Morning report here or the original report at Abacus.


Should Apple have inventory on hand, discounts could be sharper over time. With the iPhone 12 going into production soon, who will want to buy an iPhone 11 now unless it's heavily discounted?


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