Apple is testing iPhone marketing strategies that it hardly ever uses in an attempt to improve sales of its flagship products. The plans include discount promotions through generous device buyback terms.
Company executives shifted some marketing staff from other projects. Apple delegated the team to work on bolstering sales of the latest handsets in October. This was approximately one month after the iPhone XS went on sale. It was also in the days nearing the launch of the iPhone XR, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The source described the process as a “fire drill.” The remarks indicated a possible admission that the iPhone devices sold below some expectations. The source requested for anonymity while discussing the private strategy changes.
Apple has commenced on a series of fired-up trade-in offers. The offers have temporarily lowered the cost of some of Apple’s products. This is, however, a rare step especially for the tech company considering its trend to raise device prices in recent years to lift profit and revenue. Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment on the matter.
Apple included a banner to the top of its website advertising one of its devices. The iPhone XR now goes for $449 which is $300 less than its official sticker price. However, the deal requires one to trade in an iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple lost almost a fifth of its market value from the beginning of October. The tech giant also ceased from reporting iPhone sales. This has sparked concern that its trademark product is no longer growing. Its shares dropped by 4.4% yesterday, closing at $176.69. HSBC claimed that iPhone growth is over for now, therefore, downgrading the stock.
“What has made the success of Apple, a concentrated portfolio of highly desirable and pricey products is now facing the reality of market saturation,” the bank’s analysts stated in a note to investors.
The new marketing strategies may bump up holiday sales for Apple. Nonetheless, analysts maintain that higher prices would be a better strategy to recover the lackluster sales. iPhone sales recorded a significant drop this year.