(Yicai Global) Sept. 17 -- The new releases of iPhone are easy to get this year in China, in stark a departure from previous years. The price of the iPhone X, which came out just last year, has risen on many e-commerce platforms as supplies of the discontinued handset dwindle.
Pre-orders of the three new handsets, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS MAX and iPhone XR, the three new iPhones released, began from Sept. 14 simultaneously on official Apple platforms. The first batches of such pre-orders usually sell out very quickly. These new releases could still be pre-ordered National Business Daily discovered on Sept. 14 when it tried to buy them, however. The delivery of an iPhone X only takes one week, whereas last year it took three, four or even five to six weeks for some buyers.
The pre-order of new releases of iPhone has instead promoted iPhone X sales. The channel-based price of each iPhone X has recently gone up by from CNY200 (USD29.50) to CNY300. Demand is constant for the signature Apple handsets, whether brand-new or used, said a cell phone retailer from Shenzhen surnamed Wang.
Prior to the official launch, scalpers formerly jacked up the price of new iPhones after a new release by Apple. For example, the price of the iPhone X last year bought from such a tout was over CNY17,000 (USD2,509) and even reached CNY29,999, when the official price was only CNY8,388. Scalpers have promised new releases on the day of official launch. However, the price of new iPhones this year is quite different from previous ones.
Huaqiang North Commercial Area in Shenzhen has been styled the 'barometer and weather vane of the Chinese electronic industry.'
In addition to the shops of brand cellphones are many small and medium-sized individual phone sellers as well as scalpers. Wang has been working here for five years. Few people in the area will retain their focus on new iPhones this year because they already know not much profit can be wrung from them, Wang explained.
Apple released the new smartphones in the Apple keynote 2018, on Sept. 12. Dismissive comments of "no new hardware breakthroughs" made by media towards these new releases have not dampened their sky-high prices, however.
The unit price of 512GB (capacity) version of iPhone XS Max, the one with the largest ever screen, goes as high as CNY12,800. Web users regard the iPhone XR as the budget iPhone version because of its CNY6,500 starting price. Hardware settings and configurations are indeed sacrificed, however. Stratospheric iPhone prices now seem a thing of the past as the marque ages.
Editor: Ben Armour