Apple Discounts High-End iPhones In China As Demand Sags

High-end Apple iPhones sell at up to 10 percent discount in China after company announces disappointing earnings, as demand falters

Apple’s high-end iPhones are selling at discounts of more than $100 (£83) from third-party retailers, according to local media reports, in a sign of flagging demand for even the most sought-after models only months after they launched.

The price cuts come at the end of the Lunar New Year holiday season, a time when consumers often spend more before schools reopen.

Many third-party retailers sold out following price cuts over the weekend, according to a Monday report.

Apple occasionally authorises its third-party retailers to offer discounts on its phones to encourage demand.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple
Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

Price cuts

Apple’s prices and availability of the models in its own bricks and mortar and online stores remained the same.

The iPhone maker’s online stores on, China’s second-largest e-commerce platform, showed a markdown of 800 yuan (£98) for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models on Monday, with an additional 50 yuan discount if the buyer became a member of the online store.

That works out to a 10.6 percent discount from the 7,999 yuan price tag of a 128GB iPhone Pro.

Bricks-and-mortar retail stores were also offering price cuts of 600 to 800 yuan, according to a report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which said some of the most popular models had sold out as of noon on Monday.


Outlets in Shenzhen of Chinese retail giant and authorised Apple reseller Suning were sold out of iPhone 14 Pro models with 256GB of storage or more on Monday, following an 800 yuan markdown offered over the weekend, the paper reported.

“The return of price cuts even for the best-selling iPhone 14 models is not a good sign for demand,” wrote Jeffries analyst Edison Lee in a research note.

The price cuts come after China’s domestic smartphone sales dropped below 300 million units for the first time in a decade, falling 13.2 percent to 285.8 million in 2022, according to IDC.

Apple last week reported disappointing quarterly earnings, with chief executive Tim Cook blaming supply chain disruptions in China and faltering demand.