Apple has already pointed the finger of blame at Chinese sales when explaining away why the iPhone isn’t selling in the same huge numbers it once was, and now the company has struck a deal with Alipay to allow buyers to borrow interest-free money against an iPhone.

Payable back in 24 monthly payments, the interest-free loan costs $30 per month, with the stipulation being that they must send at least 4,000 yuan, or around $600, to be able to take out the plan. That covers all of Apple’s most recent iPhone releases, including the iPhone 8, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Apple already offers similar deals at its own Apple Store retail outlets, but by bringing Alipay onboard, it opens the door to purchases elsewhere. Using Alipay’s Huabei service, which is essentially a virtual credit card, shoppers can even temporarily increase their credit limits in order to pick up a new iPhone. That’s so long as they do it before March 25th, apparently.

Apple’s decline in iPhone sales saw an almost 26% revenue drop year-over-year recently, and moves like this are surely aimed at giving iPhone sales a shot in the arm in order to make sure that the slide is arrested.

Increased advertising, deals like this with Alipay, and just general price cuts are being used as a way to draw people into new iPhone purchases in a country where Apple desperately needs them to happen.

We’ll have to wait and see how these offers and initiatives pan out, and with an expected Apple event taking place next month, those all-important services numbers also depend on iPhones being in the hands of eager spenders.

(Source: CNBC)

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