Apple has introduced a new option for its Chinese buying public. The company has announced they’ll now allow buyers to spread the cost of their purchases ranging from from 300 yuan ($48) to 30,000 yuan ($4,800) over as long as two years.
The new installment payment plans require a China Merchants Bank Co. credit card, with fees ranging from zero percent for a three-month installment plan to 8.5 percent for a 24-month plan. The payment structure likely represents Apple’s attempt at making its products, typically priced at a premium, more affordable for urban Chinese workers.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has fallen from 4th to 6th place in China’s smartphone market, trailing company’s such as Samsung and Lenovo, who make cheaper alternatives to Apple’s handsets.
The iPhone 5 costs 5,288 yuan on Apple’s site, or about six weeks’ pay for the average urban worker. Handsets for competitors can often cost less than 1,000 yuan.
Sales of Apple products have shown a demand in China for the company’s devices. Apple has increased its focus on the country accordingly, as CEO Tim Cook has visited the country twice in the past 10 months.