Apple is offering subsidies to mobile network operators in Japan to shore up sales of its least-expensive new smartphone.
The de facto discount of the handset in Japan, coupled with deep cuts in global production plans for the XR, are a sign of limited enthusiasm among consumers for the model.
To be clear, it has fewer features than Apple’s other two new releases and costs more than still popular older models like the iPhone 8.
Japanese consumers are not impressed. Some Japanese consumers say the XR’s price, while considerably below the XS, is too high for the sacrifices in display quality, the number of camera lenses, and slower data transmission speed.
Not surprisingly Apple's most recent earnings show sales of iPhones were lower than predicted and the company is reportedly cutting production plans for all three new iPhone models.
There are no indications that price cuts will be seen anywhere else in the world. It seems that the Apple management thinks that only the Japanese will spot the flaw in their cunning plan.
For those who came in late, Apple’s last batch of phones offered little in the way of improvements, but much in the way of price increases. It appeared that Apple thought that punters would believe that because they were paying more for the devices, they must be getting some improvements. However, the iPhones are behind their rivals in most functionality with even the Tame Apple Press admitting that equivalent Samsung phones - or mid-range Chinese models - are better value for money.