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Chinese e-commerce retail platforms are offering high discounts on iPhone 15 models in hopes of attracting customers amid the weak demand for the new Apple smartphones in China’s market. According to a report, deals could hit as high as $205.14.

The news follows an earlier report from Counterpoint Research, showing the slow sales of the iPhone 15 series during its first 17 days in the market. According to the firm, the first 17 days of the new lineup experienced lower unit sales compared to its predecessor. The bad news was further worsened by the performance of Huawei outshining Apple by having a successful Mate 60 Pro entrance.

Edison Lee, a Jefferies analyst, Huawei outsold Apple through its Mate 60 Pro. Lee even added that the Chinese brand is now the top player in the market, effectively snatching the position from Apple. Worse, the firm’s analysts believe Apple will lose to Huawei next year.

“The trend suggests iPhone would lose to Huawei in 2024,” Jeffries analysts wrote. “We believe weak demand in China would eventually lead to lower-than-expected global shipments of iPhone.”

As such, Apple’s iPhone retailers seem to be in haste to encourage iPhone 15 sales among Chinese customers. As reported by Economic Observer and Reuters, the discounts are now available on JD.com, PDD Holdings’ Pinduoduo, and Alibaba’s Taobao. The discounts seem to be a part of China’s annual Singles Day shopping festival on November 11, but it could also be a suggestion of a weak economy in the market. As pointed out by Reuters, the prices of the iPhone 15 from the said platforms are now below Apple’s retail price:

JD.com is selling the 512 GB iPhone 15 for 7,498 yuan, 1,501 yuan lower than Apple’s official price of 8,999 yuan. Asked about the discount, the company said it was in line with a strategy it launched this year of offering low prices.

Pinduoduo is offering the 128 GB version of the iPhone 15 Plus at 6,098 yuan, 900 yuan less than Apple’s retail price of 6,999 yuan, according to checks made by Reuters.

The 512 GB iPhone 15 Pro Max, which has a 11,999 yuan price tag in Apple’s store, can be bought for 10,698 yuan on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao.

On a positive note, AT&T has claimed in its recent Q3 2023 Earnings Call that it saw the strongest preorders in “many years” through Apple’s iPhone 15. It supports Counterpoint’s earlier belief that carrier companies would aid Apple’s sales growth. According to the research firm, this could allow Apple to snatch the top spot for annual shipments globally for the first time ever.


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