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“Apple Inc. is experimenting with iPhone marketing strategies it rarely uses — such as discount promotions via generous device buyback terms — to help goose sales of its flagship product,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “Company executives moved some marketing staff from other projects to work on bolstering sales of the latest handsets in October, about a month after the iPhone XS went on sale and in the days around the launch of the iPhone XR, according to a person familiar with the situation. This person described it as a ‘fire drill,’ and a possible admission that the devices may have been selling below some expectations. ”

“Since then, Apple has embarked on a series of aggressive trade-in offers that have temporarily reduced the cost of some of its latest iPhones, a rare step for a company that’s been raising device prices in recent years to lift revenue and profit,” Gurman reports. “On Sunday evening, Apple kicked these efforts into high gear, adding a new banner to the top of its website advertising the iPhone XR for $449, $300 less than its official sticker price. The deal, noted with an asterisk and described at the bottom of the page, requires customers to trade in an iPhone 7 Plus, a high-end handset from two years ago.”

“Last week, the company started offering a limited-time promotion that boosts the trade-in value of older iPhones by an additional $25 to $100,” Gurman reports. “Last year, there were similar concerns about sales of the iPhone X, and the handset ended up selling well. And Apple has used similar marketing tactics before. ”

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