iPhoneSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Reports suggest that Chinese officials expect President Trump will delay the next round of US-China tariffs.
  • The report could spell good news for Apple, as it would mean the iPhone will avoid a 15% tariff.
  • The tariffs had been due to take effect on Sunday, December 15.

Reports suggest that Chinese officials expect President Donald Trump to delay the next round of tariffs, currently due to take effect on Sunday, December 15. According to Business Times:

CHINESE officials expect US President Donald Trump to delay a threatened tariff increase set for Sunday, giving more time to negotiate an interim trade deal that both sides continue to insist is close to fruition, despite a series of missed deadlines, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The report further states that the two sides are in "daily contact" with each other and that discussions are taking place over reducing the rate of tariffs that have already gone into effect. As Bloomberg, the news could mean that the iPhone may get some reprieve, at least momentarily, from the planned 15% tariff.

The report notes that Apple is already paying duties of 30% on products such as its Apple Watch, AirPods, iMacs and the Homepod. Fortunately for consumers, Apple has not raised its prices to compensate. Shannon Cross of Cross Research said:

"Like everyone else in technology, Apple is hoping the tariffs don't go into effect."

Both reports note that negotiations have been plagued by missed deadlines and that ultimately the decision to postpone, or not postpone the tariffs rests in the hands of the President. It is unclear at this stage what, if any impact tariffs on the iPhone might have on consumers. As mentioned Apple has not raised prices to combat more substantial tariffs on several of its products, however, the iPhone makes up a significantly larger portion of its business. Whilst Apple could arguably "afford" to absorb the 15% levy, it wouldn't do any favors to Apple's bottom line. With December 15 just days away, we don't have long to wait before the outcome is made clear.