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Apple keeps 8GB iPhone 4S around as free-on-contract option

post #1 of 34
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In introducing its new iPhones on Tuesday, Apple both adhered to tradition and shook things up, dropping the iPhone 5 but keeping the iPhone 4S alive as the low-end model.



Apple's iPhone media event on Tuesday brought little in the way of surprises regarding Apple's bestselling devices. As expected, Apple rolled out a lower-cost iPhone 5c and a high-end iPhone 5s with a built-in biometric security feature. As had also been predicted, Apple kept the two-year old iPhone 4S around as the low-end, on-contract option.

Well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the iPhone 4S would stay in production even as the iPhone 5 made way for the iPhone 5c. Apple's polycarbonate backed iPhone 5c packs the same internals as the iPhone 5, but with its slower processor and smaller display, the 4S may be even cheaper still for Apple to manufacture.

Retaining the 4S is in keeping with standard Apple procedure since the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 2010. That year saw Apple keeping the 4's predecessor ? the iPhone 3GS ? in rotation as a cheaper option. The next year, with the release of the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 moved into the 3GS' former slot, while the 3GS moved on to an even lower on-contract price point. Now, the iPhone 4S will occupy that bargain-level entry point, available in an 8GB model for free with a two-year contract.

In offering only one memory configuration for the entry-level iPhone, Apple likely also reduces manufacturing and inventory costs. Apple's margins on the device may be aided even further by changes to its manufacturing strategy. The iPhone maker is expected to go with Pegatron for more than half of its legacy iPhone 4S orders. Apple will still rely on longtime partner Foxconn for much of its iPhone needs, but the move to a competitor for the cheaper iPhone option will likely help improve margins on the already low-priced device.

Even as the device showed began to show its age, the 4S was still the second-most popular smartphone in the world, according to figures from Strategy Analytics, beating out even Samsung's Galaxy S3, which had been released after the 4S. The 4S trailed only its successor, the iPhone 5, in terms of worldwide popularity.
post #2 of 34

Nobody cares about "on contract" price anymore, even the US is moving to separate phone/contract models slowly. 

 

But given the dreadful price of the 5C, it's good they kept the 4S.

post #3 of 34
Prior to today, there was no 8GB 4S on sale. It was 16 GB. So the 8GB is a new/returning configuration
post #4 of 34

The iPhone 4s was a very good phone when it was released, but it is really starting to show it's age now. But there are still people that swears by the it's superior one hand usability, and I guess it is the perfect phone for them. I hope Apple bring out a 5 inch Iphone next year.

post #5 of 34
Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post
Nobody cares about "on contract" price anymore, even the US is moving to separate phone/contract models slowly. 

 

Of course they do, and since when?

 
 But given the dreadful price of the 5C

 

$99. How dreadful, as it's exactly the same price the iPhone 5 would have been had they kept it.

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post #6 of 34
Why keep the 4S with the old connector?
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain J View Post

Why keep the 4S with the old connector?
Surely, with a new 8GB configuration, they will update to lightning connector? I don't see them keeping the 30-pin connector for legacy customers ... Just one more excuse to not buy current products.
post #8 of 34
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post
Surely, with a new 8GB configuration, they will update to lightning connector?

 

No, they didn't.

 
Just one more excuse to not buy current products.

 

How does that make any sense?

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post #9 of 34
Well that was a massively underwhelming Apple event. I think we all need to temper our expectations and remember that Apple is an incredibly patient company that is perfectly willing to make people wait 16 months for an overdue update.

I'm sure they want to standardize on the Lightning connector and 4" display, but ultimately it's about dollars and cents. Shoving the 4S guts into the 5C body (what I predicted the 5C would be) must have a higher cost than continuing production of the 4S unchanged. Therefore Apple is willing to wait until 2014 to finally put the 30-pin connector out to pasture.

They're also in no rush to change a pricing model that yields greater than 1000% margins on flash memory. A quick look at SD card pricing shows a $10 difference between 16GB and 32GB yet Apple has conditioned its sheeple to pay $100.

At this point my expectations for the upcoming iPad and Mac events are about as low as they could possibly be.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of course they do, and since when?

