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Apple slashes iPhone prices in China amid fierce Huawei competition

BEIJING (Reuters) — Apple has launched an aggressive discounting campaign on its official Tmall site in China, offering discounts of up to 2,300 yuan ($318) on select iPhone models.

The discounting comes as the U.S. tech giant seeks to defend its position in the high-end smartphone market, where it faces increasing competition from local rivals such as Huawei.

Running from May 20 to May 28, it is more substantial than the one Apple offered in February.

While the highest discount in the February campaign was 1,150 yuan, this time discounts are up to 2,300 yuan. The steepest discount applies to the 1TB iPhone 15 Pro Max model, while other models also see significant price cuts.

FILE PHOTO: People look at the new iPhone 15 Pro as Apple's new iPhone 15 officially goes on sale across China at an Apple store in Shanghai
The launch of Apple's iPhone 15 handset in China at an Apple store in Shanghai. (Reuters)

For instance, the 128 GB version of the base iPhone 15 model has a discount of 1,400 yuan, according to Reuters' checks on Monday.

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The increased competitive pressure on Apple comes after Huawei last month introduced its new series of high-end smartphones, the Pura 70, following the launch of the Mate 60 last August.

Apple's previous discounting effort in February appears to have helped the company mitigate a sales slowdown in China.

Apple's shipments in China increased by 12% in March, according to Reuters' calculations based on data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). This marks a significant improvement from the first two months of 2024, when the company experienced a 37% slump in sales.

(Reporting by Liam Mo and Casey Hall; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)