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Piper Jaffray: 'iPhone 5C' may not include Siri, could replace iPhone 4S at bottom of lineup

post #1 of 107
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In a research note issued to investors on Monday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts Apple may scale back iOS 7 on a rumored low-cost iPhone, possibly hobbling the handset by deactivating features like Siri.

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Rendering of "iPhone 5C" based on reportedly leaked schematics.


Recognizing recent rumors of a Sept. 10 iPhone announcement, Munster took the chance to update investors on his Apple product pipeline predictions for the rest of the year and into 2014.

The analyst's expectations for the next-generation iPhone, dubbed by many as the "iPhone 5S," are very much in line with rumors and reports coming from a multitude of sources. Aside from incorporating a fingerprint sensor into the home button, which Munster believes will be limited to user authentication, the 5S will feature the usual "S-series" component upgrades. These include increased processor performance, extended battery life, more memory, and other spec bumps.

While his iPhone 5S outlook is in line with mainstream rumblings, Munster's thoughts on the rumored less-expensive "iPhone 5C" are a bit unconventional. Like others, he predicts the 5C will have a plastic casing, 4-inch display and slightly lower end internal components than the iPhone 5S. However, the analyst believes Apple will exclude software features when the handset launches, specifically the Siri voice recognizing virtual assistant.

Curiously, Munster cites the lack of Siri on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 in his iPhone 5C prediction, but fails to mention the service was never part of iOS until Apple incorporated the feature in the iPhone 4S. Apple purchased Siri, which was formerly an iOS app, in April 2010, ultimately baking the technology into iOS 5 over a year later.

Siri was never officially activated on the iPhone 4 or earlier models, though a jailbreak proved the service could run on older hardware. It is thought that special noise cancellation tech implemented in certain A5 processors, used in the iPhone 4S, iPad mini and fifth-generation iPod touch, is needed for Siri to work optimally. Even with the latest iOS 6, Siri is still absent in the iPhone 4 and below.

As for Apple's low-end handset offerings, Munster believes "it may make sense" for the company to discontinue the iPhone 4S product line instead of carrying the model over as a free-on-contract device. This would bring parity to the lineup, the analyst says, with the iPhone 5S, current iPhone 5 and iPhone 5C all sporting similar designs and screen sizes.

In this configuration, Munster sees the iPhone 5C as selling for an estimated $300. Despite its relatively low price and predicted positioning at the bottom of Apple's lineup, the analyst pegs cannibalization at only 25 percent, down from a previous estimate of 50 percent. He cites "leaked videos" showing the handset's plastic shell as a cause for the drop in cannibalization.

Finally, Munster agrees with the September iPhone event rumor, and sees October as a likely launch timeframe for both a new iPad and iPad mini. Further out, he predicts Apple to debut a new TV product before the end of 2013, while a larger-screened iPhone and so-called "iWatch" should hit store shelves by mid-2014.
post #2 of 107

No Siri on the rumoured "5C"? Rubbish.

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post #3 of 107
WHY?!
post #4 of 107
Duh.... Apple has to differentiate it somehow.

If the iPhone 5C has a 4" screen like the flagship iPhone... and a decent enough camera to use with Instagram... and a decent enough GPU and processor to play Candy Crush... why would anyone pay the big bucks for the flagship iPhone 5S ?
post #5 of 107
There is no way apple's big innovation is to sell a phone with old technology that does less than what the iPhone 4S does now.

No way.

Apple represents more. The 5c will let you do more things than the 4s, not fewer!

Apple isn't some consumer company that makes cheapo stuff with 2012 abilities!
post #6 of 107
Agreed. No way it doesn't have Siri.
post #7 of 107

Well, Android has their Siri like voice features, Samsung has their own as well, so Apple want people choose their competitors instead? Window Phone has voice features too, so wtf rumor mill?!

post #8 of 107
Munster made some unambiguous predictions. That will make it easy to evaluate him pretty soon.
post #9 of 107
right on the price, wrong on Siri.
post #10 of 107
The market for this phone is mainly over seas or the rest of the world where you don't have to get locked into contracts. A more affordable product with the iPhone reputation would kill most of the pay as you go crap.
When I travel I see tons of basic cell phones people use for txt & phone, nothing fancy at all, no web browsing but cheap. If apple wants to reach that market it would dominate. A low-end or entry-level phone would be a good idea. Here at home everyone I see has a smart phone of some kind, but many parts of the world it's a luxury to have a smart phone. Having said that, Africa has more cell phones than North America, but only 13% are smart phones.
Make an affordable entry-level iPhone & it will sell everywhere very quickly.
post #11 of 107
Siri is core technology now for Apple.
Leaving it out is about as likely as leaving out the ability to play music.
post #12 of 107
Nonsense!! The "5C" that they're referring to will do everything the current iPhone 5 can.

