Last month, Apple launched the iPhone 5C as the cheaper alternative to the iPhone 5S. Normally, the company would just reduce the price of the existing iPhone 5 and call it a day, but the iPhone 5C represented its effort to try something different this time around. As it turns out, different is not always better.
Chinese Tech site C Technology reports (as translated by CNET) that iPhone 5C production levels have been reduced by half. The site gives no reason for the apparent decrease in production, but it should pretty obvious. The iPhone 5C just doesn’t have the same allure as the iPhone 5S. The iPhone brand has always been about premium quality, and the iPhone 5C looks like a child’s toy with its colorful plastic backing.
Despite its reported underperformance, it’s much too early to count the iPhone 5C out. After all, the iPad Mini went through the same thing when it first launched. The first few weeks saw little demand for the miniature tablets, but demand grew as more people jumped on board the idea of a smaller iPad. The iPhone 5C could be going through a similar situation.
Of course, there are some differences between the iPad Mini and the iPhone 5C that one should take into account. For starters, the iPhone 5C doesn’t look like an iPhone – it looks like a toy. The iPad Mini was sold on the fact that it was an iPad, but smaller. For the iPhone 5C, Apple uses cheesy tag lines like “unapologetically plastic” that make it seem like something your child would play with.
It also doesn’t help matters that some consumers see the “C” in iPhone 5C, and automatically think it stands for cheap. At $549 off contract, the iPhone 5C is anything but cheap. Sure, it goes for $99 with subsidies, but not all markets offer the same kind of subsidies that U.S. carriers do. Chinese consumers, who are quickly becoming Apple’s bread and butter, are getting the shaft from China Telecom as its lowest subsidized price for an iPhone 5C is still much too high at 1598 yuan ($261.29).
With this in mind, it doesn’t seem all too surprising that Apple would be cutting its iPhone 5C orders. After all, it’s trying to sell last year’s iPhone 5 in a cheap plastic chassis marred by an ugly plastic case.