Rumor: Apple to drop iPhone 5 in favor of 'iPhone 5S' and 'iPhone lite'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In what would be a marked departure from its usual iPhone introduction protocol, Apple is said to be preparing to discontinue production of the iPhone 5 when it debuts the handset's successor later this year, opting instead to produce only the "iPhone 5S" and an unannounced lower-priced counterpart.



The latest rumor forecasting the demise of the iPhone 5 came on Wednesday, courtesy of ETNews. The rumor would mark a significant departure from Apple's routine, as the Cupertino company typically keeps the last two generations of its bestselling smartphone in production in order to market them to lower-income earners and markets.

That system has led to Apple's current situation, which sees the iPhone 5 at the high-end, followed by the iPhone 4S at a medium price range, and the iPhone 4 often given away alongside a contract in the United States and some other territories. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this week that the iPhone 5 is the company's most popular iPhone "by far," with recent data suggesting that the device makes up half of Apple's iPhone sales.

ETNews' report focuses on the in-cell technology at work in the iPhone 5's touchscreen, claiming that that technology is "not suitable for low-volume production." Apple, according to the report, will abandon production of the iPhone 5, focusing on the high-end successor ? generally assumed to be named "iPhone 5S" ? and a rumored less-expensive, plastic-backed model dubbed the "iPhone lite."

Observers note, though, that leaks believed to show the iPhone 5S have all so far portrayed the device as having a display and touch array very similar to that of the iPhone 5. Production is believed to have already started on the current iPhone's successor, and some believe it will see release in September of this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 117
    paul94544paul94544 Posts: 1,027member
    This is such a load of nonsnense becauase Apple would put itself in the situation of having millions of unsold iPhone5's in the pipeline and on shelves which they would not be able to sell! Again the moron that thought this one up is a total dochebag and cannot see past his 80 IQ
  • Reply 2 of 117
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Sounds believable. Crap, but believable.
  • Reply 3 of 117
    heliahelia Posts: 170member


    After almost three years (a bit less), 20% of sold iphones are iphone 4! Why on earth would apple want to stop production of 5?!

  • Reply 4 of 117
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    paul94544 wrote: »
    This is such a load of nonsnense becauase Apple would put itself in the situation of having millions of unsold iPhone5's in the pipeline and on shelves which they would not be able to sell! Again the moron that thought this one up is a total dochebag and cannot see past his 80 IQ

    Perhaps he has a single-digit IQ¿
  • Reply 5 of 117


    I don't know...Apple prides itself in being a billion dollar company with basically ~9 products. They seem to want to keep this simple.


     


     


     


    I think Apple is always looking to move fwd, unlike any other company I can think of. Never to rest on it's laurels because complacency is not in their DNA.


     


     


     


    I know everyone cites competition is good (Google, MS, etc.). But Apple, for many years had no iPod competition and yet re-designed/improved the best selling iPods almost yearly.


     


    Same with the iPhone, iPad and Macs. And it's iOS and OSX.


     


     


     


    P.S. I must admit I was a little surprised to see just how much the iPhone contributes to Apple's business and also, how little the iPod is now contributing.

  • Reply 6 of 117

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Perhaps he has a single-digit IQ¿


    Or maybe an IQ "twice his shoe size?" As my father used to say!  :)

  • Reply 7 of 117
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post



    This is such a load of nonsnense becauase Apple would put itself in the situation of having millions of unsold iPhone5's in the pipeline and on shelves which they would not be able to sell! Again the moron that thought this one up is a total dochebag and cannot see past his 80 IQ




    Apple could simply sell the iPhone 5 at a discount until the pipeline and shelves are cleared. They have done this with other products.

  • Reply 8 of 117
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by helia View Post


    After almost three years (a bit less), 20% of sold iphones are iphone 4! Why on earth would apple want to stop production of 5?!





    Because Apple might make an iPhone 5S Lite that would replace the iPhone 4, 4S & 5. That keeps only the newest technology for sale from Apple.

  • Reply 9 of 117
    drewyboydrewyboy Posts: 73member


    At first I was hesitant like most of you to this idea, but we have to remember Apple is the best at keeping a slim pipeline. More than likely what will happens is


    iPhone 5S @ $199 (same price points as 5)


    iPhone "lite" 8GB @ $0 (w/ 2 year contract)


    iPhone "lite" 16GB @ $99 (w/ 2 year contract)


     


    How these will be differentiated is that the "lite" will be using all of iPhone 5's internals. So they'll use up what they they have "left over" in huge batches without having to worry about over ordering components since they'll just use it in the next years "lite". Also by doing these big batches (think 2 years worth) they'd get huge discounts also increasing their margins.


