Apple restarting iPhone X production, cutting XS price over slow sales?

Apple is said to be ready to offer subsidies to operators to discount the iPhone XR in Japan.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Apple is taking a few drastic steps to mitigate slower than expected sales of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and the cheaper XR, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company is planning to discount the iPhone XR in Japan where the cheaper iPhone 8 remains popular.

Discounts would be offered via subsidies to Japanese operators, according to the Wall Street Journal's report. Carriers could be cutting the price from XR 84,800 yen, around $750, next week, though it's not known by how much.

Apple has also restarted production of the last year's iPhone X, reportedly to meet a minimum purchase agreement with Samsung, which makes the iPhone X's OLED displays.

The supposed rationale for resuming iPhone X production is that it's cheaper to make than the iPhone XS and XS Max and therefore a more cost-effective way to fulfill the required volume.

Apple stopped selling the iPhone X as soon as it released the iPhone XS on September 21, and released the cheaper iPhone XR one month later.

The moves follow reports that iPhone component makers Qorvo, Lumentum and Japan Display had cut quarterly profit estimates because a large, unnamed customer had reduced existing orders.

Apple earlier this month said September quarter iPhone sales hadn't met analyst estimates and warned that the typically bumper December quarter would be lackluster.

The company also announced that as of the December quarter it would no longer report unit sales of the iPhone, iPad and Mac because the figures weren't representative of its business performance and didn't account for the spread of prices in each product line.

In the case of the iPhone, prices range between $449 and $1,449. Apple also insisted that sales of top-end iPhones were "very strong" in the September quarter.

Apple's fourth quarter iPhone sales of 46 million units were flat year over year, but iPhone revenues jumped 29 percent.

It's not clear where it would sell the iPhone X if it brings it back. As MacRumors notes, Apple has previously reintroduced discontinued models in select regional markets.

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