All eyes are on the iPhone 5C right now even if the iPhone 5S is the flagship handset from Apple. Confusion about what the “C” stands for in the iPhone 5C but it’s obvious that “cheap” is not one of them.
The iPhone 5C is either a blessing or a curse for both Apple and its customers, depending where you are coming from. We break them down here and share with you some possible scenarios.
cheaper more affordable. This will be the first time in the last 7 years of the iPhone that it will be sold at under the Php30k mark. Yes, a Php26,500 16GB iPhone 5C might still be expensive in this day and age when the same amount of money can buy you a quad-core Android smartphone with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a full HD display plus all the bells and whistles that would make Apple’s Touch ID pale in comparison.
Imagine getting a brand new iPhone free on a postpaid plan of around Php1,500 per month. That’s already 25% less than the average Php2,000/month which is the usual price point under a plan. It will certainly eat up the market share of otuneher handsets in the plan. Say goodbye to the “Mini” which Samsung has been marketing really heavily in the last couple of years.
Apple continued its “tik tok” timeline by creating a slightly improved handset every other year. As such, the iPhone 5S is a completely expected product of this cycle. After the 3GS, the 4S and now the 5S, the iPhone becomes so predictable it reduces itself to a borderline boring product.
The introduction of the iPhone 5C was an unexpected move. It certainly is a reaction to the growing popularity and market share of Android, and perhaps, even of Windows Phone. It’s a nice little trick — re-package the year-old iPhone 5 using cheaper materials and manufacturing cost, then sell it as brand new at a slightly lower price.
While that might excite a number of people since it gives them a better chance at acquiring a new iPhone, the 5C does not speak well of Apple’s image. Apple has always been extravagant, ambitious and uncompromising. The iPhone 5S still adheres to that philosophy but the iPhone 5C just screams unimpressive.
The iPhone 5C could be the stealth product. While the iPhone 5S is definitely positioned as the flagship handset which will go head on against the likes of the Galaxy S4, LG G2, Xperia Z1 and HTC One, the iPhone 5C may also get in the way as a second choice.
The iPhone 5C could either undermine the postpaid pricing of the flagship phones or force them to lower their prices. In a line-up of mid-range handsets being offered free on a Php1,500/month plan, the iPhone 5C could certainly disrupt the positioning of other brands. If it does, it’s going to be ugly.
Only time will tell how the iPhone 5C would fare. There is a pretty high likelihood that it will succeed and help Apple bite a bigger piece of the smartphone pie.
Hat tip to Israel Nicolas for additional inputs over email.