Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has entered full-on sales mode in China ever since it sealed a deal with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL; HKG:0941), the world’s largest cellular carrier. Today, it opened a brand new store in Beijing and commenced its annual one-day Red Friday sale.
Prices were slashed up to RMB 700 ($116) across China on flagship devices in celebration of the Chinese lunar new year. For those who can’t make it to one of Apple’s 12 retail stores in China, those discounts are also available on Apple’s new official e-store on Tmall, which just opened earlier this week.
The new Beijing location is nestled among the high-fashion brand name stores of China Central Place, a large mall area on the east side of Chaoyang district. Employees, with the exception of the ever-watchful security team, were all clad in red for the day’s sale. It was crowded, but not like Beijing-subway-at-rush-hour crowded.
Rumors of the new store surfaced in May when Chinese media speculated about a giant black cube that appeared in China Central Place.
With iPhones soon to be available on all three of China’s major telcos, a race to the bottom has begun to lure more subscribers with subsidies. In anticipation of the iPhone coming to China Mobile on January 17, China Telecom (NYSE:CHA; HKG:0728) cut contract prices for the iPhone 5S by 15 percent earlier this week.
During the last fiscal quarter, Apple generated $5.73 billion in revenue for Greater China sales (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), up 24 percent from the previous quarter and six percent year-on-year.
(Editing by Steven Millward)