Following a report in the Wall Street Journal that said Apple planned to slash the price of the iPhone XR in Japan to combat sluggish demand for the new phone, the company has indirectly lowered the price of the XR by increasing its associated carrier subsidies.
Starting with NTT Docomo, one of the country’s largest telecom providers, consumers in Japan can ¥12,000 save (approximately $140 CAD) over a two-year plan with the new discount.
Before this week’s announcement, the 64GB iPhone XR cost ¥36,000 on a 24-month contract at NTT Docomo. Following the new discount, it now costs ¥24,000 to get the iPhone XR at the carrier. Japan’s other wireless providers are expected to follow suit shortly.
At the moment, Apple is not expected to implement a similar strategy in other markets. With this discount, the company’s primary goal was to push Japanese buyers away from the iPhone 8, which had continued to outsell the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR despite the recent release of those devices.
A combination of a downturn in global smartphone demand and a lukewarm response to the company’s latest trio of smartphones has forced Apple to cut production orders for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. The move has caused a ripple effect through the company’s supply chain, with the company’s biggest supplier, Foxconn, suffering the brunt of the downturn in demand.
In the same report that predicted Apple would slash the price of the iPhone XR in Japan, the Wall Street Journal said the company planned to restart manufacturing the iPhone X, as well. No word yet on if Apple went ahead with that plan.