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Inside Apple's iPhone 5c: 'c' is for 'colors'

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Taking a page from its own successful iPod playbook, Apple this year is pushing a new lineup of bright, colorful iPhones as its mass-market smartphone for the fall of 2013.

iPhone


'For the colorful'



Perhaps most telling of Apple's expectations for the iPhone 5c is the fact that it is the first product displayed when someone visits the company's website. The iPhone section of the site also leads off with the iPhone 5c, getting top billing over the iPhone 5s.

Available in a range of five vibrant colors and with a subsidized starting price half that of the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c is in an interesting place in Apple's new iPhone lineup. The company has opted to discontinue the iPhone 5, though the iPhone 5c has many of the same parts and features as its predecessor.

Apple has adopted a playful, fun strategy in marketing the new handsets, pitching them as "for the colorful."Priced at $99 with a two-year wireless agreement, the new plastic-backed iPhone 5c ships in white, red, yellow, blue and green. Apple has adopted a playful, fun strategy in marketing the new handsets, pitching them as "for the colorful."

The focus on color has even extended to the iOS operating system, as default wallpapers installed on iPhone 5c units will match the color of the plastic external shell chosen by the buyer.

Colors are also the key focus for new, quirky cases Apple is offering with the iPhone 5c. A series of circular holes on the back expose the color of the iPhone underneath, allowing users to mix and match color combinations as they see fit ? a total of 30 possible combinations with six different case colors and five different iPhone 5c colors.

"Unlike most cases, these weren't designed just to add protection," Apple has said about the official iPhone 5c cases. "They were designed to add fun."

iPhone


Apple's colorful history



The use of bright color options to sell products is nothing new for Apple. In one of his first acts as returning CEO, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the iMac in 1998 in a presentation in which he panned current desktop computers as "ugly."

As part of his comeback strategy for Apple, Jobs unveiled the unique, transparent, curvy and colorful "Bondi Blue" design of the first iMac G3. Advertisements for the all-in-one computer portrayed it as "Chic. Not geek."



"The whole thing is translucent, you can see into it ? it's so cool," Jobs said onstage, as all sides of the iMac were being shown to the audience via a wireless camera. "The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys'," he went on to say.

Apple's iMac G3 was released in a total of 13 different "flavors," making it one of the most colorful products in the company's history.Apple also pushed the fresh look of the new iMac in a series of commercials featuring the voice of actor Jeff Goldblum. In one television spot, Goldblum noted that the iMac was "more colorful" than the competition currently on the market.

Of course, the key to Apple's strategy with the first iMac "G3" was not just its color. The desktop was also somewhat controversial at the time for omitting a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive ? a legacy feature that virtually all computers at the time included.

But colors became even more important to the G3 iMac in January of 1999, when the "Bondi Blue" shade was replaced with blueberry, strawberry, tangerine, grape and lime. In all, the iMac G3 was eventually released in a total of 13 different "flavors," which also included graphite, ruby, sage, snow, indigo, and the psychadelic "Flower Power" and "Blue Dalmatian" configurations.

iMac


iPhone 5c: The 'iPod-ification' of the iPhone



Of course, this strategy is not new for Apple. When the company introduced its all-new iPod mini in 2004, that product was also available in five colors.

A year later, the iPod mini was replaced by the iPod nano. And as the iPod lineup kept growing, so too did sales.

Through 2004, Apple had sold 10 million total iPods to date. But by mid-2007, with the iPod classic, mini, nano and shuffle all having hit the market, the company reached sales of 100 million iPods over the product's lifetime.

The variety of colors available in the iPod lineup eventually became a key selling point for the products in the company's television and print advertisements.



Now, in 2013, the iPod is on its way out, having been cannibalized by the iPhone over the last six years. While the iPhone has become Apple's new cash cow, the company has only introduced one new model of iPhone every year.

