Apple iPhone 5C

Apple's entry-level phone comes with a premium price — and that only maintains the status quo

Apple had a chance to change the face of mobile again today. We currently have a landscape that splits the top-tier, high-priced desirable phones between Android-based models and iPhones, and the rest is dominated — absolutely dominated — by cheap Android-powered handsets. An inexpensive model from Apple could have changed all that. But they didn't do it. They could have, but for whatever reason they chose not to. And that doesn't help the consumers.

Android was designed to grab this lower-end market, and it's a great way to get smartphones into the hands of people who couldn't — or wouldn't — spend a lot of money to get one. It's a money-making plan, and why Android is free and why Google developers are sharing ways to make things great looking and running. We love it, and personally I'm a genuine fan of low-price, low-spec phones that bring the web and all it can do to more people.

The problem is that right now Samsung, LG and the rest of the bunch have very little incentive to make those cheap phones better. I realize that you don't spend millions of R&D dollars on something with little to no profit margin, but it seems like every few months something comes out that is just going to be painful to use every day. And with no outside competition, these current players have no reason to care how bad some of these phones really are. 

A $300 iPhone 5c (remember, this is an outright price, with no contract) would have changed all this. Apple is certainly in the financial position to have a lower profit margin on the product, and it would put iOS and iTunes in hands that will never hold it otherwise. I'm sure the financial planners in Cupertino have valid reasons for not doing it, but I can't help that I'm disappointed. I wanted to see some fierce competition in the budget market, and I didn't get any. 

The iPhone 5C will sell millions. It's bright and shiny and new. It also will run very nicely, because whether we want to admit it or not the iPhone 5 — which it is based on — was a very nice mobile device. It's too bad Apple didn't change everything, again.

iPhone 5C


Reader comments

Apple's iPhone 5c announcement won't change anything


Hopefully. I mean that's what the video said it would do. Stop fragmentation and have a unified experience.

Posted via HTC One on their cool app

To some degree, but not completely. It means choice, and that what many want and appreciate - me too.

Lol didn't realize my N4 was featureless. Silly me.
Name a feature you have I cannot get on my N4 through the Play store or by other means.... go ahead I will wait.

LTE up to recently has been a localization and still is to a large extend. The Nexus 5 is rumored to have just about all LTE bands available.

A nexus 4 stock is noticeably faster than a sense 5 HTC one . Custom N4 makes it much faster. The best and the far...Deva support Nexi. Deal with it

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It already does on the Moto X and Droid Maxx. Seriously. I've had so many androids and these are the first two that (so far) have not had any lag at all. Google's optimization worked well on these devices.

There's no way to stop fragmentation. The only way to stop it is to stop making products all together. Fragmentation is EVERYWHERE. Its in cars, clothes, TVs, phones, you name it. The iPhone is fragmented, no one talks about it though. Apple's iOS 7 works on only iPhone 4s and newer, the Second Gen iPad and newer, 5th Gen iPod Touch's and newer, and iPad Mini's. That leaves out 3 generations of iPhones, 4 generations of iPods Touch's, and 1 generation of iPads. That's EXTREMELY fragmented considering how small their device catalog is. And that doesn't even include the fragmentation between all of those older versions that got left out of older software releases. Fragmentation is only an issue because people keep talking about it. The only difference between Apple and Google as far as the issue goes is that Google licenses their software out to OEM's and Apple doesn't. Google's in house line of phones (Nexus devices) all get updated the same way and with the same efficiency Apple products do.

Blame Verizon, not Google for this.
And if you're like me you're ready to blame Verizon for anything and everything.

I doubt it. Memory is more important. Android has needed more and more memory to run smoothly since the beginning. I wont buy a phone with less than 2GB from now on knowing how well my N4 copes with everything I can throw at it, compared to numerous other Android devices i use which choke occasionally.

Low end = Minumum amount of memory they can get away with..

I think android at one time needed more, but since jb I really don't buy it. I think it runs pretty well on one gig

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Yeah, that's something I immediately noticed using my wife's new N4. Almost every app in the recent apps was still fully loaded and running.

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It is supposed to keep it loaded but it is not running .it is in a dormant state. It stays loaded in memory so you can quickly go back to it

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Right, but on my RAZR HD any app beyond the very last app that was running has to completely reload, whereas the N4, it's ready to go immediately.

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A properly written app will stay loaded in memory, but go into a "sleep" mode. This makes the phone faster, and can actually saves battery power. I know that last part seems a bit counter-intuitive, but the idea is that it takes more processing power to load the app from the device's storage and run through all its initialization than it does to just "wake it up".

