Apple’s all-new iPhone XR isn’t catching on with consumers as well as the company expected, a report published last week by The Wall Street Journal confirmed. And while the tech-giant’s already went ahead and reduced its previously-placed orders for the mid-range flagship by as much as 10 million units through 2018, WSJ went on and alluded to a potential new marketing strategy Apple hopes will bolster iPhone XR adoption in the key Japanese market specifically.
Apple’s new Japanese carrier agreements will see the price of a brand-new iPhone XR drop by as much as $100 when purchased alongside select two-year service contracts courtesy of regional telecom-giant NTT Docomo.
Much like American telecom-giants Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint used to do just a few years ago, Japan still relies on a carrier business model where the total cost of a new device is heavily subsidized to attract customers.
In this case, as noted on NTT Docomo’s website, the cost of an iPhone XR with 64 GB, when purchased alongside a 24-month contract — which would normally cost 36,000 yen (~$316 USD) upfront, drops with the new promotion to just 24,000 yen (~$210 USD) upfront — excluding the additional monthly service fees.
As far as those are pertinent, NTT Docomo’s basic unlimited plan includes an iPhone XR with 64 GB for around 7000 yen (~$61 USD) per month, which is a pretty good deal if you’re willing and able to stay locked into a carrier contract for two-years.
Due in large part to the underwhelming response to its mid-range iPhone XR in the country, Apple has reportedly authorized other wireless carriers in Japan (where it currently holds a whopping 50 percent of the smartphone market share) to discount their iPhone XR offerings by as much as $100, as well.
While it’s clear Apple is intent on selling as many new iPhone XR units as possible, it’s unclear how these new marketing strategies will ultimately impact sales — especially since, as The Wall Street Journal and other reports noted, Apple appears to be selling more iPhone 8 models than anything else this year.
Sadly, the +/-$100 discount on iPhone XR is limited to the Japanese market and select wireless carrier partners such as NTT Docomo, for the time being. And so we shouldn’t expect to see any similar promotions here in the U.S. or elsewhere.