http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/apple-to-test-out-interest-free-iphones-in-china/article/543873

Apple to test out interest-free iPhones in China

Posted Feb 23, 2019 by Tim Sandle
In an effort to boost sales of its hardware, Apple are to experiment with offering interest-free iPhones in China. This signals an intense battle with the likes of Huawei and Samsung.
Any iPhone ban would give Chinese smartphone brands  such as Huawei  a big opportunity
Any iPhone ban would give Chinese smartphone brands, such as Huawei, a big opportunity
STR, AFP
As Digital Journal has reported "Where next for Apple following drop in earnings?", Apple's latest financial figures are not all that hot, in terms of the company's expectations. The extent between boardroom expectations and physical sales of the iPhone, Apple are weighing up whether to lower iPhone prices.
The trend with the mobiles market, for each of the major players, seems to be for devices to become more expensive and, with each new model launched, the innovations are more incremental, even less exciting. With people seeing fewer reasons to upgrade, and regulators clamping down on practices undertaken by some technology firms to issue software updates that trigger device obsolesce (something leveled against both Apple and Samsung), companies like Apple have a dilemma: how to get consumers to fork out for an expensive device. And these devices are ever-more expensive, with the iPhone XS costing over $1000.
The answer, at least in China with a pilot experiment, is to allow consumers to purchase the latest model of phones interest free, repaying Apple via monthly installments. According to Engadget, Apple has entered into a partnership with several Chinese banks to offer interest free credit on a range of new iPhone purchases. The repayments are set at around $41 a month for an iPhone XR and $53 a month for the XS.
A further sign of change with Apple is a move away from focusing purely on physical products and a re-orientation towards services and software. This is borne out in Apple's plans for a new, consolidated newsroom service, which some commentators are dubbing a ‘Netflix for news’. In a different direction, there are rumors of Apple launching its own credit card for Apple Pay users.