Android's memory manager will quietly start killing off the apps in memory that have been dormant the longest when it starts to need more RAM.

Where people get into trouble on the low-end phones, is installing all these freemium (farmville-esk) games. The problem is that a *ton* of them have some kind of service process that stays running so that it can "notify" you when it's time for you to play again. Some have services and I can't even imagine why. Get enough of these installed on a mid-range phone, and eventually the memory manager is going to start having problems.

If you've got a phone with a smaller amount of RAM, download something like "System Panel" from the app store. There's an option in settings to actually show you the "state" of loaded apps, so you can see which ones are actually running, which ones are dormant, and which ones are running as a service.

Personally, as a general rule, if I find a *game* on my phone running as a service, it's gone.

I dunno, 4.2.2 runs really well on my old HTC One V with a single core CPU overclocked to 1.5-1.7ghz and 512mb of RAM. Apps didn't always open quickly, but overall it was pretty smooth and fast. I upgraded to a HTC Evo V 4g with a dual core CPU and 1gb of RAM and put 4.2.2 on it, and I can't see any lag at all, and everything is fast.

I don't see myself getting anything with less than two GB of RAM in the future, but CURRENTLY I don't see phones needing anything more than a dual core CPU and 1gb of RAM unless they're running some garbage skin from the carrier. That's why I would feel comfortable right now with a Moto X and not worry about the specs.

That's the idea though. Supposedly it is being very much slimmed down in the RAM usage department, which would be a huge benefit. Unfortunately it will be a while before we see KitKat on budget devices (props to the budget builders for starting to put 4.1 on their new devices), but unfortunately that is pretty much the biggest downfall to Android in general.

isn't unused RAM (memory not storage) wasted RAM? if you have 1GB of RAM and you are only ever using 750K max you will not see a performance boost upgrading to 2GB RAM? in other words you only suffer with a shortage of RAM when you hit 0% left?

I totally agree, but it depends on the user. There are users who might need that 2 gig, or even more than that....-note 3

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Because multi-tasking is a growing trend on smartphones and higher specs support multi-tasking more smoothly....

I doubt, have you seem iOs on an iphone 3gs? its pathetic, its slow and laggy, even on iphone 4, not the 4s, its kinda of slow. there is no miracle, low powered devices are slow and laggy, and i really hopoed people would see older iphones with new ios to stop this mitical thing that all iphones are fast and lag free...

Have you seen a Lumia 520? Good budget phones are certainly possible. Whether or not they are possible on Android remains to be seen.

I think he is talking about REALLY low budget phones here.. no more than 150$

Which is why he mentions the 520 I believe that phone is going for 99$ on ATT with no contract as a GoPhone. Its variant, the 521 on tmobile, sells for 149$ no contract.

My mom just got the 521 and everything I read about it was true lol it really is surprisingly smooth.

Nexus 4 is a great value but it is being subsidized by Google, the LG Optimus version of essentially the same phone costs much more. We won't see OEMs going down that road.

The point is WP can still run well on very modestly spec'd hardware. Android can't, and that's a problem.

The subsidy has never actually been confirmed. Saying that Android doesn't run well on modest hardware is simply wrong. Android runs great on the GNex, which is currently very modest hardware, even if it was once high end.

I agree, it's really laggy and rarely works (friends old phone). The weird part is people would go on eBay and buy one just to say they have an iPhone, when there are higher spec and cheaper android phones. This is apples biggest mistake, won't be long until the only OS's are windows phone and android-BlackBerry is basically dead and this is apple heading that direction

Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4

Yea Apple really missed the mark. They should've replaced the iPhone 4S with this. They screwed this up

Posted via HTC One on their cool app

Quite correct, it will. The thing is, of those millions, how many will be saying iPhone 5c v. Budget Android as opposed to iPhone 5c v. iPhone 5s? Apple should have been shooting for the first case scenario and I think they're instead going to end up with much more of the latter.

Very well said.

I think they tried avoiding this by eliminating the IPhone 5 out of the picture, but they will face the same battle with the 5c against the 5s.

I am still trying to wrap my head around why they kept the 4s?? those who don't read tech blogs will be extremely mad when they see the 4s they just got for free on a two year contract uses the old connector pins to charge, something that is being phased out -_-

Most likely, the 4s is cheaper to manufacture than the 5, so it made sense for them not to offer the 5 as a budget device.

Just a guess. Only thing that makes sense to me.

