Apple never discounts new devices, except sometimes

From "Apple Prepares Rare iPhone Discount for China Buyers" posted Monday on  Bloomberg News:

Apple announced a rare retail promotion in China on Monday, offering four days of discounts on its top-tier iPhones and related accessories in advance of the launch of its next-generation devices.

The company, usually reluctant to alter pricing, will take up to 600 yuan ($89) off the price of its top-line iPhone 13 Pro series between July 29 and Aug. 1, according to a notice on its website. To be eligible, buyers have to use one of a select number of payment platforms, such as Ant Group Co.’s Alipay. Certain AirPods and Apple Watch models are also part of the promotion.

The discounts come as China’s economy tries to bounce back from major Covid-19 lockdowns in business hubs Shanghai and Beijing, which have hurt sales of leading domestic smartphone brands from Xiaomi Corp. to Vivo and Oppo. Apple bucked the trend by registering healthy growth in China shipments in June, according to national statistics, though the discounts suggest even it has surplus inventory heading into the latter half of the year.

My take: Even Apple sometimes has to clear shelves for new products.

11 Comments

  1. Fred Stein said:
    Might the strength of the dollar be an issue?

    2
    July 25, 2022
  2. Daniel Epstein said:
    A real attempt at taking market share? 4 days of discounts. Sounds like a version of back to school specials. If the company was really seeing an issue the sale would extend a lot longer.

    1
    July 25, 2022
  3. The involvement of Ant Group’s Alipay and payment methods besides Apple Pay make me suspect this is a customer-acquisition promotion possibly paid for by 3rd parties. T-Mobile was offering new customers an iPhone 13, gratis. Amazon & big NYC photo & electronics vendors discount Apple gear on a regular basis. Then again, we learned here last week Apple gets back 16 times what they pay to acquire a customer (16 x $89 = $1,424 per phone)

    3
    July 25, 2022
  4. Jerry Doyle said:
    I have ambivalent feelings toward sales of premium products. Premiun products are superior and choice products because of their being prime. Manufacturers run the risk of consumer behavioral modification when placing products on sale. Some consumers start waiting for the sales as the catalyst or inducement to purchase, thus impinging on the continuity of integrity of the recognized choice product, running the risk of diluting its perceived and recognized value. The same drop in price would be more appropriate once the iPhone 14 was released since the 13 would be an older generation phone demanding less in price.

    2
    July 25, 2022
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    IMO, this is nothing more than Pre-iPhone 14 launch inventory reduction and coincides with reports showing iPhone 14 interest in China is running very high.

    I am one of those anxiously awaiting the iPhone 14. My iPXS has been randomly locking up about 3 – 4 times a day. Apple Store techs wiped clean and reloaded from backup. That didn’t solve the problem. They can’t find a hardware issue.

    I don’t want to pay for a repair, and don’t want to get an iP13.

    0
    July 25, 2022
    • Bart Yee said:
      @Gregg Sorry to hear of your difficulties. With a wipe and restore, you should have the latest iOS version 15.6, unless this update caused your problems. If no other hardware issues, did they also replace your battery, a roughly $69 cost? My iPhone XS, now 3.5 yrs old, currently has 85% of total capacity, has a bit less run time, and discharges a bit faster, but Battery Life says it can still handle peak power demands. A battery that is getting long in the tooth could conceivably cause random shutdowns (a la batterygate). Also a misbehaving power hungry app may also be an issue. Suggest updating your main suite of apps, review your fetch/push and background refresh settings to minimize power usage, limit # of open apps and restrict their ad & cookie properties. Also consider using a good ad blocker in Safari and Chrome.

      Of course, fixing the problem means a little money spent but able to use the iPhone further. OTOH, there’s the cost but thrill of a new iPhone 14.

      Choices!! 🙂 🙂

      0
      July 25, 2022
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        Thank you very much Bart. I really do appreciate your advice. The Apple Store didn’t suggest any of these possible cures. I have another appointment with a tech today. I’ll show them your suggestions.

        1
        July 25, 2022
    • Jonny T said:
      Hi Gregg, if you reloaded the iPhone from your Backup, you reloaded the glitch just as it was before and it’s just repeating the problem. I believe you need to do a fresh install and then see if that fixes it.

      0
      July 25, 2022
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        Apple Store backed up my data, erased EVERYTHING, installed a clean OS, then restored my data from the backup. Thanks for trying to help.

        It’s possible that I have a corrupted app. I don’t have many, and use even fewer, but I seem to recall downloading one about a month ago. I’ll look into that.

        One more tidbit I’ve noticed today. When my I
        P locks up if I leave it alone for about 2 minutes it suddenly begins working again. Makes me think of a memory leak in an app.

        1
        July 25, 2022
  6. Bart Yee said:
    IMO, the China sale is a nice jumpstart to this quarter’s ongoing iPhone sales and a minor push for China users to get the iPhone 13 while the getting is good. If coinciding with lockdowns / lifting, we may see China echoes of the US economy slowly roaring back. With persistent China demand, this could help push a normally seasonal slow Q4 quarter to stable growth despite supply chain disruptions. The side benefit is it keeps Apple / Foxconn workers working, puts money into the Chinese economy & workers, and presents a positive face to the Chinese consumer.

    Plus Chinese consumers always love a sale. The only thing missing is haggling.

    0
    July 25, 2022
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      despite supply chain disruptions

      I’m not so sure Apple is materially suffering from supply chain issues.

      Discounting is an inventory management tool. I think Apple is over supplied in the iPhone 13 Pro, and is using this limited duration and highly targeted discount to reduce iPhone 13 Pro inventories, just before iPhone 14 launch.

      1
      July 25, 2022

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