The discounting, as steep as $118 for the recently launched 64GB iPhone XR, is the latest sign that Apple’s weak holiday sales in China may have extended to the current quarter.
The price cuts on iPhones by Chinese retailers began in the middle of this week, with at least six offering promotions this weekend.
Prices for iPhones sold through Apple's own website remained unchanged.
The Tame Apple Press thinks that Apple is testing the Chinese market to see if price cuts make the slightest bit of difference. Cynics think that Apple is trying to clear out its inventory before it is left with a ton of phones. It is easier to do that through the channel because you don't have to officially drop the price.
Apple has been trailing local competitors such as Huawei that offer cheaper options and similar technology.
Suning announced on Friday that it would start selling the 64GB iPhone XR for $118.46 less than the device’s sticker price in China.
JD.com, a major online seller of consumer electronics, is offering promotions on models going back to the 8 series. Dangdang, one of its rivals, has launched a similar campaign.
Brick-and-mortar retailer GOME Retail Holdings (0493.HK) has discounted a range of iPhone models, while several authorized Apple resellers on Tmall, a marketplace run by e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N), are set to offer discounts on Sunday.
Qian Chao, a district manager for Shanghai-based iPhone distributor DoubleRise Beijing Technology, said it was the company’s decision to make the price cuts and that it had not received any official notice from Apple.