By all reports the new 'low cost model' (replacing possibly both the 4 & 4S and the current 5) will contain "previous generation hardware" (aka today's iPhone 5 internals), packaged in a lower cost 'plastic' enclosure. Nothing else appears to have changed.

The 5S will advance the generation with a more powerful CPU/GPU, better camera & features (slow motion, et al), better flash, possible fingerprint sensor, maybe new materials on the enclosure (liquidmetal?), and of course iOS 7 with the "new SIRI".

I can't imagine Apple "crippling" the iPhone 5C that much. It'll be enough that it's last year's technology and lower-cost materials. The people that want the cutting edge will still spring for the 5S.
post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Duh.... Apple has to differentiate it somehow.

If the iPhone 5C has a 4" screen like the flagship iPhone... and a decent enough camera to use with Instagram... and a decent enough GPU and processor to play Candy Crush... why would anyone pay the big bucks for the flagship iPhone 5S ?

Faster processor, more RAM, better screen, better camera, thinner, and fingerprint ID technology.  That's what I think the major differences will be.

 

I really hope Apple releases a killer large screen.  I don't think they will, but I can always hope.  It doesn't cost anything to do that.

post #14 of 107

It's an elaborate hoax.

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post #15 of 107
Also believe 5S will have FD LTE & TD LTE as dual band 4G whereas 5C will pretty much have the same internals as 5 with plastic casing and cheaper entry point into iOS ecosystem.
post #16 of 107

bollocks.

post #17 of 107
Most of the comments listed above are consistent with me. "That's bullshit."
post #18 of 107
I don't believe the rumour, but if the past two weeks of service are any measure then it's no great loss; Siri hasn't been available the majority of the time I've tried. Apple could really do themselves a favour by bringing the basic voice commands on-device.

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post #19 of 107
I could live without Siri if it has a decent camera and will run all of the iLife and iWork apps. Nothing on android comes close to these.
post #20 of 107
I dunno. I can see where he is coming from. I imagine Siri isn't cheap to keep running smooth and the addition of a hundred million users in china and India on a handset that sells ( supposedly) for what the profit margin of the current iPhone is could be a stretch. I'm sure they'll sell tons in the u.s. too but more as an entry level phone for younger people/older people. Not that I'm convinced of this though. But I have wondered how they'd shave enough savings off to satisfy the prepay market. A plastic case and a few cheaper parts just doesn't seem like it would cut enough of the price. Actually the more I think about it the more it makes sense.
post #21 of 107

Dumbest 5C prediction I've heard so far. The only thing the 5C won't have is the fingerprint scanner. Otherwise, it's an iPhone 5 in a plastic case.

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post #22 of 107

Apple is losing me here.

 

Why having a crippled iPhone 5S as a 5C? As if Siri and finger sensors are a deal breaker to me?

 

Why not just having a 3,5" screen for the 5C? 3,5" is a cute size and a REAL differentiator. Some value screen estate, others value portability. Having said that, I wouldn't make the screen bigger than 4".

 

And why not calling the 5C, the iPhone mini? Like iPad and iPad mini. Mac and Mac mini? And hopefully soon, iPod (= Touch with 4" screen) and iPod mini (= Touch with 3,5" screen).

post #23 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Nonsense!! The "5C" that they're referring to will do everything the current iPhone 5 can.

By all reports the new 'low cost model' (replacing possibly both the 4 & 4S and the current 5) will contain "previous generation hardware" (aka today's iPhone 5 internals), packaged in a lower cost 'plastic' enclosure. Nothing else appears to have changed.

The 5S will advance the generation with a more powerful CPU/GPU, better camera & features (slow motion, et al), better flash, possible fingerprint sensor, maybe new materials on the enclosure (liquidmetal?), and of course iOS 7 with the "new SIRI".

