Following reports of production cuts and slow sales of the 2018 iPhones, Apple has launched a new promotion on its website touting the iPhone XR as available "from $449", rather than its actual price of $749.
It's the latest step in Apple's recent marketing efforts to spur iPhone sales and comes a week after it kicked off a promotional trade-in deal, which offers up to $100 more in credit to consumers who purchase an iPhone XS or iPhone XR.
According to Bloomberg, these irregular promotions for the 2018 iPhones follow Apple recently shuffling around marketing executives to focus on boosting sales of the newest iPhones.
This move happened around the launch of the iPhone XR in late October, a month after the iPhone XS and XS Max became available. The marketing effort is described by an Apple source as a "fire drill".
The new way of positioning the iPhone XR as a $449 device appeared on Apple's website on Sunday.
Apple's website explains in fine print that "$449 reflects price of iPhone XR after trade-in of iPhone 7 Plus", which under Apple's promotional trade-in campaign offers $300 credit toward a 2018 iPhone.
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An Apple exec last week told CNET that the iPhone XR was the "most popular iPhone each and every day since it became available". That, of course, doesn't mean it's selling well compared with models in previous years.
The new iPhone promotions come as Apple ends its practice of reporting iPhone unit sales, which it had done since launching the first iPhone in 2007.
Apple's shares are down about 20 percent since it reported its October quarter earnings, which revealed flat year-over-year iPhone sales but revenue growth of 30 percent.
Analysts at HSBC told investors in a note this week that Apple was "now facing the reality of market saturation" and warned that iPhone unit growth was over for now.
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