iPhone Prices Slashed In China Following Sales Meltdown

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Chinese retailers have steeply cut iPhone XR prices, while Apple considers shifting to an all-OLED lineup after its first profit warning in more than a decade

Apple is planning to release an iPhone model with an LCD screen this year, in spite of poorer-than-expected sales of the iPhone XR, which also features an LCD screen, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report comes as retailers in the critical Chinese market slashed iPhone XR prices on Friday, a move reportedly ordered by Apple itself.

The paper said Apple is planning to continue with plans to release three iPhone models this year, two with pricier OLED screens and one with an LCD screen, in part because its design plans for 2019 are at an advanced stage, meaning  it would be difficult to change them.

The company’s plans for 2020 are more flexible, and it may move to an all-OLED lineup, the paper said.

Three rear cameras are shown in a leaked image of a possible 2019 iPhone design. Image credit: Onleaks/Digit.in

Triple rear camera

It confirmed an earlier rumour that Apple is planning to introduce new camera features, including a triple rear camera for the highest-end iPhone and dual cameras for the other two phones.

The paper cited unnamed people familiar with Apple’s plans.

Last week Onleaks, a usually reliable source of Apple design leaks, disclosed what it said was an early design render for the 2019 iPhone models via Indian website Digit.in.  The render shows a protruding segment on the rear of the device that houses three cameras.

Apple took investors off guard last week with its first profit warning in nearly 12 years, citing slower than expected sales in China.

The company also reportedly cut its planned production for current iPhone models by about 10 percent.

The sales slowdown particularly affected the iPhone XR, the lowest priced of the three iPhones introduced last autumn, along with the XS and XS Max.

The iPhone XR uses an LCD display, while the other two feature OLED.

Price cut

Following the profit warning, two major retailers in China, JD.com and Suning, slashed the prices of iPhone 8, 8 Plus and XR models on Friday.

The retailers cut iPhone XR prices by about $100 (£77), a move that Yahoo Finance reported was ordered by Apple itself.

The news site said a Tier 1 Apple partner in China that buys directly from Apple and sells to distributors and retailers received a notice from Apple on Tuesday to cut prices, and retailers passed the price cuts along to buyers via a system of coupons.

The prices remained the same on Apple’s website. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The price cuts come ahead of the Chinese New Year shopping season in February. About 20 percent of Apple’s total revenues come from Greater China.

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