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US survey shows Apple's iPhone 5s has 'staying power,' while 5c is losing ground

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
A new survey of prospective U.S. smartphone buyers has found that Apple's flagship iPhone 5s remains the most popular option for those making a purchase in the next few months, but the iPhone 5c is not expected to make waves.

iPhone 5s


Investment firm Piper Jaffray polled 1,003 U.S. consumers about smartphone purchase intent over the next three months, and 39 percent of those surveyed said they plan to purchase an iPhone. That was down from 44 percent in December and 50 percent last September.

Apple's iPhone 5s, in particular remains the most popular option for American smartphone buyers, attracting 33 percent of prospective purchases, down slightly from 35 percent in December. This despite the announcement of new devices in the months since the iPhone 5s launched, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is scheduled to launch in April.

Piper Jaffray


Analyst Gene Munster said he views the results as positive news for Apple, as the iPhone 5s is approaching six months of availability on the market, and many consumers may be simply waiting for Apple to launch its next handset before upgrading.Analyst Gene Munster believes most iPhone owners use cases, which may be a reason why the colorful iPhone 5c isn't more popular.

But just 6 percent of those polled said they plan to purchase Apple's mid-range iPhone 5c in the next three months, compared to 9 percent in December, and 12 percent for the handset just after it launched last year.

Munster speculated that consumers see a significant value increase in the iPhone 5s, which is priced starting at $100 more than the iPhone 5c with a two-year contract subsidy. The iPhone 5s sports a faster A7 processor, a metal back, and the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The analyst also believes that the colors of the iPhone 5c may not be as appealing to consumers, as many simply place a case over their smartphone, giving it a unique look regardless of what color the device may be. He noted that while Apple found success bringing colors to its iPod lineup, most owners of the company's portable media players did not place cases on their iPods.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted in January that the market share taken by the iPhone 5c was lower than he and other officials expected it would be. The iPhone 5c sports largely the same internal components as the discontinued iPhone 5 that launched in 2012, but it features a new polycarbonate back that comes in a range of colors.

Still, Cook said last week that sales of the iPhone 5c are outpacing its predecessor, which was previously the mid-range iPhone 4s. Apple continues to set record quarterly iPhone sales, though growth has slowed considerably as the smartphone market has matured.

Munster said in a note to investors on Monday that he feels comfortable with his forecast of 37.5 million iPhones sold in the current March quarter --?a number that would be flat year over year.
post #2 of 63

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

post #3 of 63
Gene Munster sure flaps his gums a lot.

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post #4 of 63
It could of been a contendah if it was cheapuh.
 
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post #5 of 63
I still think the 5C is a success and is important for the iPhone product line. It will still get iPhones into the hands of more people who want a more up to date phone than something like a 4S, but can't necessarily afford a 5S.

I'm not really sure what the projections of the 5C were supposed to be in everyone's eyes, but I think its silly to think it would be anywhere near the 5S in terms of sales. Just because its not, doesn't mean its a flop. I personally know more people with a 5C than a 5S as far as new phones go. As a person who works in IT, I've had to setup more 5C iPhones than anything else.

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post #6 of 63

People are so dumb.

 

The iPhone 5C has sold WAAAAYYYYY better than the iPhone 5 would have sold in its places for the last year. Apple's successes with selling "last year's phone at reduced price" was actually lining up to slip during the last refresh, as the 5S was going to create a massive gap between 5 & 5S.

 

The only thing that saved the $99 category was Apple redesigning the 5 product into the 5C, and making it more attractive than just last year's phone.

post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.
post #8 of 63
The narrative in Sweden has also been for quite a while that the 5c is a "flop". But whenever sales charts are actually released by the operators it turns out that the 5c is almost always the best selling phone after the 5s and maybe some Galaxy variant (usually the cheaper ones like the S3 or Ace or something). It usually beats for example the Galaxy S4. And after that there is usually a raft of Sony phones and even cheaper Galaxys.

Curiously, no one here is calling the S4 a flop for some reason!
post #9 of 63

I'm surprised that as many as 6% are thinking of buying the 5c, I have only ever seen one in the wild in the UK. Perhaps a higher proportion of Americans have purchased the device?

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post #10 of 63
Comparison so the 4s it replaced please.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

Amen to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.

Just because the mix was not accurate, doesn't mean the 5C was a failure. It just means more people (as a percentage) wanted the 5S. That's also good news. Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.
post #12 of 63
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post
It could of been a contendah if it was cheapuh.

 

Already more of a contender than the previous model. So, uh… no, it’s gonna break you.

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post #13 of 63

imo, That phone will do great when they drop the price

post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

Amen to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.

