Ahead of iPhone X launch, China vendors cut prices of
iPhone 8 models
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[October 31, 2017]
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese
vendors have slashed the price of Apple's iPhone 8 by up to a fifth in a
bid to lure customers amid sluggish demand ahead of the launch of the
tech giant's much-anticipated iPhone X on Friday.
Buyers can now snap up Apple's new iPhone 8 Plus and the more basic
iPhone 8 models at discounts of between nearly 14 percent and 20 percent
in mainland China, where iPhones have been known to change hands for as
much as four times the price in Hong Kong.
The move comes as data from research firm Canalys shows Apple's China
smartphone shipments grew 40 percent in the third quarter from a year
ago to 11 million units, marking the U.S. company's best performance in
China in eight quarters.
Some analysts, however, cautioned whether that could be sustained.
"Apple's growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters
to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone
X," said Canalys analyst Mo Jia.
"Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also
helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4."
Apple in China didn't immediately respond to request for comment.
Customers can now order a basic model of a 64GB iPhone 8 for 4,788 yuan
($722.61) from China's top home appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group
Co Ltd, via its online shopping platform. A more expensive iPhone 8 Plus
256GB model costs 6,888 yuan ($1,039.54).
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An attendee uses the Face ID function on the new iPhone X during a
presentation for the media in Beijing, China October 31, 2017.
That's a significant reduction from the original price tags in China of 5,888
yuan and 7,988 yuan, respectively.
The basic iPhone 8 is available through e-commerce player JD.com for 4,875 yuan
($735.74), with the expensive model costing 7,098 yuan ($1,071.23).
In Hong Kong, the basic iPhone 8 costs HK$5,988 ($767.55) from the Apple store,
while the more expensive version sells for HK$8,188 ($1,049.56)
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of Apple devices were smuggled across the
border into mainland China, where they could fetch as much as four times the
price in Hong Kong.
But much of that trade has been wiped out as Apple has opened more stores in
China, recent launches have been simultaneous in China and Hong Kong rather than
staggered, and domestic Chinese phone brands have increased their share of the
world’s biggest smartphone market.
Apple last week countered concerns of muted demand for its iPhone X, saying
pre-orders for the 10th anniversary phone were "off the charts".
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Ian Geoghegan)
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