January 30, 2019 3:45 pm

As iPhone sales slump, Apple CEO hints at lowering prices — but not everywhere

ABOVE: Apple posts $450-billion loss in three months


Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted the company could lower iPhone prices in some markets in an attempt to recover its falling phone sales.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its iPhone revenue from its most recent holiday quarter fell 15 per cent from the same period a year ago. The company posted $51.9 billion in iPhone revenue in its Q1. In the same period a year earlier, it made $61.1 billion from its iPhones.

READ MORE: Apple’s cheapest model of the new iPhone is over $1,000 in Canada

Not only was this Apple’s worst performing quarter in years, for the first time the company also said it would stop reporting the number of iPhones it sold in each quarter.

Why the decline?

Apple blamed the issues partly on the ongoing U.S. trade war with China, which may have hurt phone sales.

Apple’s sales in China fell considerably. It said revenue in China was $13.17 billion, down from $17.95 billion in the same period a year ago.

WATCH: As China sales weaken, Apple cuts sales forecast

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But Cook also said that customers in certain markets were also struggling with Apple’s high prices, according to Reuters.

The CEO told Reuters that Apple is rethinking how it prices the iPhone outside the United States after largely setting the price in U.S. dollars, which made the phones more expensive in local currencies as the dollar strengthened.

He said a strong dollar, which makes its products comparatively more expensive, had hurt its sales in emerging markets, such as India and Indonesia.

Before the earnings announcement on Tuesday, Cook said he does “think that price is a factor,” specifically when it came to the newer models.

READ MORE: Google attempts to undercut Apple’s iPhone XS with cheaper Pixel 3

Some of Apple’s most expensive phones include the iPhone XS, which goes for C$1029 and the iPhone XS Max, which costs $1,519.

He added that in January, Apple started to re-price its phones in order to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuations.

“What we have done in January in some locations and some products is essentially absorb part or all of the foreign currency move as compared to last year,” he said.

There was some good news for Apple’s quarterly results. The tech giant posted a 19 per cent year rise for revenue from all products and services after excluding the iPhone. Services revenues include the App Store and Apple Music.

WATCH: Apple reduces revenue forecast, blames China slowdown

— With files from Reuters

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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