The C is for 'Cheap-ish': iPhone 5C starts at $100
For six years, Apple has released one iPhone each year. There are multiple MacBooks, multiple iPads, multiple iPods, but there has only ever been one iPhone. Now there are two.
Revealed today, the brand new iPhone 5C looks almost identical to the iPhone 5S. It has the same size screen, same basic dimensions, same button layout … it’s all the same. The only major differences: it has a polycarbonate (plastic) shell that will come in a lot of colors and a somewhat weaker processor. Basically, it’s a gussied up, more affordable version of last year’s iPhone 5.
“The business has become so large, so this year we’re going to replace the iPhone 5,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during today’s presentation. ”In the past, we’ve lowered the price of the current iPhone, making it accessible to more people. This year, we’re not going to do that.”
Apple’s head designer Jony Ive also defended the new plastic design: ”iPhone 5C is beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”
Earlier today, we speculated what the C in iPhone 5C might stand for. Color, China, Cheap, Choice, Cannibalization – these are all words that could all describe what the 5C may do. For Apple, releasing a second iPhone is a risk and a necessity. With an influx of good, cheaper Android phones, it needs a less expensive phone to compete in developing parts of the world, like China, but also here in the United States. Having one iPhone has always been a badge of honor for Apple, but people crave options, whether they need them or not. By providing the iPhone experience at a cheaper price ($100 with a two-year contract) and in a number of new colors, Apple is offering choice without compromising its vision for iOS. But it also risks cannibalizing sales of its own flagship iPhone 5S. But if the iPhone 5C can increase iPhone sales overall, it could be an all-boats rise scenario for Apple, which has seen iPhone sales stagnate in most places around the world outside the United States throughout the last year.