This year, the company tweaked its strategy with two new iPhones. So far, the iPhone 5c promotional material has reminiscent of the classic, colorful iPod ads, celebrating fun and variety. Whether the iPhone 5c will help grow sales of the iPhone lineup the same way colors and variety made Apple's iPod the dominant media player of last decade remains to be seen.
post #2 of 106
iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.
post #3 of 106
I know several people who have decided on the 5C rather than go with another Android device. They like the colors and the promise of iOS 7 ...and the price. That $100 does make a difference.

It will be interesting to compare 5C sales to a year ago 4S sales (if those numbers are available). My guess is the numbers will be comparatively huge.
post #4 of 106

It fills the second spot in the iPhone line up and replaces the 5, as a medium priced phone.  Apple never told the stupid tech media that the 5C was going to be Cheap.  They just Assumed that it would be.  Stupid them.  You know what you get from assume.

 

Apple now has made a new phone and it will appeal to a great deal of people and they wont have to say that they bought a 1 year old phone.  And the C has several improvements over the 5.  Battery, Camera, more cell standards coverage.  I think it will sell exceptionally well.

post #5 of 106
I really don't like those cases.

I think with the next iPhone that they should only have the one model, but in black or white and with 10 different coloured cases, similar to the iPad Smart Case (black, white, silver, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink).
post #6 of 106
If they'd priced it just $50 less they'd be hitting the sweet spot.

As it is they're simply profiteering, guaranteed they'll be making more per phone on the 5C then if they'd kept the iPhone 5.

It's a great phone and they will sell millions, no questions there.

Just a shame that they could not resist squeezing that little bit extra blood out of the stone.
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post #7 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb View Post

iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.

 

How is it a downgrade from the iPhone 5? It's got a better battery and front camera.

 

I guess you're talking about the plastic casing? It may be a downgrade to you (and me to a point), but I think a lot of people feel that the iPhone 5/5S seems too luxurious and fragile compared to Android phones with chunky plastic casings. 

 

Also, every person I know that still uses a feature phone brags about how much more durable their phone is compared to a "fragile" smartphones. To them, the plastic casing is probably seen as an upgrade.

post #8 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

If they'd priced it just $50 less they'd be hitting the sweet spot.

As it is they're simply profiteering, guaranteed they'll be making more per phone on the 5C then if they'd kept the iPhone 5.

It's a great phone and they will sell millions, no questions there.

Just a shame that they could not resist squeezing that little bit extra blood out of the stone.

Making the IPhone 5 case was expensive and time consuming. The same equipment is used to make the iPhone 5s case. Had Apple kept the iPhone 5 in production continuing to offer it would cause production problems because Apple would have to use the same equipment to make both phones cases. This move was about freeing up resources for the 5s while bringing down he cost and improving the appeal of the 5.
post #9 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb View Post

iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.

The "C" stood for "cheap" only in the minds of the analysts who imagined that Apple would go for the cheapskate market, which apparently you are part of.

The iPhone 5c has the same specifications of the iPhone 5 with the exception of a 25% longer battery charge life and a wider selection of color options.

The significantly better iPhone 5s at only $100 more is within tempting range of most buyers, it's going to be fun seeing how this plays out.

By the way, the YELLOW 5c is turning out to be the most common color being pre-ordered. I'd never have guessed that!
post #10 of 106
It really rubs me the wrong way when people describe the iPhone 5C as a "new" phone. IT'S NOT!!! It has the exact same internals as an iPhone 5 (with the exception of a slightly larger battery and slightly better front camera). All they did was put it into a plastic case instead of a metal case. The price is exactly the same as the 5 would have been had Apple continued to offer it. The only difference is now Apple will definitely be making more money per handset since the casing material (and likely the manufacturing process) is much cheaper. The consumer gets a phone that does exactly nothing better than the iPhone 5 did at the same price. As one of the earlier commenters said, C stands for "CHEAP." It's not cheap in the sense that it costs less, it's cheap in that Apple is giving you a worse phone for the same price you would have paid for the iPhone 5.
post #11 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

I really don't like those cases.

I think with the next iPhone that they should only have the one model, but in black or white and with 10 different coloured cases, similar to the iPad Smart Case (black, white, silver, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink).

The most popular iPhone 5c in pre-order is the YELLO iPhone. I'd never have guessed that! Not in a million years.

