Apple Launches New Year’s Discount in China, Triggering Dissatisfaction

Apple announced the launch of a “New Year’s Promotion” in China on December 27. From December 30, 2022 to January 2, 2023, users purchasing designated Apple products can save 100 yuan to 1000 yuan ($14.36 – $143.63). However, because the promotional models do not include the iPhone 14 series or AirPods Pro (2nd generation) products, some Chinese web users commented that Apple is only clearing out inventory via the New Year’s promotion event.

According to Apple’s statement, the products included in this preferential activity include smartphones, tablets, computers, headphones and smart watches. Users wishing to take advantage of the sales need to purchase designated products and complete payment through specified methods, with only two items allowed per customer per product category. Moreover, some physical Apple retail stores in China are not participating in this preferential activity.

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On one Chinese social media platform, a survey involving more than 4,300 people showed that over 86% of the voters (more than 3,700 people) expressed dissatisfaction with Apple’s “New Year’s Promotion.” At the same time, the 200 yuan discount for the iPhone 13/13 mini is also considered to be insufficient. “Am I the one who is short of that 200 yuan?” commented one web user.

Some netizens are dissatisfied that Apple’s latest iPhone 14 is not included in the promotional activity. However, the smartphone model actually appeared in the official flagship store of Apple on Taobao, a leading e-commerce platform under Alibaba. On the Taobao store, iPhone 14 is priced for 5549 yuan, enjoying the 450-yuan discount initiated at the Tmall New Year Shopping Festival. The discount is much higher than the 200-yuan reduction of iPhone 13 products offered through Apple’s official website event.

This is not the first time Apple China has launched a promotional activity this year. According to the company’s Chinese official website, from July 29 to August 1, products such as the iPhone 13 were sold at a discount, and consumers could reap a maximum discount of 600 yuan. Bloomberg commented that Apple would never easily change the price of its products, and it was a “rare retail promotion.”

Given chip shortages and other factors, the performance of Chinese mobile phone manufacturers has shown a slight decline this year, with the shipments of Android phones dropping sharply and Apple becoming the big winner in the Chinese market.

According to industry data, one out of every four phones sold in China in October this year was an iPhone. On December 1, the monthly report on mobile phone sales released by Counterpoint Research showed that in October 2022, Apple’s monthly market share in China reached 25%, the highest level in history, and it became the largest mobile phone brand manufacturer in the Chinese market for two consecutive months.

However, in this “cold winter” of mobile phones, the performance of Apple’s mobile phones is not going that well. According to the data by IDC, in the first three quarters of this year, the year-on-year growth rates of Apple’s mobile phone shipments in China were -5.8%, 0.1% and 2.5% respectively.