Online retailers in China are discounting the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus by up to 1,100 yuan ($165.50) after they failed to sell well. The South China Morning Post reports today that China’s largest electrical appliance retailer, Suning Appliance, is lowering the devices' prices and offering additional discounts to anyone who puts a 100 yuan deposit down on a larger-capacity iPhone 8 model.
Another online retailer, JD.com, is offering 50 yuan ($75), 700 yuan ($105), and 800 yuan ($120) discounts on all iPhone 8 models that were originally priced at more than 5,000 yuan ($752), 6,000 yuan ($902), and 7,000 yuan ($1,053), meaning at least a 10 percent sale. These discounts are rare for a new iPhone, particularly outside of Hong Kong, where the devices already sell at a cheaper price. Some analysts suggest that the new phones are selling better than the iPhone 7, but that the brand's growth still trails behind Chinese brands like Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, and Xiaomi.
Still, these discounts aren't necessarily surprising, given the worldwide reports of lackluster sales and hype.
Reuters reported earlier this month that more customers in the US were buying iPhone 7s than iPhone 8s. Although Apple hasn't provided specific numbers, the new phones were still in stock on launch day, unlike most other years. In the US, the iPhone 7 is about $150 cheaper than the iPhone 8, so any discount could make it just as enticing as the older model. Early adopters, who would most likely preorder the device, are likely waiting for the iPhone X’s release. But with new orders not shipping for at least a month, some users might end up buying the iPhone 8 instead of waiting.