     


    To me, it makes complete sense.

  • Reply 10 of 117
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Ok so what did Apple do when they discontinued the 17" MBP or when the iPod nano changed form factors? The iPhone 5's still left in the channel will probably be sold at a discount so Apple can get rid of the inventory.
  • Reply 11 of 117
    drewyboydrewyboy Posts: 73member


    Double post, please delete.

  • Reply 12 of 117
    drewyboydrewyboy Posts: 73member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Ok so what did Apple do when they discontinued the 17" MBP or when the iPod nano changed form factors? The iPhone 5's still left in the channel will probably be sold at a discount so Apple can get rid of the inventory.


    Oh, for sure, but it's not going to be a fire sale or anything like you may think. It'll just be a quiet, yes we still have 2 weeks inventory. My thoughts are they they have channels to unload this stuff whether it be government, education or posed as "refurbished".

  • Reply 13 of 117

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post




    Because Apple might make an iPhone 5S Lite that would replace the iPhone 4, 4S & 5. That keeps only the newest technology for sale from Apple.





    I never knew iphone 5 is the old technology in the face of low cost iphone!

  • Reply 14 of 117
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member


    "ETNews' report focuses on the in-cell technology at work in the iPhone 5's touchscreen, claiming that that technology is "not suitable for low-volume production.""


     


    The implication being the 5s will have a different screen.

  • Reply 15 of 117
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member


    If Apple can make this supposed iPhone Lite at a comparable cost-point to their prospective "cheap" offerings, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, with higher profit margins, and a better consumer proposition, they'll do it.


     


    Apart from the "plastic" back there's little to these rumours that suggests any of these things is on the cards.  Is a plastic back enough?  Maybe, but it's a pretty thin argument.  Maybe.


     


    Unless your'e an Arrested Development fan, "maybe" isn't an interesting story.  

  • Reply 16 of 117
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    crowley wrote: »
    If Apple can make this supposed iPhone Lite at a comparable cost-point to their prospective "cheap" offerings, the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, with higher profit margins, and a better consumer proposition, they'll do it.

    Apart from the "plastic" back there's little to these rumours that suggests any of these things is on the cards.  Is a plastic back enough?  Maybe, but it's a pretty thin argument.  Maybe.

    No. Simply swapping the existing case for one with a plastic case will save a few dollars - certainly not enough to allow a phone to be sold at a much lower price.

    A plastic back is mostly marketing - they want customers to clearly be able to distinguish the phones. The internals will have to be significantly different, but they aren't visible at a glance, so cannibalization is a risk. A completely different form factor which instantly screams "second tier" is needed - ergo the plastic back.
  • Reply 17 of 117
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,830moderator
    paul94544 wrote: »
    This is such a load of nonsnense becauase Apple would put itself in the situation of having millions of unsold iPhone5's in the pipeline and on shelves which they would not be able to sell! Again the moron that thought this one up is a total dochebag and cannot see past his 80 IQ

    Of course the iPhone 5 would still sell at resellers and why would they leave millions in the pipeline anyway? If they plan the change for September/October, they will assess the demand and issue the supply accordingly (they've become pretty good at this).

    They don't even need to call this one the 5S. It can just be iPhone and iPhone lite. Similar to iPad and iPad mini.

    Price-wise, I think they should be targeting the following off-contract:

    8GB iPhone lite $349
    16GB iPhone lite $449
    16GB iPhone $549

    I think at some stage, the entry iPhone and iPod Touch will be better off as a single line. This allows old phones to be handed down to kids as iPods just by taking out the sim and iPods get the option to use 3G/4G when out and about.
  • Reply 18 of 117
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post




    I never knew iphone 5 is the old technology in the face of low cost iphone!





    I should have said a lower cost iPhone 5S Lite might have *some* newer technology like a fingerprint scanner. But you're right, overall the iPhone 5S Lite would probably be less capable than an "older" iPhone 5.

  • Reply 19 of 117
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member


    This makes sense.  Didn't the head of Foxconn say the iP5 was the most difficult to assemble product they had ever had to deal with?  That difficulty would imply a certain cost premium for assembly due to utilising a lot of labor resources, I would think.  So if there are constraints in making this model type, it would be sensible to devote all your limited capacity to making the new, higher profit model.

     

  • Reply 20 of 117


    Seems like a dubious proposition to me, given the glowing remarks Steve Tim made yesterday on the sales of 4 and 4s.  Gosh, if it's not broken, why fix it?  Unless.... unless Apple has something faster, better, stronger, and even more magical in the works! 

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