Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have their prices cut in China; analyst calls Apple a "luxury" brand

Yesterday, we passed along a report that cited demand for the Apple iPhone 8 and Apple iPhone 8 Plus in China for Apple's strong showing in the country during the third calendar quarter (Apple's fiscal fourth quarter). During that three month period, Apple shipped 38% more iPhone units in the country than it did last year. However, a fresh report from Reuters that was published today, says that the price of the iPhone 8 has been cut by as much as 20% in China. The lower price is designed to lure buyers who otherwise seem fixated on the Apple iPhone X. The tenth anniversary model launches on Friday.

As we told you on Monday, Apple shipped 11 million handsets in China during the quarter that ended last month. That was up from the 8 million units it shipped the previous year, and was the best quarter the iPhone has had in China over the last two years.

With price cuts ranging from 14% to 20%, consumers in China can now buy the 64GB Apple iPhone 8 for 4,788 yuan. At current exchange rates, that works out to $722.61 USD. The top-of-the-line 256GB Apple iPhone 8 Plus goes for 6,888 yuan, the equivalent of $1,039.54 USD. These prices come from China's leading appliance retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd. It is unusual, to say the least, for a new iPhone model launched less than two months ago to undergo a price cut of this magnitude.

Speaking of pricing, HSBC analyst Erwan Rambourg says that Apple should now be considered a luxury brand. And like all companies in this sector, he points out that "Consumers are buying the spirit of the brand and the way it makes them feel about themselves and in society." The most expensive iPhone ever, the Apple iPhone X, will go on sale this coming Friday after a week of pre-orders. Apple says that it was not prepared for the heavy demand generated by the phone, which it said is "off the charts."

The 64GB model of the iPhone X is priced at $999, while the 256GB version will cost $1,149. It is the first iPhone ever to be equipped with an edge-to-edge OLED panel. The 5.8-inch display is the largest in iPhone history, and the device is powered by the A11 Bionic chipset. In place of Touch ID, the Face ID facial recognition system unlocks the device and also verifies the user's identity for Apple Pay. The battery is said to last two hours longer than the cell used on the Apple iPhone 7, and the Portrait Lighting feature adds dramatic backgrounds to your selfies and portraits.


Rambourg, the HSBC analyst, sees Apple increasing its "retail penetration," noting that only a quarter of its sales come from direct-to-consumer online sales, and retail sales. He sees that figure rising and says that "the brand is just scratching the surface of its retail potential."

source: Reuters, CNBC

FEATURED VIDEO

44 Comments

1. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Apple is a luxury brand. Phones are a necessity, but not $1000 phones. We as the consumer forced all these OEMs to start charging these prices.

2. Valdomero

Posts: 677; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

"Forced" is not the correct word, I would say "enticed" or "tempted" all the OEMs as they observed how obsessed people are, willing to pay anything they charge. I have a personal rule, NEVER buy a phone over $500. It's just not worth it, We can get good phones for less than $500.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"We can get good phones for less than $500." Yeah. Flagship killers, for that matter.

8. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Yeah, I would say its time for the so-called "flagships" to die a horiible death. No phone is worth more than $650 no matter what brand it is. Smaller computers do cost more than big ones. But a phone shouldn't cost more than a computer when it offers less functions. An iPhone that cost as much as the Mac Air is a complete travesty. But as long as idiots stand in line like a bunch of pre-programmed zombies, its not gonna get any better.

29. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

No Android phone is worth more than $650 no matter what brand it is. This is the correct sentence Techie. Your last sentence proves that you are a jealous stupid guy.

33. midan

Posts: 2870; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Well said, and that's exactly reason why Android flagship sales are so bad, Well i think it's more like over $500 is too much for Android.

40. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The best rated smartphones the past three years have all been Android phones. iPhones were often ranked third or lower.

44. MarvzIsFallen

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 11, 2017

Too many poor people than rich. Just so you know. Iphone is for rich as android is for poor. There were only few rich people who choose android flagship than iphones. They are stupid to think that spec and their OS were great. The fact is, they tend to lag in just 6months.