Yes, I'm sure they will. But the real question is, are those millions going to be all from new markets, targeting people who could not afford the "high-end" iPhone? Most likely, what is going to end up happening at this price point, is that they won't pick up as much of the market they were aiming for, but will instead end up cannibalizing 5s sales.

Apple has created a problem where a large percentage of their marketing revolves around their devices being *expensive*. Their entire device line is built around "beauty" and "high-end" so, if they were to offer a truly "cheap" iPhone, it would effectively pollute their entire brand image.

It's not a bad position to be in. It's worked well for other companies over the years. You wouldn't expect Lamborghini or Farrari to put out a $28k car, right? The price is intentionally set high to create an inflated sense of value.

Apple just needs to accept that it's a good position to be in to make money, but it's not a position from which they're going to be able to compete and dominate market share.

Wow! Hit the nail on the head there. Finally someone gets it. They want to be the brand name in their respective markets and they let Android sort of represent the "bargain brand". RC Cola vs Coke comes to mind, tastes the same but ppl happily pay more for the well known beverage. I've had every iPhone since the 3GS and I switched to the GS3 for 2 weeks after I sold my iPhone 4S. The lagging and freezing and losing iMessage made me quickly return it for an iPhone 5. Not to mention the tremendous difference in resale value. I can sell my iphone 5 now for $500 on eBay (even after its a year old) and buy the iPhone 5S. I recently sold a 3 yr old iphone 4 for $205 and the power button didn't work! Do that with your N4 in 3 yrs.

Here in Australia the base model 5c is only about $130 cheaper than the base model 5s. Typical Apple overcharge.

Posted via the Android Central App on my Nexus 4

Great article, and spot on. This is all about maintaining high profit margins. Apple's profit margins are the envy of the investing world, at least when it comes to tech companies. With pressure on sales, it is only the margins that keep Apple as a media 'darling' stock. That too will pass, but apple missed a chance to secure long term market share in favour of short term illusions.

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Meh, I think the iPhone 5 is a nice phone, but I don't think it's worth the money they want for it. Not when I can get something for less with a better screen (on contract) and more memory.

The 5C is kind of a joke. Why wouldn't you just get an iPhone 5 and ditch the plastic? You can always get a colorful case if you want it.

Because they're going to stop selling the iPhone 5 that's why. And because the 5 isn't shiny and new, which for a majority of iPhone buyers is the most important thing.

Many people can buy an Iphone 5 and put a colored "bumper", on it and essentially have a phone that looks like the 5c....

With carriers dropping the price of the 5 to $99 on contract, and the pending stoppage of 5 sales, the "shortage" will allow folks to resell the phone and make money.

Google Laughs at the New iPhones
BY Anton Wahlman| 09/11/13 - 06:00 AM EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG_) management team is dancing around its new KitKat statue today, having dodged what could have been a competitive bullet or two from Apple (APPL), such as a new iWatch, iTV or even a new laptop. For heaven's sake, they didn't even announce a new iPad!

There was nothing new from Apple today that stops Google's market share march forward.

Another company that's having a field day today: Nokia. Apple's new iPhone 5C is seemingly a flawless copy of the Nokia 620 that's already been available for several months.

Oh, and the price of that Nokia 620 is approximately half that of the iPhone 5C.

Fingerprint sensor? You mean the same thing I got on my Dell (DELL_) laptop in 2007? And on the Motorola (MSI_) Atrix Android smartphone in January 2011? If Apple's latest claim to fame is to having copied a Dell 2007 laptop and a January 2011 Motorola smartphone, then Apple is in trouble.

Which is why Google is celebrating today.

Google's Android and Chrome teams were already nicely ahead of Apple's iOS team in terms of service integration, customization, ease of use and ability to ship a given grade of hardware at a much lower price. Over the next few months, Google's Android and Chrome teams now look to extend their existing lead over Apple.

I was so disappointed when I saw the price tag on the iPhone 5c, but not surprised at all. The fact they are discontinuing the 5 and replacing it with the 5c but keeping the 4s shows what really matters to Apple more than anything else: Profit margins. I am sure it is cheaper to produce the 5c than the 5, so by not offering the 5 and pushing people to the 5c for the same price as the 5 would cost they will make more profit per headset.

Spot on. From the consumer's standpoint, the 5C is one of the most pointless phones in history.

Well what do you know, it DOES have something in common with a lot of budget Android phones.

yes and no.. i think for people that havent had a smartphone or an iphone yet and are looking to get one, its good, they get that"legendary" iphone at a low price nd get a good experience. However for iphone users currently, buying the 5c is just a slap in the face.

