Apple is looking at a weak financial quarter as demand for its latest iPhone models plunges in Chinese markets.

Several local retailers, including Alibaba-backed JD.com and Suning, have introduced huge discounts on Apple’s top-of-the-line smartphones, according to CNBC. Suning slashed the price of 128 GB iPhone XR model from $1,036 to $858 – a 17.1% discount. Another retailer is selling iPhone XS, Apple’s most premium smartphone, for $1,436, which is almost $200 less than Apple’s official price in the US.

Pinduoduo and Taobao.com, two renowned online electronics retail stores, are also selling iPhone XS and iPhone XR models $100 cheaper than their US rates, Shanghai Daily reports.

Chinese consumers are looking for cheaper and more feature-rich alternatives like smartphones produced by Huawei.

Dumping iPhones

Smashed iPhone. Image from Shutterstock.

Mo Jia, an analyst with Shanghai-based Canalys, noted that both iPhone XR and iPhone XS are relatively new models and introducing discounts are uncommon for a trillion-dollar company like Apple. But, in the light of CEO Tim Cook’s weak Q1 forecasts last week, it’s not unimaginable that the US firm itself will lower the prices of its top models.

“It’s possible Apple wants to test the market’s feedback if it brings down the channel prices. Or, Apple might be under pressure to clean out its stock of iPhones,”

Jia added.

The analyst didn’t rule out the possibility of distributors acting on their own accord. Tim Cook’s Q1 guidance could have prompted retailers to cut down profits, especially when their experience with customers confirms lower demand.

Reuters confirmed that Chinese retailers started slashing iPhone rates soon after the Cook’s poor sales forecast were made public on January 2.

“If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100 percent from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China,” Cook wrote.

Apple Stock in Minor Correction

Apple Stock Value Dropped on January 2 | Source: Tradingview.com

Apple stock (NASDAQ:AAPL) is undergoing a weak correction. On January 3, the stock had fallen to $142.19 but later corrected in the wake of an overall US market recovery. It closed January 10 at $153.80 At the time of writing, Apple futures is down by 0.49%.

The poor sales report from China is expecting to weigh in on AAPL as the market opens for the US session Friday.

Apple Premarket Price. Chart by Marketwatch.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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