Apple is reducing the price on a number of its biggest mobile products in the next few days - including the iPhone 13 series. These discounts will only be available to customers in China, though.
Although we're used to seeing reductions from third-party retailers, Apple is famously resistant to offering price drops on its own wares (outside of a recurring student discount in select markets), making these forthcoming cuts a surprising move and raising questions about the potential for such deals elsewhere.
As spotted by Bloomberg, from July 29 to August 1 Apple is hosting what it's calling its Summer Shopping Event, which sees the following savings available to customers who use specific payment methods, including Alipay.
- CNY 600 (around £75 / $90 / AU$130) cut on the price of all four iPhone 13 models
- CNY 500 (£60 / $75 / AU$105) reduction on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini
- CNY 200 (£25 / $30 / AU$40) off the iPhone SE (2022) and Apple Watch SE
- CNY 250 (£30 / $35 / AU$55) off AirPods Pro,
- CNY 150 (£18 / $22 / AU$32) off AirPods 3
In the shadow of COVID-19, many established players in China's mobile market have run into challenges, including temporary shut-downs and supply chain upsets, paired with weaker product demand from consumers, rising manufacturing costs, and inflation.
Apple, however, saw market share growth in the last quarter - between April and June.
Analysis: why just China?
While it might seem unfair that Apple is dishing out deals that fans outside of China can't get their hands on, the company clearly closely monitors the conditions of each market it sells in and makes very different decisions, often informed by local factors.
The price of the iPhone actually increased in Japan recently - as the value of the yen dropped against the dollar to a 24-year low (again, via Bloomberg) - while the iPhone SE (2022) was made more expensive for consumers in the US, compared to its 2020 predecessor, when it launched back in March.
The silver lining is that, in many markets, even if it hasn't made them cheaper, Apple has made the process of being able to afford one of the best smartphones on the market a little bit more palatable, with options including instalment plans that offer 0% interest.
Even if Apple isn't offering you a deal, there are iPhone discounts to be had from third-party retailers. Start your search by checking out our best iPhone deals available right now.