Just because the mix was not accurate, doesn't mean the 5C was a failure. It just means more people (as a percentage) wanted the 5S. That's also good news. Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.
I wasnt saying the 5c was a failure, I was respondibg to the inane sycophantic post of SudoNym. The sales numbers say the 5c wasnt a failure.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 

I'm surprised that as many as 6% are thinking of buying the 5c, I have only ever seen one in the wild in the UK. Perhaps a higher proportion of Americans have purchased the device?

Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

 

When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

 

When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

How do you explain the US market where android and ios phones cost the same subsidized? 

post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.

There we go. The only fact needed to know that the 5C is a success at one if its two missions: bolster the midrange.

(I also suspect there is a second mission: phase one of a planned split into two more-different iPhone lines in future. More than just the traditional spec delta. Paving the way for a choice of size?)
post #18 of 63

Notice that these analysts never compare the 5c to the year-over-year sales for the previous year's midrange model? Treating the 5c like an underperforming brand new model allows them to continue churning their doomsday ("losing ground") meme.

 

The other angle that continually gets ignored is the supply chain issue with the 5/5c/5s' aluminum shell.  Keeping the 5 while introducing the 5s would have required a substantial ramp up in CNC machining capacity, since both models share the same basic outer design.  Going to a plastic shell and stamped steel frames for the 5c simplifies and reduces the time required in the manufacturing process.  It also frees up the CNC capacity to go exclusively to the high demand 5s. To me, the 5c is a simple solution to a potential supply chain problem.

 

Even though Apple's midrange models have reused year-old internal designs, they're still important to Apple's bottomline.  Imagine the outcry from these analysts if iPhone 5 sales had collapsed because of supply chain bottlenecks.

post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

The inability to pay the full cost of an iPhone up-front does not make someone "too cheap."

Carrier subsidies come in the form of a no/low-interest loan and are popular anywhere easy consumer credit is available. They serve to lower the 'sticker shock' of the price and increase the likelihood of an impulse buy. Without the subsidy, even in developed countries, high-end phones would not do so well.
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post #20 of 63
Apple is Godlike and all should bow down to them!
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

 

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted in January that the market share taken by the iPhone 5c was lower than he and other officials expected it would be...

 

...Cook said last week that sales of the iPhone 5c are outpacing its predecessor, which was previously the mid-range iPhone 4s. Apple continues to set record quarterly iPhone sales... [not to mention record profits].

 

---------------------------------------------------

 

I re-read the article and I can't find anywhere in the article where he states the 5C is a flop. Not my favorite iPhone but far from a money loser. I purchased a 5S Gold 64GB. 

 

I think If nothing else the 5S selling better than the 5C could be interpreted by the customer base as a statement that what Apple has done with iPhone in the past i.e., concentrate on innovating on the hardware end and adding value thru upgrading and adding the best software (and cutting ties with vendors/competitors that keep their iPhone based products a couple steps behind their own platform e.g. Google's Maps).

 

This is a utility device that I want to serve several of my needs all day long. If I want it big and wild I can get one with an illuminated Burning Man effigy case.

post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetlander View Post

Apple is Godlike and all should bow down to them!

 

IMHO, their is a huge diff between being Godlike and being God. You are however free to worship Whoever or whatever you like.

 

(Seems like this should be a corollary to Godwin's Law.)

post #23 of 63

The iPhone 5c has been completely misunderstood. It was created because Apple wanted more of its phones to work on China Mobile. The iPhone 5 would not work on China Mobile. The iPhone 5c had new colors and plastics but the important change was the RADIO. 

 

The iPhone 5c has always been completely about China Mobile. By the end of this year, all current Apple iPhones will work on China Mobile. That alone was the reason for the 5c.

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonteponte View Post

The narrative in Sweden has also been for quite a while that the 5c is a "flop". But whenever sales charts are actually released by the operators it turns out that the 5c is almost always the best selling phone after the 5s and maybe some Galaxy variant (usually the cheaper ones like the S3 or Ace or something). It usually beats for example the Galaxy S4. And after that there is usually a raft of Sony phones and even cheaper Galaxys.

Curiously, no one here is calling the S4 a flop for some reason!

Samsung pays a lot for positive press propaganda.

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post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

 

When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

How do you explain the US market where android and ios phones cost the same subsidized? 

I would reply that generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies, and that is a factor in iPhones selling so well in the American market. 

post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

yeah.  if ANY other company sold it, including Samsung, it would be a "runaway success and Apple should be shaking in their boots"

post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

The iPhone 5C has sold WAAAAYYYYY better than the iPhone 5 would have sold in its places for the last year. Apple's successes with selling "last year's phone at reduced price" was actually lining up to slip during the last refresh, as the 5S was going to create a massive gap between 5 & 5S.

The only thing that saved the $99 category was Apple redesigning the 5 product into the 5C, and making it more attractive than just last year's phone.

