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Apple is rethinking international iPhone pricing as revenues slip

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When Apple lowered guidance on earnings earlier this month, it cited markets like China as a major factor in its disappointing numbers. Sure enough, when earnings hit today, things didn’t look great, as iPhone revenues dipped 15 percent year over year for the quarter.

In an interview with Reuters earlier today, Tim Cook noted that the company is reassessing how it sells handsets outside of the U.S. Apple has traditionally relied on the U.S. dollar to set the price, which has led to steeper costs internationally.

“When you look at foreign currencies and then particularly those markets that weakened over the last year those (iPhone price) increases were obviously more,” the CEO said.

“And so as we’ve gotten into January and assessed the macroeconomic condition in some of those markets we’ve decided to go back to more commensurate with what our local prices were a year ago in hopes of helping the sales in those areas.

There are, of course, a lot of factors at play here. For one thing, global smartphone numbers have been on the decline for the first time since analysts began recording such figures. Handsets have gotten pretty good across the board and afforded fewer killer reasons to upgrade every two or so years.

Economic factors are also at play in a major way. That certainly goes for China, where the country’s slowed growth has led to fewer large purchases.

A looming trade war between the U.S. and China has had an impact as well, with tariffs and other factors, as companies like Huawei have managed to buck the trend in their home country.

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