Apple's 8GB iPhone 5c is international-only for now, while iPhone 4s lives on [u]

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
Apple's new low-end 8-gigabyte iPhone 5c debuted on Tuesday in major markets across the globe, including the U.K., China, France, Germany and Australia, though it did not replace the iPhone 4s, which remains the company's cheapest smartphone available [updated].




Most notably, the new 8-gigabyte iPhone 5c is not available in the U.S., Apple's largest market. Instead, the iPhone 5c remains limited to capacities of 16- and 32-gigabytes in America.

But internationally, some markets now have the option of a slightly cheaper iPhone 5c, which aside from capacity retains the specifications of the preexisting models, including a 4-inch Retina display and A6 processor.

In the U.K., the new 8-gigabyte iPhone 5c is priced at ?429, which is ?40 cheaper than the 16-gigabyte version. The 8-gigabyte iPhone 4s, meanwhile, is available for ?349, or ?80 less expensive than the comparable iPhone 5c.

In China, one of Apple's fastest growing markets, the 8-gigabyte iPhone 5c sells for RMB 4,088, compared to RMB 4,488 for the 16-gigabyte version. The iPhone 4s, a device first released in 2011, remains available for RMB 3,288.Expectations that Apple might discontinue the iPhone 4s for a new 8GB iPhone 5c were premature.

The limited launch of the 8-gigabyte iPhone 5c would seem to suggest that Apple has selectively picked markets where it believes the new price point could help find some success.

Update: In a statement to Re/code, Apple said the update was intended to support new LTE networks, as the iPhone 4s does not have an LTE high-speed radio.

"The mid-tier iPhone segment is growing year-over-year and the 8GB model provides a more affordable option for markets where LTE is becoming more established," the company said.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook himself admitted in January that the iPhone 5c hasn't found the level of sales the company hoped it would. The iPhone 5c represents the first time Apple has introduced a new model for its mid-range handset, coming in a variety of colors with plastic backs.

There have even been rumors that Apple may scrap the iPhone 5c later this year, when the company is expected to introduce a sixth-generation handset. Sales of the iPhone 5c have been categorized as "weak," though Cook said last month that sales have exceeded those of Apple's previous mid-range iPhones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    imemberimember Posts: 247member
    First, Apple has gone crazy, go Apple!!!
  • Reply 2 of 44
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    I think that Apple should keep on being like Ferrari instead of trying to become like Tata.

  • Reply 3 of 44
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 210member
    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    Makes sense, the iPhone 5c seems largely to have been a flop outside of the USA. The iPhone 5c has already seen a lot of really good deals recently in the UK and this new entry level model will lower the pricing even more which should spur on sales.

    Even at the new price point the iPhone 5c is hardly cheap, costing as much as if not more than the highend Android handsets.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by smaffei View Post

    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.

     

    I’m starting to think comprehension is to the Anti-Apple Brigade what ketchup is to chocolate.

  • Reply 6 of 44
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smaffei View Post



    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.

    I was thinking pcjunior.  Definitely not cool.

  • Reply 7 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    I think that Apple should keep on being like Ferrari instead of trying to become like Tata.


    This is less Tata and more Chevy...  Same chassis, lots of price points based on the body options wrapped around it.

  • Reply 8 of 44

    ... and I'm thinking this hits a fairly limited audience.

  • Reply 9 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smaffei View Post



    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.

    and I see it more like coke zero.  different formulation than diet Coke, marketed to the current age group, and most importantly, the ingredients are cheaper.  It's a long pull move.

  • Reply 10 of 44
    imemberimember Posts: 247member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    I think that Apple should keep on being like Ferrari instead of trying to become like Tata.


    You mean Lambor :D, they still are they don't sell crap to people! iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c are high end phones

  • Reply 11 of 44

    I'm not sure what to think about this .... it looks like a commercial mess instead of a bold idea.

     

    Or it is a preliminary test for something else/more to come; or, simply, they are clearing their iP5C inventory already.

     

    Anyways, I guess we'll know by the end of this year.

  • Reply 12 of 44
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    smaffei wrote: »
    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.

    I'm surprised no one ever busted Coke on that New Coke ruse. It was clear to me at the time that they:

    1. Made a New Coke that was said to taste more like Pepsi.

    2. Waited for people to get all worked up about how they hated the change, and thus hated Pepsi by implication.

    3. Changed back to Classic, thus proving that Pepsi was not worth copying.

    You had to be there. It all went like sinister clockwork. If you fell for it then, you don't have to keep falling for it now.

    The perfidy of American merchandising was unmatched until now, as Samsung shows signs of surpassing with their Astroturfing campaigns.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I don't get this move, especially if they're still keeping the 4S around. Just reduce the price on the 16GB model and phase out the 4S.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    theoaktheoak Posts: 2member
    As a parent ... I would contemplate an 8GB for my children.

    Also ... with tablets becoming more and more common, personally, I went from a 32GB tablet to a 64GB because most of the time I surf, play games, answer emails (look at attachments), read books, watch movies, etc ... with the tablet - not the phone.

