Chinese Smartphone Shipment Slump Resulted in First-Ever iPhone Discounts from Apple

BY Dave Johnson

Published 5 Aug 2022

In a rare move, Apple offered discounts on iPhones in China through its official Chinese website. A new report now suggests the price drop could result from a massive drop in smartphone shipments in China.

According to a report, smartphone shipments in the country dropped by 21.7 percent within the year’s first half. What’s more, data from Canalys shows a massive decline for the most prominent phone makers in China — Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. 

Analysts predict smartphone shipments in China will hit a 10-year low by year’s end. 

The Kr Asia report reads: 

“The full-year shipment projection could end up well below 300 million units, making for the worst performance since 2012.” 

What’s responsible for the slump, you ask? 

Nikkei Asia points out budget-conscious consumers and longer waits between upgrades may have caused the downturn. Besides, the Chinese smartphone market is saturated, with 66 percent of the population owning a smartphone in 2021.

With that said, Apple is reportedly doing better than its competitors despite the slump. 

Using iPhone Discounts to Boost Sales in China

According to experts, Apple remains above its competitors even as the market stumbles.

“The iPhone has continued to sell well late into its cycle in part because China demand rebounded sharply after lockdowns ended,” an analyst told Reuters. As a result, the iPhone benefited from a June shopping holiday in China. 

Nevertheless, the decline in China’s smartphone shipment may have troubled Apple. 

The Cupertino-based company had never offered iPhone discounts. Instead, it would silently provide the lower price to resellers, who then pass the savings to consumers. However, that practice changed last month.

For the first time, Apple offered direct iPhone discounts on its official website in China. While the sales lasted only four days, buyers enjoyed up to $89 off. Admittedly, it’s not a massive discount. However, the reduced price may be enough to boost iPhone sales in the declining Chinese smartphone market.