Chinese online retailers offer discounts on iPhone 11 as country recovers from coronavirus

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Several Chinese online retailers have offered discounts on Apple Inc’s iPhone 11, Reuters said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective masks are seen in an Apple Store as China is struck by an epidemic of the new coronavirus in Shanghai, China, January 29, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

The price cuts come as the hardware company prepares for an uncertain year for the smartphone industry, as the global spread of the coronavirus dampens demand while Chinese competitors rush into the 5G models.

Suning’s online store, a popular Chinese electronics supplier, offers the 64GB version of the iPhone 11 for 4,999 yuan ($ 707.54), a discount of 500 yuan from the price listed on the official website. ‘Apple in China.

The 64 GB version of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, retails for 7,499 yuan ($ 1,061.38), a discount of 1,600 yuan compared to the price posted on Apple’s website in China.

Other e-commerce providers, including JD.com, Gome and Dangdang, as well as several authorized Apple resellers on Tmall, the popular site run by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, offer similar price drops.

For a while, Apple has given Chinese third-party sellers little leeway to lower prices.

But at the start of 2019, several Chinese e-commerce sites cite lower prices on a number of iPhone models. The reductions came at a time when the company faced weak demand in China, in part due to competition from domestic competitors.

Tim Cook of Apple later said the cuts had helped the company recover sales in China.

The latest round of price cuts comes as Apple prepares for the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

In February, as the virus reached its peak in China, Cook warned investors that the company would not meet its revenue forecast for the coming quarter while the Chinese supply chain and consumer demand were disrupted.

Data from China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a branch of the Chinese government, revealed that Apple had shipped less than 500,000 phones to China this month.

Mo Jia, who tracks the global smartphone industry at research firm Canalys, said that while some smartphone brands have seen their sales in China pick up with the shrinking virus in the country, Apple does is not yet part.

He attributes the late adoption to the rapid deployment of Chinese brands of 5G devices because consumers who are ready to buy new phones want models compatible with the country’s improved telecommunications networks.

“Apple only offers 4G phones and they are expensive compared to their counterparts,” said Jia.

Report by Josh Horwitz and the editorial staff of Shanghai. Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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