Apple is set to lower prices of the iPhone XR in Japan by offering subsidies to Japanese carriers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal this morning. The price drops are apparently going into effect as soon as next week. The $750 price is somewhat disguised in Japan due to bundled carrier contracts, but the device is seemingly being overshadowed by the still popular iPhone 8 in the region.
In that same vein, the report says Apple is actually restarting production of the iPhone X for sale in certain markets …
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It’s not clear how significant the price drop on the iPhone XR will be.
Price cuts from Apple are rare but not unprecedented. It has used the tactic from time to time to target specific markets where devices underperform. We would not expect to see price cuts reflected worldwide, only in certain geographic regions as appropriate.
It is somewhat disconcerting to see price cuts happen in Japan, where the iPhone has a commanding dominance on the smartphone market. It seems like that is still the case, but customers are favoring the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus series over the iPhone XR.
iPhone X returns
The new production round of iPhone X is ‘due in part’ to Apple’s contract requirements with Samsung Display, according to the same Wall Street Journal report. Apple has to meet minimum order requirements of OLED display panels.
Due to some sluggishness in iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, bringing back the iPhone X allows Apple to use the excess OLED screen components in a product that was shown to be very popular during its lifetime, at a discounted price that more people can afford.
It’s not clear if the iPhone X will go back on sale around the world. It is unlikely that Apple will stock the iPhone X in its own stores, rather opting to sell it through carriers and resellers. It is currently on sale at new Apple Authorized retailer Amazon for $899 with SimpleMobile. Apple did something similar in the past by relaunching the iPhone 6 years after it was officially discontinued.