Mobile phone manufacturers battle again in the 618 shopping festival Apple promotes live streaming, Huawei rolls out discounts

Mobile phone makers compete in 618 shopping festival; Apple offers live streaming, Huawei offers discounts

This year marks the 16th anniversary of the birth of 618, and it may be the most extraordinary one in history. As the first major promotion node since the policy was opened up, the performance of brands during 618 is not only a barometer of their own performance, but also related to the confidence of the entire consumer industry. Therefore, platforms such as Taobao, JD.com, and Pinduoduo are all working hard, and brand owners hope to leverage the traffic of these platforms to achieve a rebound.

Compared to others, mobile phone brands seem to need this year’s 618 more. According to Counterpoint data, global smartphone shipments in the first quarter of this year fell by 14% year-on-year to 280.2 million units. This is the lowest shipment volume since 2014, and the overall market has not yet overcome its decline.

The reasons for this situation are nothing more than two points: first, as smartphones quickly become popular, the market capacity tends to be saturated, and incremental markets gradually evolve into stock competition. Secondly, in the stock competition, the innovation of new products is not enough to stimulate users’ desire to change phones. Beyond the product, the overall economic environment of the market may also have some influence, and impulsive consumption is becoming less common in consumers’ decision-making process when purchasing phones.

Therefore, this 618 node is particularly important and something that all mobile phone brands need to consider. Now that 618 has reached its midpoint, PhoneAuto has found that mobile phone brands have undergone three major changes during this year’s 618 period.

Market pressure caused by weakness has even led Apple, which is known for its “arrogance,” to devote unprecedented enthusiasm to this year’s 618.

On the evening of May 31, Apple launched a live broadcast on Tmall’s official flagship store. This is the first time that Apple has “sold goods” live worldwide. However, from the nearly one-hour live broadcast process, Apple did not provide users with more favorable prices, full reductions, and coupons like other brands’ live broadcasts, and the main content was still focused on product introduction. However, judging from the accumulated viewing audience of about 1.3 million people, it also brought Apple some popularity on the eve of the 618 battle.

Although Apple’s live event did not meet most people’s expectations, at least it can be seen that under market pressure, Apple has begun to actively explore new business models.

In the past few years, “coupon prices” have almost become the main competitive means of most mobile phone brands during major promotions. This year, two rare players, Apple and Huawei, appeared in the “coupon prices” arena.

On May 31, the Apple Store’s official flagship store participated in Tmall’s 618 for the first time by directly lowering prices. It is reported that the iPhone 14 series products were discounted by more than a thousand yuan and could also be combined with Tmall’s 350 yuan coupon. For other popular models, the iPhone 14 128G can be purchased at a Tmall 618 price of only 4999 yuan; the iPhone 14 Pro 128G can be purchased at a Tmall 618 price of 6499 yuan.

After Apple announced the price reduction, many other brands followed suit. OPPO’s flagship device was discounted by up to 1000 yuan, vivo X90 series was discounted by up to 500 yuan, iQOO was discounted by up to 800 yuan, Xiaomi 13 Pro was discounted by 400 yuan, and Meizu 20 was discounted by 200 yuan…

PhoneAuto noticed that Huawei’s flagship series has also joined the “coupon price” army. It is worth noting that in the past, Huawei’s high-end flagship products almost did not have much official price reductions during major promotions. This time, Huawei’s price reduction was as high as a thousand yuan. During 618, the Huawei P60 standard version was discounted by 100 yuan, the Huawei P60 Pro was discounted by 800 yuan, the Huawei P60 Art was discounted by 1000 yuan, and the Huawei Mate50 and MetaPro were discounted by 600 and 800 yuan respectively.

The strategy of “rolling back prices” is indeed effective. According to data, during the pre-sale period, the sales of iPhones on Tmall increased by over 170% compared to the same period last year. During the opening phase of JD.com’s promotion, the sales of Xiaomi phones increased by 27% compared to the same period last year. During the opening phase of the promotion, OPPO and OnePlus brands accumulated sales that exceeded the total sales of the entire last year in just 30 minutes, with sales revenue in the 4000+ price range increasing by 160% year-on-year. During the opening phase of the 618 promotion, the sales revenue of Realme exceeded 200 million yuan…

Whether it is live streaming or price reduction, the goal is to achieve better sales during the promotion period, in order to maintain their market share in the rapidly changing mobile phone market, and to gain as much initiative as possible.

Therefore, brands are not only “rolling back prices” but also “rolling back” on installment payments. In the Android camp, in the past, almost all brands adopted a 6-month/12-month interest-free installment payment method. However, during this year’s 618 promotion, many brands supported a 24-month interest-free payment method, in order to minimize the payment pressure on consumers. Specifically, Vivo S17, OPPO Find X6 Pro, OnePlus 11, Xiaomi 13, Huawei P60, and other models all support a 24-month interest-free payment method.

For mobile phone manufacturers, live streaming, price reductions, and installment payments may solve the current inventory pressure in the short term, but this is not a universal solution to boosting sales.

In the face of a saturated mobile phone market, what can stimulate consumers’ desire to upgrade is technological breakthroughs and innovation, which is also a perennial problem. Mobile phone brands are not unaware of this and are trying out new product designs and configurations, such as foldable screens, larger memory, and battery capacity. However, it is clear that the market is not buying into these innovations.

In fact, for mobile phone brands, their innovation relies more on the technology upgrade of the upstream industry chain. When the industry chain falls into a technological bottleneck, there is actually not much that mobile phone manufacturers can do. Therefore, using the method of large-scale promotion and price reduction to achieve a revival of sales is a compromise, and also a helpless move.

Overall, for mobile phone manufacturers, 618 is just a mid-year exam to measure their own “status”. It is important to stimulate sales through various changes and achieve impressive results. However, as users become more rational in their consumption, price cannot always be the “key” to attract users.

When the 618 promotion comes to an end, mobile phone brands will ultimately return to the product itself. How to use their own advantages to meet unmet needs is what brands should think about. As for whether the future mobile phone market will continue to decline or emerge from a gorgeous “V-shaped” curve, PhoneAuto will continue to pay attention.

We will continue to update Phone&Auto; if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!

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