$99. How dreadful, as it's exactly the same price the iPhone 5 would have been had they kept it.

With a bigger battery and better front camera.

The 4S should have changed the connector or just dumped it. Oh well- we can wait a year. 1smile.gif

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Of course they do, and since when?

$99. How dreadful, as it's exactly the same price the iPhone 5 would have been had they kept it.

Yeah. So what's the point of the plastic?
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post #12 of 34
The point of plastic is that they know that the second tier model sells very well. They have sold a lot of iPhone 4s over the last product cycle. Now that position is taken by the 5C, yet it also appears fresher (allowing them to sell to fashion conscious buyers who don't want last years thing.) while by lowering the production cost they can also increase the margin. For the truly price sensitive there is still the 4S.

And for China, I'll bet they have done a deal to lower their margins on the 5C to make it acceptable to China mobile, yet as the 5C is cheaper to make they can still keep their margins at a level they want while offering the phone at a price the Chinese consumer will bear.

It may not be what Wall Street wanted, but provided the 5C in China is cheap enough to sell it may be a very clever compromise.

time will tell.

Remember the 2 year upgraders probably bought 4S at full price. For them the replacement is the 5S. The place where they need to be aggressive on price is China, not Europe or the USA where market share is actually holding up well.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


Yeah. So what's the point of the plastic?

 

More durable, especially if you don't want to use a case.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post


Surely, with a new 8GB configuration, they will update to lightning connector? I don't see them keeping the 30-pin connector for legacy customers ... Just one more excuse to not buy current products.

 

According to their website, it will use the old connector.

 

Makes no sense, but still.

post #15 of 34
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

More durable, especially if you don't want to use a case.

 

Than metal? Wait a minute. Which one cracks, again? And which one is used to make every building of the modern era?

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #16 of 34

I don't understand the iPhone 5c. It's just the iPhone 5. Maybe it's true that they cannot make current iPhone 5 in those color so they need to change the chassis to have plastic coated for color. They should've still made iPhone 5 available and make iPhone 5c start at 8GB for free with subsidy. BTW, Effing Apple. No upgrade for my family of 3.

post #17 of 34
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post
I don't understand the iPhone 5c. It's just the iPhone 5.

 

Except with different telephony, a better front camera, a larger battery, and in colors. So not just the iPhone 5.

 
BTW, Effing Apple. No upgrade for my family of 3.

 

And how is this Apple's fault?

Originally posted by Relic

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post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Yeah. So what's the point of the plastic?

Jony Ive said it was 'unapologetically plastic' in the video:

http://www.apple.com/iphone-5c/videos/#video-product

I think it should apologise for being plastic and not a cheaper iPhone 5. The 5C looks quite nice in use in the video but those cases don't look good at all - the color matched ones are ok but there's no need for the holes in that case. The fact they went to so much trouble with their own cases even hints that they expect people to buy cases for them i.e the plastic is not to avoid cases. They have cases for the 5S too. I don't remember them doing this before. They had bumpers but I don't remember there being official Apple cases.

I know they've said that the plastic is done in a way to feel robust but the build quality is clearly higher on the cheaper iPhone 4S. I notice they don't say the display is IPS for either the 5C or 5S, I'm pretty sure they used to list the panel type. It says Retina display so I assume it's still an IPS panel. It's hard to make out in the video any color shifts when turning it:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/10/4714074/apple-iphone-5c-hands-on-pictures-video

You can see the cases there, yellow on pink, blech. Why even put that on display?

post #19 of 34
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
You can see the cases there, yellow on pink, blech. Why even put that on display?

 

All available color combinations do work well together. It's the setting–the fact that they're on a phone–that makes them situationally good or bad*. But I believe that some of them are Apple giving a slap in the face to Windows 8's atrocious colors. "See, it's not the colors that make your OS sell poorly, it's your OS!"

 

*I'm trying to remember where I've seen these colors together in a beautiful way… I'll think of it.

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post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Of course they do, and since when?

 

$99. How dreadful, as it's exactly the same price the iPhone 5 would have been had they kept it.

 

Dear Mr. Out-of-context-Quoter,

way to twist his words around.