See? That's why you and I are not earning the big bucks in product design.

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post #12 of 106
One could argue that the iPhone 5s is bargain priced. Not too many luxury items stay the same price year after year when inflation, cost of material, labor and energy are all increasing.

 

Here are all of the things that are better on the 5s than the 5c:

 

A7 chip with 64-bit architecture
M7 motion coprocessor
Fingerprint identity sensor
1.5µ pixels
ƒ/2.2 aperture
True Tone flash
Slo-mo video
Improved video stabilization
Available in 64GB
Aluminum case

 

And it is only $100 more than the equivalent GB 5c models!

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post #13 of 106
So, next year the iPhone 5S will become plastic, but what designation will it get? iPhone 6C, or something else?

I know, I know it's too soon.... 1smile.gif
post #14 of 106
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post
So, next year the iPhone 5S will become plastic, but what designation will it get? iPhone 6C, or something else?

 

No, because it isn't an iPhone 6. That wouldn't make any sense. Next year it will be the iPhone 5SC.

 

Also, don't reply to Lance. No sense when the trolling is that pathetic. Report, move on; the account will be banned shortly.

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post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Here are all of the things that are better on the 5s than the 5c:

A7 chip with 64-bit architecture

M7 motion coprocessor

Fingerprint identity sensor

1.5µ pixels

ƒ/2.2 aperture

True Tone flash

Slo-mo video

Improved video stabilization

Available in 64GB

Aluminum case

And it is only $100 more than the equivalent GB 5c models!

By your reasoning the lowest entry in iPod range should still cost $400 and the MacBook Airs still at $1800!

Technology moves on and the price should be moving down, no one expects apple to be at the bottom end of pricing, on the new iPhone 5C especially they are keeping the pricing above what it should be.
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post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb View Post

iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.

Major downgrade?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

It really rubs me the wrong way when people describe the iPhone 5C as a "new" phone. IT'S NOT!!! It has the exact same internals as an iPhone 5 (with the exception of a slightly larger battery and slightly better front camera). All they did was put it into a plastic case instead of a metal case. The price is exactly the same as the 5 would have been had Apple continued to offer it. The only difference is now Apple will definitely be making more money per handset since the casing material (and likely the manufacturing process) is much cheaper. The consumer gets a phone that does exactly nothing better than the iPhone 5 did at the same price. As one of the earlier commenters said, C stands for "CHEAP." It's not cheap in the sense that it costs less, it's cheap in that Apple is giving you a worse phone for the same price you would have paid for the iPhone 5.

A worse phone? Didn't you mention a better camera and a better battery? The case may have changed but that's superficial.

C never stood for cheap.
post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

By your reasoning the lowest entry in iPod range should still cost $400 and the MacBook Airs still at $1800!

Technology moves on and the price should be moving down, no one expects apple to be at the bottom end of pricing, on the new iPhone 5C especially they are keeping the pricing above what it should be.

What it should be? According to who?
post #18 of 106

Now they just need to bring back coloured laptops: a Blueberry MacBook Pro - with a handle!

post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post

So, next year the iPhone 5S will become plastic, but what designation will it get? iPhone 6C, or something else?

I know, I know it's too soon.... 1smile.gif

 

It's a fun question though.

 

If it goes plastic (not a definite; it could be we'll only see this two line S/C splintering every other year) I doubt it'll become the 5SC, that's getting too far towards the godawful model numbers that are the hallmark of other manufacturers, and also it's mixing the range designations, which makes it unclear what the meaning behind the code it.  And if the 5C becomes the low end then they'll have two Cs right next to each other in the lineup.  I suspect they'll stick with 5S, whether they go plastic or not.  The 4S has the same glass and steel construction it had when it was the high end model, and the 3GS was always plastic.  There are two Ss on the range this year, 4 and 5, so they aren't afraid for an S to be a lower than top range model.  

 

Of course, we have a whole year of rumours to get through before then, so who knows what changes might be in store.

