According to the Wall Street Journal article, sources close to the matter say the iPhone XR discounts will be in the form of subsidies to Japanese telecoms carriers.
The same WSJ article says that Apple will restart production of last years’ iPhone X in order to fulfil contractual obligations with Samsung, the manufacturer of displays for the iPhone models.
The article postulates that this is because the iPhone X is cheaper to produce than the XS range.
Price discounting of its products is a very rare practice for Apple and it is not clear whether the company will extend its iPhone XR cuts in Japan to other regions.
The latest news comes on the back of a horror week on Wall Street in which Apple’s share price was slashed by 10%.
Yesterday, while other members of the FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) group of tech stocks recovered after the previous day’s falls, Apple shares fell further.
Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook shocked the market when he announced lower than expected estimates for holiday period sales. Cook cited poor demand in large emerging markets such as India and Brazil as part of the reason.
Analysts were concerned that global iPhone sales in the fourth quarter were 1.5 million units lower than market expectations.
Later, news broke that Apple’s largest iPhone assembler Foxconn was cutting production, while a number of major component suppliers had issued profit warnings.
Adding further fuel to the fire was an announcement by Cook that Apple would no longer report the number of unit sales of its key product lines, iPhone, iPad and Mac.
The market has savaged Apple stock, slashing the share price by 24% since its peak in October.
Japan is a market where consumers are used to paying premium prices so discounting on Apple’s new low-end iPhone may concern the market further when it reopens on Monday after today’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US.