Apple's decision to launch three different iPhone models has been met with a bit of intrigue since the plan originally came to light. Many figured that iPhone 8 sales might be sluggish as people held off for the fancier iPhone X. In China this has proven particularly true, as two major online retailers in China are already offering big discounts on the device to try and move iPhone 8 stock.
Chinese e-tailer Suning.com is offering the iPhone 8 with discounts as large as 1,100 yuan, which works out to about $165.50 off the device. That discount makes it cheaper than pricing offered on the smartphone in other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong. Suning's official store on Tmall is also offering big discounts on the Phone 8 models, of 900 to 1,100 yuan depending on the model.
Buyers have to plunk down a 100 yuan deposit and the discounted iPhone 8 models will ship after November 11. With the discounts applied, the iPhone 8 is selling for 4,788 yuan for the 64GB versions, or about $721. The official Apple decreed pricing for China is 5,888 yuan. The higher-end 256GB version is selling for 6,888 yuan, or about $1036 with the Suning offer.
Suning isn't the only e-tailer that is selling the iPhone on discount, JD.com is also offering significant discounts. There are 500-, 700-, and 800-yuan discounts on iPhone models that are priced at 5000 - 7000 yuan normally.
“The iPhone 8 might be the most poorly sold flagship iPhone model in China, as such huge discounts have never been seen before in the country,” said Zhao Ziming, a senior analyst at Pintu Tank in Beijing.
The analyst also noted that a month after the iPhone 7 launched last year, the smartphone was still hard to find in China. Some see the issue with the iPhone 8 as the fact that it was a minor upgrade visually leaving buyers with little reason to upgrade.