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post #20 of 106

I like the 5c and I'd get one if I wanted or used a phone, indeed I have to seriously think about swapping my iPod for one. Having said that, if the slogan for the 5s is "Forward thinking", then 'c' must be for 'children', albeit forward thinking children. Who one day will need to do grown up things that require fingerprint scanning devices, but for now  are preoccupied with colours and spots.

 

This is not a bad metaphor for what seems to be going askew with the world at the moment. Where small children are growing up to be big children acting as adults rather than adults who are able to maintain their Child (capital C indicates ego state) throughout life and thus keep their sense of humour and speak the truth.

 

 

EDIT: on second though maybe 'c' is for 'cool' and 's' is for stuffy?


Edited by AnalogJack - 9/15/13 at 1:58pm
post #21 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb View Post

iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.

 

You registered to post that?

post #22 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Major downgrade?
A worse phone? Didn't you mention a better camera and a better battery? The case may have changed but that's superficial.

C never stood for cheap.

 

 

Just to make sure I have it right....

Polycarbonate cases on iPhones are superficial.

Plastic cases on Android phones are cheap.

post #23 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post

It really rubs me the wrong way when people describe the iPhone 5C as a "new" phone. IT'S NOT!!! It has the exact same internals as an iPhone 5 (with the exception of a slightly larger battery and slightly better front camera). All they did was put it into a plastic case instead of a metal case. The price is exactly the same as the 5 would have been had Apple continued to offer it. The only difference is now Apple will definitely be making more money per handset since the casing material (and likely the manufacturing process) is much cheaper. The consumer gets a phone that does exactly nothing better than the iPhone 5 did at the same price. As one of the earlier commenters said, C stands for "CHEAP." It's not cheap in the sense that it costs less, it's cheap in that Apple is giving you a worse phone for the same price you would have paid for the iPhone 5.

 

Sounds like a great deal to me. For customers, and Apple.

 

A lot of people would prefer a plastic & colored phone. It also happens to be the kind that only Apple could, and would, produce.

post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post
 

 

 

Just to make sure I have it right....

Polycarbonate cases on iPhones are superficial.

Plastic cases on Android phones are cheap.

 

Absolutely. Perhaps you should consider that not all plastic phones are created equal. If you don't feel like buying into Apple's marketing video that clearly explains why, you could always put some faith in the hands-on experience's so far...people have held it and said it is unbelievably solid and sturdy for a plastic-shelled device. Not the least bit surprising, considering the best smartphone designers in the world put it together.

post #25 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

 

Here are all of the things that are better on the 5s than the 5c:

 

A7 chip with 64-bit architecture
M7 motion coprocessor
Fingerprint identity sensor
1.5µ pixels
ƒ/2.2 aperture
True Tone flash
Slo-mo video
Improved video stabilization
Available in 64GB
Aluminum case

 

And it is only $100 more than the equivalent GB 5c models!

 

I don't quite get the positioning of the 5C when the 5S is only $100 more.

 

I think the 5C will sell less than what Apple is expecting and the 5S will sell more.

 

Which won't be a particularly enviable position for Apple if the 5S line suffers from supply problems.

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post #26 of 106
Quote:

Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

How is it a downgrade from the iPhone 5?

 

Plastic

Larger

Heavier

no 64GB option

Loses the HUGE selection of iPhone 5 cases (that will also fit the 5s)

and as stated by mstone, the 5s has a large number of significant improvements that make the $100 discount a poor value. If it was $150-200 cheaper, then it would be worth honestly considering.

 

The only thing of worse value is the 8GB 4S that still costs $450.

post #27 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 
Technology moves on and the price should be moving down, 

That would be the case if it were the same technology and it pretty much is in the 5c. So you are getting a hundred dollars lower price on last year's technology, while this year's technology with tons of cutting edge features is exactly the same as last year even though they had to buy a few companies, build a few factories and completely redesign the cpu.

 

I'm sure we will see some discounts from the mass market retailers. In Japan it is already free on contract.

