No plan to cut iPhone XR prices: Major telecom operators

Taipei, Taiwan's three major telecom operators said Tuesday they have no plan to follow their Japanese counterparts in cutting the price of the latest iPhone XR amid slower than expected global demand.

Chunghwa Telecom Co., one of Taiwan's big three, said it has not been informed of any price cut by Apple Inc. for the iPhone XR, and rivals Taiwan Mobile Co. and Far EasTone Telecommunications echoed that position in response to a price cut for the phone in Japan.

Japanese telecom operators cut iPhone XR prices over the weekend after Apple moved aggressively to give them subsidies to stimulate iPhone sales in a market where it has more than a 50 percent share.

Top Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, for example, slashed its iPhone XR price by about 30 percent on its 2-year subscription contract.

In Taiwan, the 6.5-inch OLED iPhone XS Max and 5.8-inch OLED iPhone XS -- which hit the market in September -- have starting prices of NT$39,900 (US$1,291) and NT$35,900 in Taiwan, respectively.

As for the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone XR, which went on sale globally in October, the starting price in Taiwan is NT$26,900.

Before the three new models went on sale, the market anticipated that the more affordable iPhone XR would receive a warmer welcome, but demand for the model has been slower than expected globally.

As a result, TF International Securities' Kuo Ming-chi (???), regarded as one of the most reliable analysts on Apple, cut his forecast for iPhone XR shipments by 30 million units to 70 million for the period from October 2018 to September 2019.

An executive with a local telecom operator told CNA that while sales of the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max have shown signs of slowing down in Taiwan due to their relatively high prices, sales of the iPhone XR remained stable and account for 55 percent of the sales of the three new iPhones in the country.

The stable sales mean it is unlikely that Taiwan's telecom operators will cut their iPhone XR prices for the time being, the executive said.

Demand for the older iPhone 8 remains strong and continues to provide a solid foundation for iPhone sales in Taiwan, the executive said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel