Apple Store Sanlitun, Beijing, ChinaApple today added installment payment plans to its online store in China, giving Chinese buyers the option to purchase iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks via credit.

Consumers can choose to pay in installments on merchandise that costs between 300 yuan ($48) and 30,000 yuan ($4,800), through a plan from China Merchants Bank Co.

As Bloomberg notes, the credit option puts expensive devices like the iPad and the iPhone into the reach of Chinese workers, who often cannot afford to purchase Apple's devices.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, is trying to make its products more affordable in China after being surpassed by local suppliers such as ZTE Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. in the smartphone market. The iPhone 5, released in China last month, is priced at 5,288 yuan on Apple's local site, equal to about six weeks' pay for the average urban worker.

"There is an enormous mid-range consumer market that they are not tapping into," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting Ltd., a Beijing-based market research firm. "They're trying to figure out how to make products more accessible to that market segment. This is a good step in that direction."

In the Foxconn factories where Apple's mobile devices are assembled, junior level workers make approximately 1,800 yuan per month, which means the iPad and the iPhone are nearly unattainable without an installment option

Apple is currently offering payment plans over three, six, 12, 18, and 24 months. A promotion that lasts through January 23 makes payment plans lasting a year or less interest free. Payment plans with 18 installments incur a fee of 6.5 percent of the selling price, and 24 installment plans have a fee of 8.5 percent.

Top Rated Comments

iLondoner Avatar
122 months ago
I would hate to live in China. That is freaking ridiculous. I don't care if they're factory workers or service people; they should earn a livable wage.

They do earn a living wage... for China.

But Chinese living wages are for housing, food and essentials. And the last time I checked, buying BMWs, going on world cruises, or buying the latest techno products aren't classed as essentials.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlituna Avatar
122 months ago
No, no, no. Apple is supposed to make a cheap phone for them. They must. John Sculley said so
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NoMoreSony Avatar
122 months ago
Just two simple facts -

"A promotion that lasts through January 23 makes payment plans lasting a year or less interest free."

"Apple will announce its earnings for the first fiscal quarter (fourth calendar quarter) of 2013 on Wednesday, January 23.

Interest free payment plans in one of the biggest Apple markets lasts only through the day when earnings will be announced... Hmm... Looks someone has very big problems with the sales and the figures needs to be improved right now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Plutonius Avatar
122 months ago
Finally, someone is crediting the Chinese :D.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dontwalkhand Avatar
122 months ago
So now we are teaching the Chinese the true American way, mounds of credit card debt is the answer to attaining products you can't afford!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velocityg4 Avatar
122 months ago
How about every employer in the world paying its employees a living wage and then some so people don't have to resort to payment plans? Seriously, how much are some of these payment plans in relation to a Chinese person's monthly income, 20%? 50%?

You can help by not purchasing products from these companies. Then spend more for products from competitors that pay their employees better.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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