updated 12:44 pm EST, Wed January 16, 2013
May be way of coping with high cost products in China
The Chinese version of the online Apple store has added the ability to pay for products in installments, reports note. An order must cost between 300 yuan ($48) and 30,000 yuan ($4,800), and buyers must have a China Merchants Bank credit card. Through January 23rd, three- to 12-month installment purchases are interest-free. An 18-month payment carries 6.5 percent interest, while going up to 24 months raises the interest rate to 8.5 percent.
The setup is likely a way of coping with the fact that many Apple products are too expensive for the average Chinese worker. A 16GB iPhone 5 costs 5,288 yuan ($850), or more than the average worker's monthly pay. A Mac can often be completely out of range, since even the Mac mini starts at 4,488 yuan ($722) without a monitor.