    I use my phone to text, take pictures, and ... well ... as a phone. Everything else is on the tablet.

    I will add though ... 1080P with 8GB is crazy small. If there was a way to set the video such that it could record in 720P or 360P, or something smaller, that would help.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    saarek wrote: »
    Makes sense, the iPhone 5c seems largely to have been a flop outside of the USA. The iPhone 5c has already seen a lot of really good deals recently in the UK and this new entry level model will lower the pricing even more which should spur on sales.

    Even at the new price point the iPhone 5c is hardly cheap, costing as much as if not more than the highend Android handsets.

    It will probably get cheaper. This is just the first change in the innards to take advantage of the platform. Other price reductions will probably follow on economies of scale and production cost paydowns.

    The other thing that's always missing in the 5c forecast is the China Mobile 4G effect, which won't be showing up until the end of this year. How come you don't take that into account?

    Not to pick on you, nobody else makes this simple observation either.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    I don't get this move, especially if they're still keeping the 4S around. Just reduce the price on the 16GB model and phase out the 4S.

     

    Rogifan, it seems to me that Apple was responding to a strongly price-conscious segment of the market in a way that minimizes damage to the product brand.  Rather than offer a POS product, they minimally hobbled the 5c, so that they could reduce profit margin on it without cannibalizing sales elsewhere.  They may see an advantage in increasing market share at the expense of margin (without actually losing money on it).  Perhaps they believe these geographic markets need increasing Apple-brand visibility, or perhaps they are cultivating a user base, hoping that there will be some fringe benefit "halo effect".  Seems like the same strategy used in the old Mac II LC/Performa days.  By limiting the geographic availability, they are able to further avoid disappointing affluent buyers with a low-memory phone.  Apple has similarly offered hobbled iMacs (i.e., the eMac) to the education market, so there's a history there.

     

    I understand China, but what really puzzles me is the choice of UK, France, Germany, and Australia as test-markets for the hobbled phone; I don't think of these countries as non-affluent.  I suppose 5 years from now, the rationale will be obvious.

  • Reply 17 of 44
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    I think they are just trying to increase the price differential between the two.

     

    e.g. In Australia a 32GB 5c is the same price as a 16GB 5s! Who on earth would buy the c? Someone who values a colourful case over the technical features of the 5s must have been Apple's original thinking. Except then they released the 5S in gold, and all the  less technical people who might have gone with a 5c just for colour instantly wanted the gold.

  • Reply 18 of 44
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,657member
    smaffei wrote: »
    I'm starting to think that the 5c is to iPhone, what "new Coke" was to Coca-Cola.

    Not quite. New Coke was a replacement to Coke. The 5C isn't a replacement for the 5S.

    That being said, the 5C was "weak" only in relation to the 5S. If compared to other phones, it is considered a solid hit. Not a HR, but a solid 3B into the gap.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

     

    ... and I'm thinking this hits a fairly limited audience.


    yes,  those that 'almost' have enough money to justify purchase of an iPhone... but not quite.

     

    Let's say 'fairly limited' is the next 2.5% of the income distribution below where iPhones sell over 40% across non US geographies.   and that market is planning to buy about 700M (see analysts note below*) non iPhone5s/5c[16/32]/Galaxy 3/4 smartphones. 

     

    If price is the only issue (and for most analysts*, it is) 2.5% of 700M  will buy  18M iPhones.   let's say that's now $200 (30%) in gross profits after the price drop.   okay... that's 3.6B in annual profits contributed (about $4/share?).

     

    Pricing wise, you don't want to dip too low... the key is to have a customer has enough means to 'buys' things with their phone, specifically AppleID things.  That means the user has to have some means of credit, if nothing else, cash in hand to buy iTune Gift cards (not discounting the 'family' plan of Dad/Mom, Child 1, ... child N - apple has to compete on the 'fleet' price).   Short term market share is not what you want... you want long term AppleIDs, and repeat sales.

     

     

    * (over 500M are projected to be sold in China and India alone per Mediacells and the Guardian, and Mobithinking says last years sales were over 1B.)   I think it's high by 25% but that's me questioning analysts... silly me... they're always right)

  • Reply 20 of 44
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,265member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by theoak View Post



    As a parent ... I would contemplate an 8GB for my children.



    Also ... with tablets becoming more and more common, personally, I went from a 32GB tablet to a 64GB because most of the time I surf, play games, answer emails (look at attachments), read books, watch movies, etc ... with the tablet - not the phone.



    I use my phone to text, take pictures, and ... well ... as a phone. Everything else is on the tablet.



    I will add though ... 1080P with 8GB is crazy small. If there was a way to set the video such that it could record in 720P or 360P, or something smaller, that would help.

     

    Good point about the video. Same with 16G devices. My sister keeps using her iPad mini to video the kids, but runs out of space all the time. She's basically buying a dedicated video camera.

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