I think he was referring to the $549 starting price off contract.

 

Apple is so smug they think that a re-branded iP5 with plastic back should be this much?  For people like me, off-contract pricing is a huge deal.  Being out of the country for 5 months of the year, I need the All-in-one device that can replace my iPhone 4, iPod Classic, and potentially my iPad2 with a single device.  Apple missed the mark on all three of those for me.

 

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 5S has some really nice innovations, and the 5C is nothing to sneeze at, but for people who need to consolidate, these two new offering just does add/subtract anything from my existing needs.

 

I have no idea what I'm going to do before my next trip to China, but I certainly won't be the single device.  I'll prolly have to suck it up to contract pricing on a new phone and wait to unlock it, then use my iP4 in China.  Still sucks because I could use those security features and camera improvements over there.

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain J View Post

Why keep the 4S with the old connector?

 

That was exactly what I was thinking.  After the iPad updates, the iPod classic and the iPhone 4S will be the only two devices using the 30-pin connector.  To me, that one of a couple really bad decisions Apple made with this event.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

All available color combinations do work well together. It's the setting–the fact that they're on a phone–that makes them situationally good or bad*. But I believe that some of them are Apple giving a slap in the face to Windows 8's atrocious colors. "See, it's not the colors that make your OS sell poorly, it's your OS!"

 

*I'm trying to remember where I've seen these colors together in a beautiful way… I'll think of it.

 

My question, if you watched the video...Mr. Ive took an awful lot of time and smugness to describe how wonderful this new chassis design is...how great is feels in your hand, how durable and high quality it is....blah, blah, blah.  Oh, yeah, he's hide all that with these fugly looking cases.  Not to mention they missed that the back whole partially cover the "iPhone" moniker and the testing labels.  Bad design detail.  why didn't they just hide a couple hole so we didn't see the "...hon." peeking through the holes???  Not to mention that the silicone back will make it about 1" into your pocket before getting stuck...and the holes will capture just about every scrap on lint in your pocket, and get trapped between the case and the chassis.

 

Just bad, bad, bad.

post #23 of 34
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

My question, if you watched the video...Mr. Ive took an awful lot of time and smugness to describe how wonderful this new chassis design is...how great is feels in your hand, how durable and high quality it is....blah, blah, blah.

 

Jonathan Ive has ALWAYS been against cases. Always. He won't ever use them, and I'm sure he protests their creation at every meeting when it comes time to design a new one. More of a running gag by now than anything.

 

That doesn't mean Apple can't and shouldn't design the best case they can.

 

Not to mention they missed that the back whole partially cover the "iPhone" moniker and the testing labels.  Bad design detail.  why didn't they just hide a couple hole so we didn't see the "...hon." peeking through the holes???

 

I agree wholeheartedly on this. Otherwise I think the cases are neat.

 
Not to mention that the silicone back will make it about 1" into your pocket before getting stuck...

 

Well, that's obviously not right; they wouldn't make them otherwise.

 
…and the holes will capture just about every scrap on lint in your pocket…

 

See, that I wonder about. Doubt it can get between, though; it's a snug fit.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #24 of 34

It's too much money to produce the 5 and the 5s those aluminum chassis are expensive. Hence 5c. I agree with the case it looks cool but functionality seems to be at a 0. And 550 is way too much for a plastic phone. They should have done 450 and dumped the 5 and 4s. 

post #25 of 34

So, let tell me if I got this right.

 

Apple keeps the 4S, however only 8GB.

 

Apple drops the 5, leaving for worse specs?

 

The 4S is horribly outdated, it won't even get the full features of iOS 7 for cook's sake.

 

It doesn't feel right having an outdated model stay, while the more current phone is left in the dust.

 

I know the 5C is basically the 5, but it's prices as a "low-cost" iPhone? Yeah right.

post #26 of 34
Glad they kept the 4s. That means that it will be supported in some sort of way for at least another year. If I'm lucky maybe even two. Or more, who knows? Look at the 3GS. My only problem with upgrading would be the screen size. I like to handle my phone with one hand, and I don't see my self doing that with the newer iPhones. But that's just me. So come to think of it, maybe I'll never upgrade, unless in the future Apple makes a "retro" iPhone maybe lol. iPhone 4S, the last true iPhone, with iOS 5 that is.....
post #27 of 34
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Jonathan Ive has ALWAYS been against cases. Always. He won't ever use them, and I'm sure he protests their creation at every meeting when it comes time to design a new one. More of a running gag by now than anything.

