Apple has made the rare move to cut prices of its iPhone 15 models in China by around 5%.
As reported by Reuters, the promotion on its Chinese website, which is being dubbed a ‘Lunar New Year Event,’ will last between January 18 and January 21 and comes after reports of a 30% drop in sales in China in the first week of 2024.
The US tech giant is under pressure to increase sales globally, particularly in China as competition from the likes of Huawei begins to regain market share in the region. It is the first time Apple has offered discounted prices in any of their markets for many years, while online retailers in the country have been cutting prices of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models by as much as 16% since the turn of the year.
When the California-based company launched its iPhone 15 range in September last year, it surprised many by not raising prices. This is believed to be in response to an ongoing reluctance amongst iPhone users to upgrade their handsets as regularly as they used to. However, it appears that hasn’t had a positive effect on sales as Apple continues to see declining sales.
Senior vice president of market research business Canalys, Nicole Peng, told Reuters: “It is clear that Huawei is making a comeback.
“Some Chinese consumers may return to using Huawei as driven by patriotism.
Another blow for Apple in China?
While Apple is masking this as a holiday sale in China, it is hard not to see this as an attempt to arrest the slide of sales in the region to claw back lost market share to growing competitors.
It saw its share of the global smartphone market drop to 17.7% in the final quarter of 2023, which is well below its peak of 24.1% just 12 months earlier.
Canalys now expects Apple sales in 2024 to remain flat globally, while its decline in China will remain.
This also comes as Apple’s standing as the world’s most valuable company was put at risk last week as Microsoft’s market cap grew to within £100 billion of the tech giant.