Apple's more affordable 'iPhone 5C' expected to have greatest US benefit for T-Mobile

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The debut of a new, less expensive iPhone model may have the greatest domestic benefit for T-Mobile, America's fourth-largest carrier which appeals to more budget-oriented customers.

Render
Rendering of iPhone 5C in white. | Source: AppleInsider


With the anticipated launch of new iPhones in the coming weeks, it will likely mark the first time that Apple's latest handsets will debut on T-Mobile day and date with its U.S. rivals, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Apple and T-Mobile inked a deal earlier this year to finally bring the iPhone to the carrier in April.

And now, at Tuesday's media, event, Apple is expected to unveil a so-called "iPhone 5C" that will serve as a more affordable handset. The plastic-backed device is expected to come in a number of colors, and reach new customers who may not be interested in the high-end "iPhone 5S."

Market watchers expect that the "iPhone 5C" could help lure customers away from larger carriers AT&T and Verizon to T-Mobile, analysts who spoke with Bloomberg said. In addition to lower prices, T-Mobile also offers more flexible service plans than its larger rivals.

Customers who pay full-price for a new iPhone can avoid signing a two-year subscription to get a subsidized price on the handset. Unlike its rivals, T-Mobile doesn't require customers to sign a contract, which allows customers to switch at any time without paying a penalty.

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Customers line up ahead of T-Mobile's iPhone launch in April. | Source: BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk via Twitter


The "iPhone 5C" could also provide a boost to Sprint, which stands out from rivals by offering unlimited plans for calling, texting and data. Major carriers AT&T and Verizon have transitioned to tiered and shared data plans.

Analysts generally expect that Apple will price its new "iPhone 5C" between $400 and $500 unsubsidized. Though the handset is expected to be sold worldwide, it's believed that China is of particular interest to Apple with the new iPhone model, where customers prefer to purchase their handsets without a contract subsidy.

One survey of Chinese consumers published last month by Morgan Stanley found that the market's "sweet spot" for pricing a more affordable iPhone would be at $486. Keeping the price near $500 would allow Apple to maintain its high margins while also expanding market opportunities to new customers.

Apple's media event kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. AppleInsider will have full, live coverage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41

    I hope that Apple doesn't even release a "5C" so all these articles that talk like it's already been officially announced can look foolish.  Unfortunately, what will actually happen if there is no 5C is the same bloggers will blast Apple for "canceling" the 5C or missing the deadline for releasing it (that the bloggers themselves created).  

  • Reply 2 of 41
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Tmobile unlimited everything for 2 users is $70.  That's an awesome deal as long as the city you live in has LTE for Tmobile. 

    That's wrong, it's $120 for unlimited everything for 2 users plus an additional $20 for each phone if not purchased at full retail.
  • Reply 3 of 41

    I again wish... whatever the leaks happened should all be wrong. Apple should have worked on a super uber cool phone in its TRADITIONAL SECRETIVE areas or labs and tomorrow it will be unveiled.   Along with iWatch!  

     

    Apple, please surprise us! :)

  • Reply 4 of 41
    I doubt the iPhone 5C will be released in the U.S or Europe. I'm sure that model is going to be strictly sold in BRIC nations where consumers are struggling to pay the cost of Apple's high-end iPhone. Consumers in the U.S. and most of Europe can certainly afford the more expensive 5S model. I'm guessing the 5C is internally suited for China. I'm thinking it will run other networks, but Apple has probably disabled it so as not to work on U.S. networks. The iPhone 5C will likely be sold only in specific countries.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    I thought the 5C was for China only?
  • Reply 6 of 41
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Tmobile unlimited everything for 2 users is $70.  That's an awesome deal as long as the city you live in has LTE for Tmobile. 


     

    The cap for 4G data per line is 500MB and then it drops down to 3G and below. For ten dollars more it goes up to 2GB of 4G data per line. The plans are quite good. It will be interesting to see the new phone pricing. 

  • Reply 7 of 41
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    I again wish... whatever the leaks happened should all be wrong. Apple should have worked on a super uber cool phone in its TRADITIONAL SECRETIVE areas or labs and tomorrow it will be unveiled.   Along with iWatch!  

    Apple, please surprise us! :)

    What would constitute a "super über cool phone"?
  • Reply 8 of 41
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post



    I doubt the iPhone 5C will be released in the U.S or Europe. I'm sure that model is going to be strictly sold in BRIC nations where consumers are struggling to pay the cost of Apple's high-end iPhone. Consumers in the U.S. and most of Europe can certainly afford the more expensive 5S model. I'm guessing the 5C is internally suited for China. I'm thinking it will run other networks, but Apple has probably disabled it so as not to work on U.S. networks. The iPhone 5C will likely be sold only in specific countries.

     

    I doubt you are correct. The whole reason to design a lower cost model is to preserve margins while lowering the cost of the device. I suspect Apple will kill the iPhone 4 and probably the 4S. The low cost models will take the place of those models everywhere in the world. This will allow Apple to offer a unified connector port, the new designs will save Apple money in support costs as they are easier to work on and repair, and the designs appear to share many components which will save even more money. 


     


    Apple is not afraid of cannibalizing its high end iPhone sales by offering a lower cost model. It did this with the iPod Nano, which displaced the regular iPod as the top seller. 


     


    The iPhone 5S will attract users with better build materials, and high end features (e.g. finger print sensor and better camera).

