Have the iPhones become vulgar Android smartphones? To see the reductions practiced recently on the iPhone 12, one is entitled to ask the question. To our knowledge, never in a current generation has seen such a drop in prices.

For many years, the price of iPhones hardly changed after their release. Launched on November 3, 2017 at € 1,159, the iPhone X has remained at this price for most of its year of existence. It was with the arrival of the iPhone XS that its price fell by 150 €, but resellers quickly sold off the remaining stocks.

iPhone XS and iPhone 12 mini

It was the iPhone XS that marked an inflection point in the evolution of the value of Apple smartphones. There was no great promotion when he was still top of the line, but his price plummeted once his successor was available. Fifteen months after its release, the iPhone XS cost only € 679, a drop of 42% from its starting price.

A new step was taken with the iPhone 12. It was not even necessary to wait for the arrival of the iPhone 13 to be entitled to substantial reductions on the current iPhones. Finally, on two models in particular.

Three months after their launch, the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 saw their prices planed from 50 to 60 €, which has already been seen on older generations. But it did not stop there: from the spring, these two models were regularly offered by resellers with a discount of around one hundred euros.

The apotheosis took place at the end of June, with the iPhone 12 mini sold for only € 631 on Amazon, a 22% discount on its starting price of € 809. The iPhone 12 has meanwhile dropped to € 732, a nice reduction of 20% on its starting price of € 909.

How to explain such a drop when the new generation has not yet come out? As we had already indicated for the discounts on the iPhone XS, the distribution agreement between Apple and Amazon at the end of 2018 has completely changed the situation. Because of its size, Amazon does not hesitate to make aggressive prices on products as in demand as those of Apple to bait the barge. We saw it during Prime Day with a discount of € 170 on the iPhone 12 mini reserved for Prime subscribers (only the promo at € 631 a few days later was even more important). And when it’s another reseller that triggers a promotion – Cdiscount has been particularly active in recent months – you can be sure Amazon is lining up in the next few minutes.

But that doesn’t explain everything; there was no 20% discount on the iPhone 11 before the release of the iPhone 12. What surely plays a determining role in these promotions so strong and so early, it is the sales below the estimates of ‘Apple. According to multiple surveys and rumors, the iPhone 12 mini in particular is not selling as well as expected. Let’s get along well: the iPhone 12 range as a whole is a huge success, but the locomotives are the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. As if by chance, it is these two models that are the least subject of promotions …

Current promotions
  • iPhone 12 mini: from 649 € (- 20%) on Amazon and Cdiscount
  • iPhone 12 64 GB: from 749 € (- 18%) at the same resellers
  • iPhone 12 Pro: from € 1,082 (- 7%)
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: from € 1,187 (- 6%)

These reductions are of course the delight of customers who have shown themselves to be patient … and the misfortune of those who want to resell their iPhone without losing too much in the operation. It is already impossible to resell an iPhone 12 mini for more than 650 €, or to a gaga customer.

So, have iPhones become vulgar Android smartphones? No, or not yet at least. As significant as they are, the discounts on the iPhone 12 do not yet equal those on the Galaxy S21, for example. Only four months after its release, the Galaxy S21 Plus was the subject of a 25% discount at several resellers on the occasion of the French Days. The same goes for Xiaomi, Oppo or Motorola smartphones. And we are not even talking about Huawei, which is forced to lower its prices or offer accessories from the start while waiting to find Google’s services.

What also differentiates Apple from the competition is that promotions on iPhones are only available at resellers. Apple is pushing more and more 0% credit and trade-in for older devices on its online store, but you’ll never find strikethrough prices on the Apple Store. From the first to the last day of their marketing, iPhone prices remain the same at Apple (except for variations linked to the arrival of a new generation). For their part, Samsung, Xiaomi and the others regularly organize business operations of their own. The Chinese manufacturer even takes any pretext (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, middle of the calendar year, etc.) to make specials. Very concerned about maintaining its premium image and its margins, it is hard to see Apple adopting this strategy, but who knows …