Chinese online retailers slash Apple iPhone prices for second time this year

Apple’s sales from China declined 20 percent year-on-year, according to its most recent earnings report. (AFP)
Updated 06 March 2019

Chinese online retailers slash Apple iPhone prices for second time this year

  • Several electronics vendors announced discounts on iPhone devices this week
  • Mass discounts were also offered in January just before Apple reported sinking sales in China

SHANGHAI: Chinese online retailers have started discounting iPhones for the second time this year as Apple wrestles with a prolonged sales slowdown in the world’s largest smartphone market.
Several electronics vendors announced discounts on iPhone devices this week, following mass discounts in January just before Apple reported sinking sales in China.
Gadget retailer Suning.Com Co. Ltd. said it would slash the price of the iPhone XS by as much as 1,000 yuan ($148.95) from its official price. Suning had lowered the prices of other iPhone models in January along with other retailers, but those cuts excluded the iPhone XS.
Pinduoduo Inc, an e-commerce site best known for selling inexpensive goods, has also said it would sell the 64GB edition of the iPhone XS for 6,999 yuan, a drop of over 1,000 yuan from the official price.
Online retail giant JD.com Inc. said it would offer discounts on a range of Apple products including the iPhone XS and XS Max, with models of the latter device selling at discounts of up to 1,700 yuan. Like Suning, JD.com initially did not discount the iPhone XS upon its first major round of discounts in January.
Apple, JD.com and Pinduoduo did not respond to requests for comment, while Suning could not be reached.
Apple’s sales from China declined 20 percent year-on-year, according to its most recent earnings report. Slowing demand for smartphones and increased competition from local brands have chipped at its dominance in the country.
The US company has yet to change the official sticker prices of its devices that it lists on its Chinese website. Yet the company has partnered with Ant Financial, the finance arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and several state-owned banks to let consumers purchase iPhones via interest-free loans.


Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

Updated 17 October 2019

Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

  • American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts
  • Huawei was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies

SHENZHEN, SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s third-quarter revenue jumped 27%, driven by a surge in shipments of smartphones launched before a trade blacklisting by the United States expected to hammer its business.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and the No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.
The company has been granted a reprieve until November, meaning it will lose access to some technology next month. Huawei has so far mainly sold smartphones that were launched before the ban.
Its newest Mate 30 smartphone — which lacks access to a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system — started sales last month.
Huawei in August said the curbs would hurt less than initially feared, but could still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.
The tech giant did not break down third-quarter figures but said on Wednesday revenue for the first three quarters of the year grew 24.4% to 610.8 billion yuan.
Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 165.29 billion yuan ($23.28 billion) according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements from Huawei.
“Huawei’s overseas shipments bounced back quickly in the third quarter although they are yet to return to pre-US ban levels,” said Nicole Peng, vice president for mobility at consultancy Canalys.
“The Q3 result is truly impressive given the tremendous pressure the company is facing. But it is worth noting that strong shipments were driven by devices launched pre-US ban, and the long-term outlook is still dim,” she added.
The company said it has shipped 185 million smartphones so far this year. Based on the company’s previous statements and estimates from market research firm Strategy Analytics, that indicates a 29% surge in third-quarter smartphone shipments.
Still, growth in the third quarter slowed from the 39% increase the company reported in the first quarter. Huawei did not break out figures for the second quarter either, but has said revenue rose 23.2% in the first half of the year.
“Our continued strong performance in Q3 shows our customers’ trust in Huawei, our technology and services, despite the actions and unfounded allegations against us by some national governments,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters.
The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.
The company, which is now trying to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, said last month that it has started making 5G base stations without US components.
It is also developing its own mobile operating system as the curbs cut its access to Google’s Android operating system, though analysts are skeptical that Huawei’s Harmony system is yet a viable alternative.
Still, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei’s smartphone sales in China — surging by a nearly a third compared to a record high in the June quarter — helping it more than offset a shipments slump in the global market.