I can't imagine Apple "crippling" the iPhone 5C that much. It'll be enough that it's last year's technology and lower-cost materials. The people that want the cutting edge will still spring for the 5S.

 

That is what I think as well. It will replace the 4, 4S and the 5. It will also very likely include the new Qualcomm RF360 front end which means Apple can make one model of the iPhone 5C and 5S instead of the 3 or 4 they need to make now. They will still make numerous models based on colors and storage but those are relatively minor compared to the current need for making 3 of each SKU. This alone will result in an incredible cost savings. 

 

I also find it very unlikely it would not include Siri. All this would result in is people resorting to using the Google app for voice searches. Granted it does not have the deep level system integration that Siri offers but it would certainly get the job done for most tasks. Why would Apple cripple a phone and fail to include a key component of iOS. That makes no sense. 

 

A slower CPU/GPU, smaller amount of storage, an inferior camera, lack of fingerprint scanner, and the plastic case are enough to differentiate it from the 5S without the need for disabling Siri. Very stupid rumor. 

 

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post #24 of 107
There is no hardware in iPhones for Siri, that's why you need internet for it to work. That would be a moronic move for Apple.

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post #25 of 107

I wonder where will the 5C be pitched, price wise?

 

I'd imagine that whilst apple dislike the fact that the older models cannibalise the sales of the latest model (to a degree) the ability to sell an older handset which has already recouped development costs must be nice.

 

if the 5c is significantly better than the 4 or 4s then it will cannibalise sales of those units (depending on price). Is the intention to drop the 4 and replace it with the 5c? To drop the 4 and 4S?

 

it is an odd win-win or lose-lose case depending on how you look at it.

post #26 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

Duh.... Apple has to differentiate it somehow.

If the iPhone 5C has a 4" screen like the flagship iPhone... and a decent enough camera to use with Instagram... and a decent enough GPU and processor to play Candy Crush... why would anyone pay the big bucks for the flagship iPhone 5S ?

 

Because the Flag ship phone won't have the same specs, across the board.

post #27 of 107

Ha, my iPod touch has siri, my iPad mini has siri, my old iPhone 4s has siri, my iPhone 5 has siri, my 3rd gen iPad has siri so why wouldn't a new iPhone have siri?, even if it is meant to be more affordable.

post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

 

That is what I think as well. It will replace the 4, 4S and the 5. It will also very likely include the new Qualcomm RF360 front end which means Apple can make one model of the iPhone 5C and 5S instead of the 3 or 4 they need to make now. They will still make numerous models based on colors and storage but those are relatively minor compared to the current need for making 3 of each SKU. This alone will result in an incredible cost savings. 

 

I also find it very unlikely it would not include Siri. All this would result in is people resorting to using the Google app for voice searches. Granted it does not have the deep level system integration that Siri offers but it would certainly get the job done for most tasks. Why would Apple cripple a phone and fail to include a key component of iOS. That makes no sense. 

 

A slower CPU/GPU, smaller amount of storage, an inferior camera, lack of fingerprint scanner, and the plastic case are enough to differentiate it from the 5S without the need for disabling Siri. Very stupid rumor. 

 

(1)  I agree 100%.  You've hit on something that seems to have been overlooked by most.  It appears Apple decided about a year or so ago that they needed a cheaper phone to compete in China and other markets.  Would it take Apple a full year to design a plastic case and put the iPhone 5 internals inside it?  Of course not, so why wait?

 

I suspect they were waiting on the Qualcomm RF360 so that the 5c and 5s will both be compatible with China Mobile's 3G and LTE networks.  740 million subscribers can't be easily ignored.  China Mobile's chairman has recently said that 11 TD-LTE smartphones will be launched in China this year.  I'm going to make a bold prediction that on September 10th we are going to hear from Tim Cook that the iPhone 5c and 5s will be two of those and that at least the 5c, if not both, will be carried by China Mobile.

 

(2)  Munster's Siri-less 5c speculation is the dumbest prediction I have heard from a supposedly reputable source.  I don't think I can ever take anything he says seriously again.

post #29 of 107

Overall, it is a good idea because this stop the low end iPhone from cannibalizing  sales of the higher end iPhones, it will save cost where the infrastructure for SIRI does not exist and also it will take a load off of the SIRI servers.