I don't think the 5 would have sold less than the 5C. Not that this would necessarily be a good thing as it lowers the average selling price but some people see the price first. When you compare the 5 and 5S, the impression people will get is that the 5S has a fingerprint sensor but the 5 is for the most part the same visually. With the 5C, they are getting a visually inferior phone - colored luminous plastic is not visually more appealing than silver, black/grey or gold metal and is why they make jewellery out of the latter and not the former. Not everyone sees phones this way but they are fashion accessories to a lot of people like watches. If you had a nice outfit on, would you want to pull a bright green plastic phone out of your pocket or a classy black metal phone? The white plastic isn't bad but still not as nice as the silver metal.

Some people do like to have colorful phones, some people like custard yellow cars, pink running outfits, leopard print bed sheets, kids are ok with colorful objects too but that demographic for a premium phone isn't large especially when the much nicer model is $100 more. The biggest danger is driving people away from a $550 iPhone ($99 contract price point) to a $450-550 Android phone ($0-99 contract price point) under the impression that the iPhone is no longer using premium components at their preferred price point. The 4S still did. Although the 5C outsells the older models, it has to be considered in a relative way as the whole market is growing.

I actually think some companies design products to be less appealing on purpose. The XBox One for example looks like a VCR just now but the benefit this has is that a redesign mid-cycle can be much more compelling and makes another round of profits at higher margins from people upgrading - they can then add those upgrades units together to show more sales than competitors whose mid-cycle redesign might not be so compelling. I don't think Apple intended to do this but it had that effect. It's the same reason some would recommend hanging round with a less attractive friend when looking for a date because people judge everything in a relative way so you end up looking better by comparison.

The 5C is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to the 5S and the 5S is picking up more of the attention but I also suspect some lost sales given the small growth over last year. The margins fell too, which suggests the move wasn't entirely positive. The benefit of reusing the old design is not having to build a new supply chain, you just keep the conveyer belt running and there are more shared parts with both models.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

If Apple kept the iPhone 5 as the mid range model, instead of the 5C they would have sold even more phones. Just saying.

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I don't think the 5 would have sold less than the 5C. Not that this would necessarily be a good thing as it lowers the average selling price but some people see the price first. When you compare the 5 and 5S, the impression people will get is that the 5S has a fingerprint sensor but the 5 is for the most part the same visually. With the 5C, they are getting a visually inferior phone - colored luminous plastic is not visually more appealing than silver, black/grey or gold metal and is why they make jewellery out of the latter and not the former. Not everyone sees phones this way but they are fashion accessories to a lot of people like watches. If you had a nice outfit on, would you want to pull a bright green plastic phone out of your pocket or a classy black metal phone? The white plastic isn't bad but still not as nice as the silver metal.

Some people do like to have colorful phones, some people like custard yellow cars, pink running outfits, leopard print bed sheets, kids are ok with colorful objects too but that demographic for a premium phone isn't large especially when the much nicer model is $100 more. The biggest danger is driving people away from a $550 iPhone ($99 contract price point) to a $450-550 Android phone ($0-99 contract price point) under the impression that the iPhone is no longer using premium components at their preferred price point. The 4S still did. Although the 5C outsells the older models, it has to be considered in a relative way as the whole market is growing.

I actually think some companies design products to be less appealing on purpose. The XBox One for example looks like a VCR just now but the benefit this has is that a redesign mid-cycle can be much more compelling and makes another round of profits at higher margins from people upgrading - they can then add those upgrades units together to show more sales than competitors whose mid-cycle redesign might not be so compelling. I don't think Apple intended to do this but it had that effect. It's the same reason some would recommend hanging round with a less attractive friend when looking for a date because people judge everything in a relative way so you end up looking better by comparison.

The 5C is the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to the 5S and the 5S is picking up more of the attention but I also suspect some lost sales given the small growth over last year. The margins fell too, which suggests the move wasn't entirely positive. The benefit of reusing the old design is not having to build a new supply chain, you just keep the conveyer belt running and there are more shared parts with both models.

I disagree. If you like green and you wear a green outfits, I bet you want your iPhone to match. Women don't like gun metal color purses or space gray shoes. The 5C may not be for tech types like us, but it isn't ugly by any stretch.

As for pushing sales towards Android, maybe, but I can't imagine it would affect the 5C more than it did the 4S last year or the 5 the year before that.

As for your xbox analogy, no gamer cares that it looks that bad (?). They only care what games you can play. It's not going to leave the house so you can't impress anyone with it. Somebody with an XBox isn't going to upgrade to the same systems it's because it's sleeker.

Can you blame average margin falling just on the 5C or can you blame them on the 4S and 4 that are still being sold?
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post

If Apple kept the iPhone 5 as the mid range model, instead of the 5C they would have sold even more phones. Just saying.

And you have no proof. Just saying.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie View Post

If Apple kept the iPhone 5 as the mid range model, instead of the 5C they would have sold even more phones. Just saying.