  • Reply 9 of 41
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

     

    I again wish... whatever the leaks happened should all be wrong. Apple should have worked on a super uber cool phone in its TRADITIONAL SECRETIVE areas or labs and tomorrow it will be unveiled.   Along with iWatch!  

     

    Apple, please surprise us! :)


     

    The problem with that approach is it is being built in China. It takes months to set up manufacturing and to ramp up production. So if it announced it today, you would not get it for months.

  • Reply 10 of 41

    Well... Tomorrow there is no internet or tv for me.

     

    I hope that by wednesday morning we have a nice 720p version of the event available on iTunes so I can watch it later, when I'm home.

    I do not think that Apple needs surprises to keep the momentum going. Everyone is already expecting a 5S and a cheaper 5C. If there is something different, people will be blown away. If there's not, tens of millions of both devices will be sold in the first quarter alone.

     

    Christmas quarter: 60 million iPhones sold. Stock skyrockets. 59.9 million sold, stock goes to 300$.

     

    Same thing here.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    The iPhone 5c would probably help them to make even higher margins than a discounted iPhone 5, because they don't have to use aluminum.
  • Reply 12 of 41

    Any idea on how the 5C *might* be different in terms of features?

     

    Processor?

    Camera specs?

    What will it be able to run?

     

    The reason I'm asking is because I enjoy "iPhoneography", and certain photo apps like VSCO Cam have one or two features that at this time require the capabilities of an iPhone 5. 

     

    If this device will indeed be introduced, it can already be assumed that it will have a different outer body.

     

    All speculation at this point, but perhaps someone can make a more educated guess than myself. 

  • Reply 13 of 41
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

    Any idea on how the 5C *might* be different in terms of features?

     

    Processor?

    Camera specs?

    What will it be able to run?

     

    The reason I'm asking is because I enjoy "iPhoneography", and certain photo apps like VSCO Cam have one or two features that at this time require the capabilities of an iPhone 5. 

     

    If this device will indeed be introduced, it can already be assumed that it will have a different outer body.

     

    All speculation at this point, but perhaps someone can make a more educated guess than myself. 


    I think that the most optimistic rumors point something similar to a plastic version of the iPhone 5.

     

    Most likely we can count on things like 1gb ram, LTE, retina 4", Siri but no one knows the rest. What if Apple goes for a really cheaper device and uses the 4s internals? Everything is possible.

     

    One thing that makes sense is that Apple could go for a "killer" feature, something to brag about. What if the iPhone 5C costs 350$, 4S internals but has an iPhone 5-like camera? That would be great for teens (Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc) and it's unmatched at that price point, even for the Nexus line.

     

    BTW, it looks obvious to me that it will be able to run every app on launch date, the 4s can.

  • Reply 14 of 41
    jetzjetz Posts: 1,293member
    Not many will jump if the 5C is $400-$500. That's a rather steep price of admission for most people.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    Since my opinion is as good as any analyst's here's my predictions:

    iPhone C $299 available in US and all of Apple major markets. Putting it at $99 with contract. "Available Today".

    iPhone 5s $599 "Available Sept 20"

    Narrow bezel iPad November.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    techguy911 wrote: »
    I hope that Apple doesn't even release a "5C" so all these articles that talk like it's already been officially announced can look foolish.  Unfortunately, what will actually happen if there is no 5C is the same bloggers will blast Apple for "canceling" the 5C or missing the deadline for releasing it (that the bloggers themselves created).  

    So if you get your wish, Apple will be made to look bad. Why would that make you look happy?

    As for the 5C, there are so many detailed rumors from so many sources that it would be shocking if it's not real. Why does that bother you? No one is going to make you buy it.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    jragosta wrote: »
    So if you get your wish, Apple will be made to look bad. Why would that make you look happy?

    As for the 5C, there are so many detailed rumors from so many sources that it would be shocking if it's not real. Why does that bother you? No one is going to make you buy it.

    Sounds like he's in the same camp as many others who said Apple would never do a less-expensive plastic smartphone after going premium metal and that's why it bothers him. Apple releasing a lower-priced phone, especially in fun colors, makes a whole lotta sense to me. SolipsismX and I actually expected Apple might do this color thing last year and posted so IIRC.
  • Reply 18 of 41

    Serious question, if the iPhone5C will cost 99 dollars on contract (presumably) - why would this be any more attractive to customers compared to the 'last gen' 99 dollar model of higher build quality that Apple has always had?

     

    It's hard for me to see this going well tomorrow, it's just old hardware in a cheaper package. Apple is sacrificing their reputation and simply cutting corners to save a bit on their end, hoping new colors will cover that up? 

  • Reply 19 of 41
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    That's wrong, it's $120 for unlimited everything for 2 users plus an additional $20 for each phone if not purchased at full retail.

     

    You're both wrong. T-mobile's pricing is pretty straightfroward, and contract free, with no overage charges:

    $50/month = unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB 3/4G data (throttled to unlimited 2G data after cap, no extra charge)

     

    +$30/month = add a second line

    +$10/month = add an additional line after the second

     

    +$10/month = change 3/4G cap to 2GB

    +$20/month = make 3/4G data unlimited.

     

     

    So, two people, unlimited talk, text, and (3/4G) data is $100/month. This does not include the cost of any phones, though you can use an existing phone at no charge, and they will subsidize a new phone at 0% interest (once you've paid off the original price, you're done).

  • Reply 20 of 41
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,467member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    What would constitute a "super über cool phone"?

     

    Anything not made by Samsung??

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