 

I use SIRI a lot but other people may not.  Some countries may not offer the infrastructure to really take advantage of SIRI.  They may not offer cars with iOS,  weather info, maps data, Fandango theaters, restaurant reviews, future AppleTVs,  etc...  It does not make sense to make these people pay for something that they will never use.  Moreover, Google Now may be an option for people in the more developed countries.

 

SIRI will really become a top notch service with iOS in the car, AppleTV, Wikipedia and other integrations in the future.  I mean real Star Trek technology.  It will be well worth the extra cost for some but not for others who don't care for it or don't have the infrastructure where they live.


Edited by AppleSauce007 - 8/13/13 at 1:41am
post #30 of 107

Does anyone outside of the US ever use Siri? I have never used it, the mere idea of talking to an inanimate object seems silly to me. A good example of technology that most of the users never use, and as such a perfect candidate for removing if it means a cheaper phone. In a car I can see the use for it though.

post #31 of 107

post #32 of 107
IF the 5c comes, larry ellison is probably right. period.
post #33 of 107
If Apple prices the iPhone 5C cheap enough, then I don't think that they should include SIRI maybe. If people want SIRI, then they can buy the more expensive phone. A cheaper iPhone will obviously come with some compromises and certain features missing.

The iPhone 5S shouldn't just be a little bit better than the iPhone 5C, it should be a lot better. There should be a number of added features in the iPhone 5S which differentiates it from the cheaper iPhone 5C.

If the iPhone 5C does include SIRI, then other features should be stripped from it. One such feature is the rumored fingerprint authentication. The cheaper iPhone will obviously not have that feature.
post #34 of 107

Gene, Gene, Gene.  What are we going to do with you, bro?

My wild guesses:

 

$399: iPhone 5S 64GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)

$299: iPhone 5S 32GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)

$199: iPhone 5S 16GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)

 $99: iPhone 5C 16GB (multiple color options, no fingerprint sensor)

   $0: iPhone 5C 8GB (black only, no fingerprint sensor)

 

Siri on all iPhone models.

Production of iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 completely cease.

iPhone 5C internal components mostly from iPhone 5.

Future "C" models will get internal components from previous year's high-end model.

Except for the fingerprint sensor.  That will be the "must have" up-sell feature.

 

Oh, and no "gold" iPhone 5S.

 

Update: Prices in U.S. dollars, in the U.S. market, subsidized by cell carriers.  (Thanks Apple ][.)


Edited by SockRolid - 8/13/13 at 3:20am

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post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Gene, Gene, Gene.  What are we going to do with you, bro?
My wild guesses:

$399: iPhone 5S 64GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)
$299: iPhone 5S 32GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)
$199: iPhone 5S 16GB (black/slate, white/silver, fingerprint sensor)
 $99: iPhone 5C 16GB (multiple color options, no fingerprint sensor)
   $0: iPhone 5C 8GB (black only, no fingerprint sensor)

Your price guesses are all subsidized. The cheap iPhone needs to be cheap, unsubsidized.
post #36 of 107
Originally Posted by leflix View Post

IF the 5c comes, larry ellison is probably right. period.

 

Welcome to AppleInsider.  We get quite a lot of newbie trolls right before and after iPhone announcements.

Just so you know.  They're easy to spot, of course.

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post #37 of 107
By all accounts Siri gets better the more people use it. It will be ubiquitous.

As RockSolid implies, limiting the 5c to 16 or even 8 GB would be enough to prevent a lot of cannibalization, at least for anyone who actually uses their iPhone. I could barely fit my apps on 8, let alone pics, video, or anything else.

Clearly there will have to be more differences from a cost standpoint but it won't be cuts in major features.
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post



I think you cracked it … the 5c has 'mini Siri'. She talks in a higher pitched voice. 1biggrin.gif
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post #39 of 107

All the naysayers herein live ... in the US? Well, Apple has no problem selling iPhones in the US. They need to be able to sell more iPhones, many many more, in regions where, allegedly, price is more important than features or performance. So maybe this is how they are going to do it - a version of the iPhone that is lower in specs and performance than even the 4S.

 

Don't forget that Apple has lots of data on how much Siri is used around the world. Perhaps the target markets for the 5C are not where Siri is oft used.

post #40 of 107
Is 'may not include Siri' another way to saying the way that is worded I cannot be wrong no matter the outcome.
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