That doesn't mean Apple can't and shouldn't design the best case they can.

I agree wholeheartedly on this. Otherwise I think the cases are neat.

Well, that's obviously not right; they wouldn't make them otherwise.

See, that I wonder about. Doubt it can get between, though; it's a snug fit.
have a really great, snug fitting speck case (pixel case) and i periodically have to clean my iP4 because of all the dust and what nots that get trapped. And the only holes are around the camera, dock connector and mute switch. Otherwise it's pretty seamless. So to me these apple cases are going to be vacuum cleaners for dust/dirt. I also have a silicon case (and a speck rubber) for my iPod classic and both are so freakin grippy, once I actually get it in my pocket (size and material doesn't matter), its really annoyingly tough to get out. Hence, I don't use cases unless they are smooth and as non-grippy as possible. That speck pixel case is by far the best case I've owned. Now I don't like using cases, but the iPhone 4 changed that opinion and the iPhone 5s prolly won't change that opinion.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Well that was a massively underwhelming Apple event. I think we all need to temper our expectations and remember that Apple is an incredibly patient company that is perfectly willing to make people wait 16 months for an overdue update.

I'm sure they want to standardize on the Lightning connector and 4" display, but ultimately it's about dollars and cents. Shoving the 4S guts into the 5C body (what I predicted the 5C would be) must have a higher cost than continuing production of the 4S unchanged. Therefore Apple is willing to wait until 2014 to finally put the 30-pin connector out to pasture.

They're also in no rush to change a pricing model that yields greater than 1000% margins on flash memory. A quick look at SD card pricing shows a $10 difference between 16GB and 32GB yet Apple has conditioned its sheeple to pay $100.

At this point my expectations for the upcoming iPad and Mac events are about as low as they could possibly be.

 

Huh? 64-bit A7 and the M7! When Cook said the A7 was a desktop class CPU, with new class of instruction sets, it should have given you a hint of where the iPad devices are going. Giving away iWork is also a hint where Apple will be taking iPads and other devices. Cook called the iPhone 5S "forward looking". Overall, the architecture changes are a big deal. As developers take advantage of new iOS 7 features based on this new architecture, expect to see big changes. The question will be with their Mac line ups. 

post #29 of 34
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post
I have a really great, snug fitting speck case (pixel case) and i periodically have to clean my iP4 because of all the dust and what nots that get trapped. And the only holes are around the camera, dock connector and mute switch. Otherwise it's pretty seamless. So to me these apple cases are going to be vacuum cleaners for dust/dirt.


Hmm… Is it just one material all the way through, or does it have a microfiber liner on the inside?

 
I also have a silicon case (and a speck rubber) for my iPod classic and both are so freakin grippy, once I actually get it in my pocket (size and material doesn't matter), its really annoyingly tough to get out.

 

I see where you're coming from here, and I'd try it out myself, but the only silicone products I have are two oven mitts and two cooling stones, so I'd need ghetto pants to see if that works. :lol:

 

I just inherently trust Apple not to make a case that dirties the device and sticks to your pants. Their whole existence is about experience, after all. And while it's probably more secure to have a phone you can't get out of your pocket in the first place, it's not as good an experience.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


Yeah. So what's the point of the plastic?

 

What's the problem with it? Nothing.

 

Pros: Lightweight, Durable, Scratch resistent, cheaper and faster to manufacturer.

Cons: ........

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Well that was a massively underwhelming Apple event. I think we all need to temper our expectations and remember that Apple is an incredibly patient company that is perfectly willing to make people wait 16 months for an overdue update.

I'm sure they want to standardize on the Lightning connector and 4" display, but ultimately it's about dollars and cents. Shoving the 4S guts into the 5C body (what I predicted the 5C would be) must have a higher cost than continuing production of the 4S unchanged. Therefore Apple is willing to wait until 2014 to finally put the 30-pin connector out to pasture.

