Apple Inc. will unveil their latest model of iPhone 8 on Tuesday, hoping that the number’s auspicious connotation in China will help turn around fortunes in the world’s largest smartphone market after six consecutive quarters of plunging sales.
However, Chinese customers are already computing the cost as the newest model peaked to have a price of $1,000 and more–approximately double the average Chinese earns in a month. Apple’s success on its latest iPhone model in China is crucial for the California-based company, which has witnessed its once-coveted phone fall into fifth position in the world’s second-economy behind offerings from local rivals Huawei Technologies, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiami Inc.
Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, accounted approximately 18 percent of iPhone sales in July quarter ending, pulling it off as the tech giant’s top market after the United States and Europe. However, those sales have been plunging consistently and have slumped 10 percent from a year earlier, compared to the growth in all other regions.
The iPhone’s share of China’s smartphone shipments also dipped to 9 percent from January to June, falling 14 percent in 2015, as indicated on a released data from consultancy Counterpoint Research.
The iPhone 7 underwent from the perception that it was too similar to its previous models. This time, despite rumors of wireless charging, innovative touch screen, and facial recognition technology, Chinese citizens are yet to replicate the online mania around previous iPhone releases.
Weibo, a well-known social media platform in China, mentioned the iPhone 8 were running slightly ahead of the similar period before the iPhone 7 launch, but were far more muted than with the iPhone 6.
One of the effects of Apple’s expensive phone to date will be the gain of sales on credit. As stated by a Chinese citizen and smartphone store owner in Beijing, he is expecting more purchases online this time, as customers make payments by installment.
Apple will also enter a new territory on price, as the newest model will begin at about $1,000, compared to the $769 minimum for its most recent phone, the iPhone 7 Plus.
From Apple’s introduction to iPhones a decade ago, the tech giant has always priced it as a premium product, which is a more refined and polished alternative to legions of cheaper smartphones available in the market.
However, the firm is pushing into luxury territory, as the new phones will cost as much as the company’s entry level of MacBook Air.
Apple declined to release a statement before the product introduction on Tuesday. Investors are betting that Apple’s hiking of price will pay off much higher profits, especially in the United States and Western Europe.
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