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post #28 of 106

5C is targeted not for China but the younger 10-18 crowd and people who  are not tech geeks but simply like the colors. I read Burberry already using the 5C for some of it's runway show.

post #29 of 106

The 5C will sell very, very well

post #30 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb View Post

iPhone 5c is for "Cheap". Its supposed to be ironic since its actually very expensive being only $100 less than the significantly better iPhone 5s and a major downgrade from the iPhone5.

 

No Android Phones are the CHEAP ones and so are it's users. Some people only deserve to drive Hyundais and use Cheap Samsumg Korean stuff lol

post #31 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by acatomic View Post

So, next year the iPhone 5S will become plastic, but what designation will it get? iPhone 6C, or something else?

I know, I know it's too soon.... 1smile.gif

 

Never too soon...

 

Probably a spec-bumped 5C that receives 5S features.

 

Alongside a flagship iPhone 6.

post #32 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

I don't quite get the positioning of the 5C when the 5S is only $100 more.

 

I think the 5C will sell less than what Apple is expecting and the 5S will sell more.

 

Which won't be a particularly enviable position for Apple if the 5S line suffers from supply problems.

If the 4S represented around 30% of their iPhone sales last year I can't see how the 5c cannot easily improve on that total. People are probably going to disregard the free 4S and go for the 5c especially if the colors are appealing to them.

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post #33 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

I don't quite get the positioning of the 5C when the 5S is only $100 more.

 

 

Then you also "don't quite get" the ridiculous runaway success of Apple's iPhone business for the last several years.

post #34 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

That would be the case if it were the same technology and it pretty much is in the 5c. So you are getting a hundred dollars lower price on last year's technology, while this year's technology with tons of cutting edge features is exactly the same as last year even though they had to buy a few companies, build a few factories and completely redesign the cpu.

I'm sure we will see some discounts from the mass market retailers. In Japan it is already free on contract.
$100 less than the iPhone 5, I concur. Cheaper than the iPhone 5 to manufacture? Almost certainly.

Making more than they would have done had they kept the iPhone 5 instead as with the previous refreshes? Once again almost certainly.

Rather than maintain their very high margins they've decided to increase them.

The iPhone 5S is a great deal, the 5C should be priced less, they are simply price gouging their customers.
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post #35 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post
 

How is it a downgrade from the iPhone 5?

 

Plastic chassis

Larger

Heavier

Can't use any of the large selection of cases for the iPhone 5 that will also fit the 5s

As said by mstone, the 5s has major improvements that make the $100 difference a very poor value

 

If it were $150-200 less, it would be worth considering.

The only worse deal is the $450 8GB 4S still being sold.

post #36 of 106

If you consider that this is the first time Apple has significantly pushed last years phone under a new form factor, it might as well stand for 'con'. Sounds like something cooked up in Steve's 'Reality Distortion Field'.

 

Though, I'll be interested in hearing the pre-sale numbers out for the $99 5C compared to sales of the $99 4S last year.


Edited by nonimus - 9/15/13 at 5:10pm
post #37 of 106
Originally Posted by Lance Newcomb

[I don't have a clue who this product is for, nor why it exists.]

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post #38 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

$100 less than the iPhone 5, I concur. Cheaper than the iPhone 5 to manufacture? Almost certainly.
 

Yes the plastic cases are almost certainly cheaper to make than the aluminum, but they like the $99, $199 price points so they keep them the same. Apple was, and probably still is taking a small profit margin hit on the aluminum cases because they are so complex to manufacture, but they want to keep the price points the same. It is not a 1:1 cost to price ratio. All things considered I think customers are getting an extremely good value on the 5s. The 5c is what it is - An iPhone 5 with bright colors at a $100 discount from last year.

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post #39 of 106
Are the front facing cameras in the 5s and 5c not the same? Is this not the same as what is currently in the iPhone5? Just trying to figure out the differences.

I can tell you, my wife wants an iPhone 5c. She doesn't care about tech specs. Just likes the colours. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there like this.
post #40 of 106
Originally Posted by GarryM View Post
Are the front facing cameras in the 5s and 5c not the same? Is this not the same as what is currently in the iPhone5?

 

5C is 5 with 5S' front camera and battery capacity.

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