Originally Posted by pazuzu
Plastic not so fantastic.
Why get a Volkswagen when you can get a Mercedes for $100 more.
Originally Posted by Harmon
If Apple really wanted to move the 5c's (which apparently they do from all the advertising they have for them) the price should have been $49 w/ contract or $499 off contract to begin with. $49 is much more in the impulse purchase range and would have garnered a lot more attention from the masses without killing Apple's margins.
Originally Posted by island hermit
Actually, it appears that Apple intended the 5c to play a much bigger role than the 4s last year.
Changing the body and then advertising the crap out of it would indicate that Apple is hoping for high sales of the 5c... maybe even in line with the 5s.
There are several factors at work here.
First, Apple has ample capacity to churn out last year's guts in a plastic case - while challenges somewhere in the supply/production process are limiting their ability to meet demand for the 5s. So they're pushing the 5c partly because they know they can meet any practical demand for it that they can gin up with the marketing.
Second, the "production experience" factor has already amortized the cost of gearing up for making the internals of the 5c - even with the one or two bits they updated; so with the plastic case, margins are probably higher than the old model of selling the 5 as this year's exact $99 [subsidized] phone.
So Apple has plenty of incentive to push the model they have most readily available - at least until they can gear up to have the 5s in immediate stock (and work out a few of the bugs that are coming up with both the new phone, e.g., the simultaneous 64 bit/iOS 7 transition, crash rates, frequency of early sub-point OS updates, etc.).
Third, however, lots of people may know a little more about tech than some are giving credit, and marketing the 5c as "a new model" when it's really "old wine in new bottles" may not be striking the marketing chord Apple hoped for.
People knew for sure that the 4s was last year's model in the last release cycle and accepted it as such, whereas word on the street (or at least quite a few streets) re the 5c may be, "Hey, Apple's pushing the old one posing as a new one for not much less."
And as the (early) Rolling Stones noted, "Who [with an extra hundred bucks] wants yesterday's papers/who wants yesterday's news..." Plus the unlocked price may be - just as many click-baiting pundits have opined - to give devils their occasional due - a bit to a lot beyond the reach of some international markets where there are openings below the 5s level.
Therefore, if Apple's "we'll put it in a new cute case and make big margin as people lap it up based on the halo of our corporate image" is coming across as a bit of hubris, I think Harmon's notes on sweet spot pricing for their strategy to work may be pretty spot on. With all the stores giving $50 off on the 5c, the up front price for many IS effectively $49.... ...which may be what it should have been (along with his $499 unlocked suggestion which would break - in the US - a psychological barrier, namely "less than $500" and would put it a little more in reach elsewhere). I.e., although it cuts across Apple's grain, a case where a little less margin might well result in commensurately higher sales and eventual higher net profit, since demand for the 5s is pretty much a given...
...given that the consensus of reviews (and I've read at least 10) that the 5s overall is the best smart phone currently available anywhere (except among the growing "screen size envy" contingent).
Finally, they will, yes, still sell many, many 5c's over the next year, if likely less than they hoped, but the 6c - with Touch ID and 64 bitness - may be a better seller next year. Especially if they learn a few things from this first foray into phone "re-cladding" and fine-tune their red pencils and marketing.