42. worldpeace

Posts: 3133; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Flagships need to be there, because just like it's name, it guide the path for future mid-ranger and low-end class smartphones. Flagships is expensive because it use newest technology available for it's manufacturer at the time to compete with other flagships, and once that tech is common among flagships, it will make it's way to mid-ranger and low-end, which is a great thing for costumers Next year we'll see more mid-ranger and low-end with 9:18 screen and slimmer bezels, thanks to flagship that keep the competition and pushing tech forward. (And you don't need to spend more than $650 for a phone, no one force you. Just get last year's flagship and you'll be good with that. But if you want latest techs in your smartphone, you'll need to pay extra)

6. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Forced is the correct word, we forced them to charge these high prices because we are greedy and always want the newest thing even though it’s the same s**t from last year. That’s all OEMs. No one has really brought out anything groundbreaking since the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy S3. Minor improvements every year that honestly we could live with out.

4. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

No they are not a luxury. They pretend to be. We didn't force them to charge such prices, we allowed it buy continuously buying even with prices going up, when they should be going down. PC have dropped over the years and which these OEM's selling 100's of millions of phone per year, $1000 is an insult. None of today's phones from any brand have "impressive tech". They have the same stuff that is simply being revised and improved. Whether its better stuff overall is a personal thing. But from what I see, none of this stuff is new, it is however improved. Are the improvements worth what they cost? Well if they don't work any better than they did 10 years ago, what exactly are we paying more for?

10. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Exactly, all OEMs charging these ridiculous prices are just raping us.

30. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

“No they are not a luxury. They pretend to be.” Jealous and stupid.

36. TechNeck

Posts: 651; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

How is he jealous if he's stating the truth? I, myself own a 7+ and I know that it's not worth as much as the S7 that was out at the time. I know it costs more to make the S7/S7 Edge compared to the 7. And all flagship phones are luxuries to have not, only iPhones. You biased opinion is imbecilic. -_-

5. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1420; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I'd like to think that is still in the eye of the beholder. To me a new iPhone isn't worth more than $350. I've owned some Apple devices, but I can't honestly call it a luxury brand. It's overrated and overpriced. I got better performance out of a $1200 laptop than a $2400 Macbook Pro. I got better music out of a $180 Creative mediaplayer than out of a $329 iPod Classic. I found my Note 10.1 2014 far more useful than my iPad has ever been. And any Android phone i've ever owned including the Galaxy Spica, was a far more enjoyable experience than the iPhone has been. To me luxury has to be something worth the price. Apple doesn't come close for me. The only reason it's become a "luxury" brand is that people love to follow the rich and bump up that social status by owning an iPhone, but I've also seen people letting their kids starve so they could buy one. If that's what a luxury brand is worth, I'd rather just get anything but...

7. Derekjeter

Posts: 1488; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

You can also get better performance from a Dodge Hellcat than a Mercedes C63amg, but Mercedes is still considered a luxury brand.

11. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

You cannot compare American cars with German cars! German and Japanese cars are far more superior!

13. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"German and Japanese cars are far more superior!" You wanna try that again, champ?

21. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

I'm with you 100% on this one. In 2013 I purchase a C300. In the first year I had to take it back for costly repairs. For 3 months I was driving on what was suppose to be 4 cylinders, but one was busted. No engine light. They fixed that. After 6 months, the rears rims were replaced because they cracked from the center, because the bolts were overly-tightened and it cracked the rim from the center. Then I had improper reading from gas gauge. Then there was the recall on the C300 series for all models from 2013-2017. Is that quality? I rather get an American car. AT least when it breaks it won't cost me an arm and a leg and a neck too.

38. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

We never buy American, Italian or French cars! Why, because they suck! American cars are good for muscle but for the road with corners they are far inferior! American cars are good for straight roads but they truly suck with corners, they just go straight. Btw i am in South America on holiday, only Japanese and few Germans cars here. If you drive American they will laugh at you because they break down easily! If American cars were that awesome why are they not sold a lot worldwide? You will always see German and Japanse cars in almost every country! So yes German and Japanese cars are superior!

16. Peacetoall unregistered

Germans cars are not more superior they have a higher rate of breakdown than american cars. American cars are more durable than german cars. Sweety do you Remember emission gate.

31. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1420; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I worked as a mechanic for a few years and I can tell you with 100% certainty that American cars are very problematic, more so than any other. To some extent its a matter of maintenance, but we got far more American cars in with engine problems, electrical problems, rust problems and so on than we had European or Asian cars.

18. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Once upon a time. Not anymore. German and Japanese imports are seen on the road broken down and fallign apart just as much or more than typical American brands. Honda is dead here. The Civic and Accord are still their top sellers, but they are rarely talked about. The Camry is still number 1 selling, but the brand hasn't been the same since they lied about quality issues. Volkswagen is gonna die a horrible death after they lied to the US Gov't and got busted. BMW and Mercedes are just over price taxicabs. Both brand have release lower costing models and are offering better finance plans to get yuppies to buy. I've had a C300 before and it was terrible to be such a pricey 4 cylinder. Also repair costs are not worth it. I have sworn off imports after owning 4 from 3 brands. I drive a BMW now which is a company car and its electric. But I personally woudl never buy such. I've looked at Tesla a few times. I just think their cars are ugly. I was so hoping their SUV woudl have been as cool as what I saw at the Auto show. It's not.

32. cmdacos

Posts: 4200; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I see more Mercedes broken down on the side of the road than anything else.

41. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's a generalization. There was a span of several years where Mercedes had the lowest quality rating and most repair incidents of any automaker.

26. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1420; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

But Mercedes is considered a luxury brand because of the entirety of their product, high quality materials, excellent finish, impressive audiosystem, great performance, superb ride. It's things I couldn't attribute to a Dodge Hellcat. My experience with Apple has taught me that they are no luxury brand, just overrated and overpriced. I had high hopes for the Essential Phone to be a proper luxury phone, but that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. If rumors are in any way accurate Sony's new design for it 2018 high end model, may put it back at the luxury phone list.

34. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

The only luxury phone brand I am aware of is Vertu and they recently went out of business, because they had a non-sustainable business model. The rest of these pretenders like Apple, Microsoft and Samsung who are trying to overprice their products are gonna get a crude wake-up call this year. Apple only just one month with the iPhone 8, has already dropped the price. Usually you on;y see this with android, only because they have to have a price war with other Android makers. But with Apple only having iOS and halving production after one month and dropping the phone cost by 20% is a tell-tell sign that apple to pawning itself as luxury is about to go down the drain if they don't wise up.

12. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Luxury isn't about price, its about what you get for the price. And a phone with a 720/1080P display when other devices are near 4K, is certainly not luxury. Let me ask you, if a Mercedes Benz only had cloth seats, non-power windows and seats, only AM/FM radio and a 3 cylinder engine that looked like a Yugo, would you claim its a luxury car if they jacked the price up to $50,000? I mean I just wanna know, because I am trying to define what you define "luxury" to mean. Luxury by definiton? The definition of a luxury is something that is not essential but is desirable and often expensive or the state of having or enjoying desirable and expensive things. Apple products are expensive and thus "luxury by definition". But compared to actual luxury items available, they are not. If the iPhone was a car, it would be the highest trim level Camry. It would not be on the same floor as a Benz, or BMW or similar. A luxuriant iPhone, would be those ones layered in 24k gold and tons of diamonds. That woudl be an actual luxury iPhone. Exmaple of a luxy smartphone...recently defunct Vertu -https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/LSeG2nNbL3ozBuq62LGymN17f64=/0x0:2300x1816/1200x800/filters:focal(966x724:1334x1092)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/52914339/vertu_constellation.0.jpg Notice what it has in common with iPhone. Selling looks with no substance. Samsung is guilty of this too. But far less guilty because they only sell 2 luxury models vs how many cheap ones they sell. As Nicole Hilton once said, she would never pay $500 for a pair jean. I too starting in 2018 will not pay more than $500 for another phone.

14. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Wtf are you talking about? The term luxury brand is an economic connotation to describe a brand with prestige or one that sells a lot of luxurious goods. A luxury good is something that increases in demand as income levels rise. The iPhone is a luxury good because as the income increases within a given populace the demand for that particular phone gets higher, and thus by association (or rather selling that good in multiple variations) Apple is a luxury brand. How is this complicated? Why are all your examples strawmen arguments?

17. Peacetoall unregistered

Totally agree.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.