Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who the iPhone 5c Is Really For

It's been nearly a month since I've got my iPhone 5s.  Been using it extensively.  That's obvious since I'm a mobile warrior just like you and it's been like that since my iPhone 4.  Having said that, I have to admit that thought I had the iPhone 5, I was looking pretty hard at the iPhone 5c - the green version.  I didn't go with it because I wanted the newest that Apple had to offer with the 5s, the speed, the upgraded camera, and, of course, Touch ID.  And I wanted 64 GB.

Still, the 5c is in its own right something that works for many people.  I think some folks were disappointed in the fact that the iPhone 5 form factor is no longer available and in order to get one, you have to go with the 5s.  Also, the colors may not be for everyone.  Perhaps, this is why the 5s schooled the 5c in the beginning.  After all, which iPhone that Apple has ever released been outsold by last year's model at a lower price.  The 3gs outsold the 3g in the same period.  The iPhone 4 outside the 3GS.  The iPhone 4s outsold the iPhone 4 and so on.

So, this is why many in the media and blogdom are using the fact that the 5s has outsold the 5c by a factor of 3 to 1 to click-baiting themselves to get more eye balls.  It's a low hanging fruit.  They don't want you to remember that newer iPhones has always outsold the older ones.

So, who are the colorful iPhones for?  Kids.  That's who.  I came to this conclusion largely because of what I saw with Nokia's Lumia phones, the low-end devices with its color choices.  It could help explain why the cheap Lumia devices are selling better and why Lumia devices are also so colorful. Sure, they cost less but they also aren't the high-end iPhones.  The Lumia offers a stark contrast to what Apple offers.

With the iPhone 5c, Apple is attempting to address the color gap.  It's only the first step.  Right now, the cost of an iPhone 5c is much higher than the low-end devices that Nokia is selling.  I was able to buy a decent one for $200.  A 5c costs around $500.   That's this year.  Next year or the year after that, Apple may well offer versions of the iPhone 5c at a lower price.

Right now, the iPhone 4s can be had for free with a two-year contract.  It's arguable one of the most popular iPhones out there.  It's wrecking havoc on Android device makers in that segment of the market.  Then there's the 5c that one can get for $99 with a two-year contract.  And right now, sales of the 5c has picked up as the consumer realized its value.  Imagine next year what the mobile market will be like when Apple offers the 5c for free on contract or $350 or $400 contract free?

Suddenly, Apple will have a premium-ish device that caters to the low-end market.  Apple is never going to compete with the $99 or $199 smartphones.  That's not them and not their market.  But at $400 for an iPhone, Apple will capture anyone who has interest in entering its walled garden, the iOS ecosystem.

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