They're also in no rush to change a pricing model that yields greater than 1000% margins on flash memory. A quick look at SD card pricing shows a $10 difference between 16GB and 32GB yet Apple has conditioned its sheeple to pay $100.

At this point my expectations for the upcoming iPad and Mac events are about as low as they could possibly be.

 

1. What overdue update? iPhones sell strong year round and get refreshed year round. Nothing overdue about any of it.

 

2. No, what they realized is that they would lose money if the style and function of the 5C were available at 8 GB for $450, because it would undoubtedly cannibalize sales of the 16 GB $550 tier. They want a $0/$450 offering...but one that is far less attractive than a 16 GB 5C. The 30-pin connector is all but gone. Keeping it 1 more year on just the 4S (and iPod classic & shuffle) is a negligible move. Moral of the story: 85% or more of all iPhone sales in 2013-2014 will be with lightning.

 

3. Its about conditioning. Its about this is what we offer and this is what it costs. Don't want it? Don't buy it. Have you seen how profitable iPhones are for Apple? Those $100 premiums for double storage are key. Don't like it? Don't buy it. But, have fun trying to convince yourself when buying a 16 GB iPhone for $650 (or $199) that it isn't "worth it" to simply pony up another $100 for double the storage capacity. And another hundred still for quadruple.

 

4. Redesigned iPad 5 with mini-like body & A7X 64-bit chip are low expectations? Wow, can't imagine what you think its appropriate at this stage, given your advanced knowledge of engineering.

post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mappy View Post
 

So, let tell me if I got this right.

 

Apple keeps the 4S, however only 8GB.

 

Apple drops the 5, leaving for worse specs?

 

The 4S is horribly outdated, it won't even get the full features of iOS 7 for cook's sake.

 

It doesn't feel right having an outdated model stay, while the more current phone is left in the dust.

 

I know the 5C is basically the 5, but it's prices as a "low-cost" iPhone? Yeah right.

 

I will let tell you that you got it not right.

 

The 4S was still selling for $99/$550 yesterday at a 16 GB capacity. Still selling well in many channels.

There is now a reduced price model, offered at $0/$450 in 8 GB capacity. This is bottom tier, that replaces the iPhone 4 (also still selling yesterday).

 

The iPhone 5C replaces the iPhone 5 in this year's role. The 5 would have continued at $99/$550. Instead, the 5C is inserted here, equal to the 5 is every way, and improved in handful of others. Also, major brand new design and color scheme. Overall, MUCH better than if the 5 had followed the usual pattern.

 

The iPhone 5S is the new flagship iPhone. As for "S" upgrades, it is the most substantial yet. Because of the way technology is moving at Apple, this year brings some major improvements. The A7 64-bit chip is no joke, and puts them lightyears ahead of the competition, once again. The new camera system is really outstanding, as the innovations baked into it directly effect the every-day use of the camera. If you don't value improvements to sharpness in action shots or dramatically improved low light shots, you simply don't use an iPhone camera. And the Touch ID is just brilliant and perfectly executed. When I first heard this, I imagined its implementation down to the detail, and Apple has designed exactly what I thought of, because it is without a doubt a flawless and logical execution. Home button, touch & unlock, even down to the setup and configuration. They thought of everything and left nothing for round 2. Obviously in the future, this could potentially be expanded to payment systems outside of the Apple Store, but why do that day 1? Lets have some time to let millions of users field test with just the Apple store, and make sure this is as safe and secure as we think it is.

post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post
 

Nobody cares about "on contract" price anymore, even the US is moving to separate phone/contract models slowly. 

 

But given the dreadful price of the 5C, it's good they kept the 4S.

 

Everyone does, the 5C price is exactly what it should be, not a penny more or less. Don't like it? Don't buy one.

 

Approx. 40 million people will disagree with you in the next 6 months.

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Everyone does, the 5C price is exactly what it should be, not a penny more or less. Don't like it? Don't buy one.

Approx. 40 million people will disagree with you in the next 6 months.

Which is about the same sales as last year dropping iOS on phones to < 10%.

Sounds like a failure.
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