That may be true in theory if you ignore the realities of large scale manufacturing. See post #18 above from Woochifer.

I remember lots of stories about the difficulty in machining the aluminum case and high reject rates when the iPhone 5 launched. Keeping the aluminum clad 5 might have constrained sales of the flagship 5S and caused a huge backlash from customers, not to mention the s**t-storm from the press.
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post #32 of 63

The 5c might have sold more units than the 4s in the same spot last year but it still didn't live up to the expectations that Apple had placed upon it, which is to grow the brand even more... possible even as high as 50% more than what has sold already.

 

That accounts for the 5-7 million missing units from the last quarter (or more if Apple was hoping the 5c would take some pressure off the 5s.

 

In that sense it is a flop.

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post #33 of 63
I think people misunderstand the role of the 5C in the product line-up. The 5C is only lacking sales now because the 5S completely knocked it out of the park.

The plastic enclosure means it is relatively easy to knock together, and refresh the lineup with new colour options. for this reason I believe Apple will opt to keep the 5C at its current feature set and push it into lower and lower price categories (rather than translate the 5S into a similar platic enclosure in 2014). The 5C will cascade into lower and lower price tiers until it reaches a point where it's sales displace the iPod touch from the lineup.

As newer Apple phones gain larger displays, better resolutions etc. the 5C will be different enough from their premium phones to target market segments with less disposable income that might otherwise compromise on experience and buy an android.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

The 5c might have sold more units than the 4s in the same spot last year but it still didn't live up to the expectations that Apple had placed upon it, which is to grow the brand even more... possible even as high as 50% more than what has sold already.

 

That accounts for the 5-7 million missing units from the last quarter (or more if Apple was hoping the 5c would take some pressure off the 5s.

 

In that sense it is a flop.

 

So in your mind its a flop, for Apple its just one of many successful, revenue generating products.

And they increased this year's take on last year's iPhone while lowering their manufacturing costs.  You're a genius!  :rolleyes:

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by redefiler View Post
 

 

So in your mind its a flop, for Apple its just one of many successful, revenue generating products.

And they increased this year's take on last year's iPhone while lowering their manufacturing costs.  You're a genius!  :rolleyes:

 

Is comprehension a tough thing for you.

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post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

Is comprehension a tough thing for you.

You'll need to learn that word first, before you start using it in a sentence.  

 

Remind us again why you think the 5C is a failure...  It didn't 'grow Apple's brand' more... right...  more?  Apple?  huh?

What exactly grows on your island?  Maybe plant more actual veggies. :smokey:

post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I think people misunderstand the role of the 5C in the product line-up. The 5C is only lacking sales now because the 5S completely knocked it out of the park.

The plastic enclosure means it is relatively easy to knock together, and refresh the lineup with new colour options. for this reason I believe Apple will opt to keep the 5C at its current feature set and push it into lower and lower price categories (rather than translate the 5S into a similar platic enclosure in 2014). The 5C will cascade into lower and lower price tiers until it reaches a point where it's sales displace the iPod touch from the lineup.

As newer Apple phones gain larger displays, better resolutions etc. the 5C will be different enough from their premium phones to target market segments with less disposable income that might otherwise compromise on experience and buy an android.

 

There's the quandary for Mr. Cook. Is it not selling up to expectations because of the 5s, is it too expensive, is it just not liked or is it a combination of the three. Tim has to figure out if the 5c is worth keeping in the line-up.

 

My guess... he'll pull the pin on the 5c before September. I'm thinking that there will be a drastic price drop and then the 5c will just disappear. If Apple rolls it out again in the fall it will be one of those phones that has a very dated look and I'm not sure if even a drastic price drop would save it.

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post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by redefiler View Post
 

You'll need to learn that word first, before you start using it in a sentence.  

 

Remind us again why you think the 5C is a failure...  It didn't 'grow Apple's brand' more... right...  more?  Apple?  huh?

What exactly grows on your island?  Maybe plant more actual veggies. :smokey:

 

Well, first of all, you'd have to point to the sentence in my comment that says I think it's a failure.... either that or just be a good boy and run along.

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post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by redefiler View Post
 

You'll need to learn that word first, before you start using it in a sentence.  

 

Remind us again why you think the 5C is a failure...  It didn't 'grow Apple's brand' more... right...  more?  Apple?  huh?

What exactly grows on your island?  Maybe plant more actual veggies. :smokey:

 

... and then you'd have to look up the word "even", because it seems to have escaped you when I used that word in my comment.

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post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

Well, first of all, you'd have to point to the sentence in my comment that says I think it's a failure.... either that or just be a good boy and run along.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

In that sense it is a flop.

Happy?  Run along, and when you come back I like fresh pineapple in my pina colada.  ;)

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