Apple Reportedly Plans to Cut Price of iPhone XR in Japan Due to Poor Sales and Restart iPhone X Production

Apple plans to discount the price of iPhone XR models in Japan by offering subsidies to Japanese carriers, according to a new report out this morning.

The Wall Street Journal said the price decreases on the $750 iPhone models could come as early as next week, citing sources familiar with Apple's sales strategy in the region.

iphonexr

"A price cut within a month off the release is rare not just for Apple but for smartphone makers in general," said a senior official at a wireless operator, who monitors sales.

Analysts say weaker-than-expected demand for iPhone XR may mirror what happened with the iPhone 5c in 2013, where sales picked up the following year. Apple's higher-priced XS and XS Max models, released a month earlier, appeal more to tech's early adopters who typically fuel initial sales of new iPhones.

The decision comes in the wake of a WSJ report earlier this week that claimed Apple has slashed production orders for its latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models due to lower-than-expected demand.

Part of the problem for Apple is that the iPhone 8 is apparently still hugely popular in Japan because of its affordability, given that it's cheaper than the XR and was still available when Apple launched the XS and XS Max.

According to WSJ's sources, Apple suppliers have also resumed making the iPhone X, the 2017 model that Apple no longer sells at its own stores. If Apple plans to sell the older model in Japan, it wouldn't be the first time the company has produced previously discontinued models for regional markets where it sees sufficient demand for cheaper devices. The strategy also allows Apple to benefit from lower-cost components and depreciated production line machinery.

However, supply chain sources who spoke to WSJ claim the resumption of iPhone X production is partly due to Apple's need to use OLED panels ordered from Samsung – panels that were previously earmarked for use in the iPhone XS and XS Max devices that have since been hit by swingeing production cuts.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

ChrisMoBro Avatar
70 months ago
It’s simple economics: wages are stagnant, inflation is rising so fewer people can justify spending a months mortgage payment on a device or £60-£80 a month for a contract. If the price of iPhones keep going up, sales will go down. Simple.
Score: 109 Votes (Like | Disagree)
levitynyc Avatar
70 months ago
Things they need to cut the price of everywhere:

iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
iPhone XR
iMac
MacBook Pro
MacBook
MacBook Air
Mac Mini
iPad Pro
iPad Air
iPad
AirPods
Apple Watch
Memory Upgrades
Apple Pencil

EDIT: Forgot about the Apple HomePod.

What did I miss?
Score: 108 Votes (Like | Disagree)
maflynn Avatar
70 months ago
I think apple is reaping what they have sown. I think they will be facing this issue worldwide to some degree. The prices are too high to justify the phones, financing (or leasing) masked the high cost to some degree but the Xs and Xs Max are so expensive, its a lot even if you finance them over two years.
Score: 101 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bokito Avatar
70 months ago
It more and more looks like Apple overplayed it's hand with this year's high-priced products.

The iPhone XS and XR are not worth the upgrade for many over an iPhone 7 or 8 as the only things that are improved are the camera and the screen (for an almost 50% premium!). Even on an iPhone 7 you won't max out the processor or the GPU and I still think Touch ID is worth way more than face ID.

It’s simple economics: wages are stagnant, inflation is rising so fewer people can justify spending a months mortgage payment on a device or £60-£80 a month for a contract. If the price of iPhones keep going up, sales will go down. Simple.
Here in the Netherlands you'll be registered for having an outstanding loan if you buy a subsidized phone, making iPhones way less attractive for people who want to buy a house as the registration will cut thousands of euros from your maximum mortgage and will increase your rent. Just putting down € 1500 at once for a phone is not something a person does every day.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lambertjohn Avatar
70 months ago
Things they need to cut the price of everywhere:

iPhone XS
iPhone XS Max
iPhone XR
iMac
MacBook Pro
MacBook
MacBook Air
Mac Mini
iPad Pro
iPad Air
iPad
EarPods
Apple Watch
Memory Upgrades
Apple Pencil

What did I miss?
Tim Cook's salary.
Score: 78 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve121178 Avatar
70 months ago
Apple have bitten the hands that feed them with some outrageous price increases in recent years. Good.
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...