Prices plunge in China for Apple’s latest iPhone 12
Published: Oct 29, 2020 07:01 PM

People shop at an Apple store in North China's Shanxi Province on October 23 after iPhone 12 was newly launched. Photo: cnsphoto

Prices for Apple's iPhone 12 series have plunged shortly after its launch in the Chinese market, where consumers have lost enthusiasm due to a large variety of domestic Android 5G phone options, according to vendors at brick-and-mortar stores.

Chinese customers' excitement for the iPhone 12 seems to dry up, and prices are dropping as well, with many retail stores reportedly undercutting the official prices offered by Apple's official website. 

Several such dealers told the Global Times that customers can walk out of their stores with an iPhone 12 that is as much as 300 yuan ($45) cheaper than the official price.

A Shanghai-based vendor surnamed Hu told the Global Times on Thursday that the cheapest version of the iPhone12 64G is sold at 6,050 yuan in her store, compared with 6,299 yuan on the official website. 

"The price drop occurred on Sunday, just three days after the release. Many of us now expect prices will fall further with the approach of the Double 11 shopping festival. Therefore, I do not have much in stock," Hu said.

Some drawbacks of the new iPhone 12 as reported by the first batch of consumers include a lack of innovation in the design, the color, and the short battery life in 5G mode, and these could be reasons for the quick price drops, some dealers said.

"I offer the iPhone 12 starting at 6,000 yuan at my store, but sales are not satisfactory," a dealer surnamed Zhang with eight years of experience in the industry told the Global Times on Thursday.

Veteran dealers weren't too surprised by the price drops. They've seen this happen before, as Chinese customers no longer chase after the new iPhones as they did years ago.

Enthusiasm for iPhones has fallen since the launch of the iPhone 6, Zhang said.

"Back then, the first batch of customers would pay an extra 1,000 yuan for a new iPhone 6, compared with having to wait for weeks from Apple's website. But now I only make 100 yuan with the new iPhone 12," said Zhang, noting that Chinese consumers have become more rational about the US brand.

"The iPhone can no longer dominate the market as it did with the iPhone 6 and 6S models, as customers have more choices of domestic phones such as Huawei. I sell more Huawei phones than iPhones," he said.

Liu Dingding, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times that the Apple device's prices will be kept relatively low in an effort to maintain its market share in China, where competition has become intense.

Huawei, a major rival of iPhone, will launch the Mate 40 series in the domestic market on Friday and a special feature will be announced at the event, according to Richard Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business.

"It is expected that there will be a big price drop in November for the iPhone 12 mini, the cheapest model, which is available at around 4,000 yuan" said Liu.