Apple hopes to boost iPhone sales by giving Chinese consumers a new payment option

Apple hopes to boost iPhone sales by giving Chinese consumers a new payment option
Apple is having a tough time selling the iPhone in China. We've previously pointed out a variety of reasons for this, but it is worth repeating. The strong dollar forced Apple to price the iPhone XR for more than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and the U.S.-China trade war has negatively impacted the Chinese economy. In addition, a strong wave of nationalism in China has popped up in reaction to what is perceived in the country as U.S. bullying of Huawei.

In reaction to the strong buck, Apple cut wholesale prices of the 2018 iPhones in China, and CEO Tim Cook has alluded to changes that Apple will make this year in order to combat fluctuating foreign exchange rates. And today, Reuters is reporting that Apple and China's Ant Financial Services Group have come together to offer interest-free financing for iPhone purchases. This has become commonplace in the U.S., where most iPhones are bought using 24-month interest free financing. But in China, this will be the first time that Apple will offer financing for its smartphones without charging interest.

On Apple's website in China, the "more affordable" iPhone XR is now available for a price of 271 yuan ($40.31 USD) a month. The iPhone XS can be purchased for monthly payments of 362 yuan ($53.92 USD). In the country, the 64GB iPhone XR is priced at 6,499 yuan and the iPhone XS is available for 8,699 yuan. This means that it would take 24 months for a Chinese consumer to pay off his iPhone purchase.

Will this plan help sales of the 2018 iPhone models perk up in China? It might, but it won't be an incentive for those in the country who have given the iPhone a wide berth because of non-financial reasons.

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7 Comments

1. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Not many people will fall for this, because why buy iPhones if you can have superior phones for half of the price. Look what Xiaomi, Huawei, Nokia, Oppo etc etc is doing, they are killing it!

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

For iOS. None of the phones you mentioned run iOS, so if a person need, likes, or just want that OS, that persons needs an iPhone. That’s why I have a Note, and an iPhone. I need/want both OS’s.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

That's less of an issue in China though. There is no "need" for iOS. There's no blue vs green bubble BS because everyone uses WeChat. Apple services like maps and Siri are even worse internationally. No company is issuing company iPhones. So it is mainly for a fashion statement in China and those are the only people still buying iPhones in China.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I see.

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6495; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apple has lost its shiny luxury brand appeal, and is introducing shoddy updates on a regular basis now (I'm curious to see if they've even solved that daylight saving time issue yet - it's coming up again soon). I wouldn't be surprised if people are starting to wake up to what they are actually getting now, especially with (like you said) there's so many quality options out there now.

9. Poptart2828

Posts: 323; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Apple will be non existent in a year or so. Only way Apple keeps its business there is if they start selling at cost and make up the difference in services provided.

10. mackan84

Posts: 190; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Even that wouldn’t fly in China because the only service they need is WeChat.

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