I think you're overlooking one market: Parents with Children.

The colorful phone at half the price consumers actually think they pay for a phone will have a number of parents buying 5c's for their teens.

They'll sell a ton of these tings, but this misses Jerry's point all together - Apple did not disrupt the market yesterday, which they had a golden opportunity to do.

You could already do that by getting last year's iPhone model. The 5c literally (yes, literally in the correct sense) changes nothing, it's status quo.

Yeah, it's clever how Apple repackaged the iPhone 5 and made it into a "new" phone.

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Then parents will get the free 4s and pay for a colorful/protective case. Why extend contract for a $99 phone when there's a $0 4s?

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Of course their primary concern is profit margins. They aren't a charitable organization.

Publicly traded companies all have the same #1 make money for their shareholders. This isn't a new concept or something exclusive to Apple.

You are missing the point. Ever company wants better profit margins. But creating a situation to increase your profit which in turn screws over your customers isn't really the best way to do it... is it?

It's the same reason why I didn't buy the iPad Mini when it was announced: they wanted too much for the age old hardware on a new device. I wanted a tablet but waited until they announced the Mini price. The week I heard the price was the same week I went out and bought this awesome and affordable Nexus 7.

It's the same reason why I jumped ship from Apple when the 4s was announced. I started watching movies on my 3Gs and wanted more memory and my 2 year contract was up. I heard 64 GB was coming out so I waited to hear about the price. At $399 they lost me as a customer. I would have paid $299 or less, but charging $200 for 48 GB for adding a trivial amount of memory told me they were trying to take advantage of me. The following week I bought a 16 GB Galaxy S2 Skyrocket (with 2 yr contact) and 32GB memory card for $90.

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It's amazing to me how many people think the 5c is actually $99.

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^This. I still can't believe how great of a deal my N4 + monthly prepaid is compared to shelling out hundreds more per year in subsidies and paying on contract prices.

most of the people i know buy phones on contract. i thought $99 on contract was a good pricing strategy for Apple. think of the Joe Blow family of 5 on the XYZ family plan. they will be all over this and they can all pick their own phone/case color combo.

the first group of people to use a new product is called "innovators," followed by "early adopters." Next come the early and late majority, and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "laggards."

we are in the "laggards" stage of smartphones and they buy brand, flashy marketing, cheap prices, gimmicks, and fancy colors. they don't care about specs.

i'm not saying i want it, but a lot of people eat at McDonald's every day.

Equally as important are the tweens. Mom and dad may balk at $200+ to buy thier tween the status symbol iPhone, but at $99 it seems like the perfect price. And once little Dianna and Dalton are in the Apple ecosystem they are much less likely to venture away from it.

Apple is recruting the Next Generation of casual Smart Phone users with this device.

The little twerkers aren't going to want the 16gb version though, they'll want the $200 32gb version. And the 5c doesn't really compare all that well to other $99/contract devices, especially when the wireless providers run sales/specials (which you almost never see for Apple devices).

This isn't a change in any way from what Apple had been doing, which was selling the previous year's iPhone for $99 on contract. This isn't going to change marketshare. Apple needed to go further and offer the 16gb version for free on contract and 32gb for $99 on contract, with off contract pricing in the 300-350 and 400-450 price range.

Then it's a terrible point. $99 is the best thing to free in the smartphone market, and I think every major carrier has a free iPhone in their lineup already. This whole "cheap" and "affordable" argument is bulls4ht. The average person (regardless of what some of you web-heads want to think) is not going to buy a phone off-contract.

Your last sentence doesn't apply to every country. There are several countries whose wireless industries don't condone phone contracts, and subsequently, no carrier subsidies. So, the citizens, of those countries, absolutely have to purchase their phones off contract. And, yes, they may actually be let down by Apple not catering to their market segment.

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Spot on, Mercdroid. And, supposedly, this were exactly the markets this new "c" phone was supposed to target, because those are the markets where Apple is getting hammered the hardest.

These markets are were Apple really screwed the pooch with this, not that I'm really surprised at all.

As I said above, Apple has built their brand around a certain level of "exclusivity". The iPhone is a "status" symbol to some people. If Apple were to release a truly "cheap" version of the iPhone, it dilutes their brand image.

Somewhere above, I compared to how Lamborghini and Farrari price their cars. Apple is going to have to accept that that is not a position from which you can dominate the market. Really, it has a market penetration limit built into the model itself.

I agree with your other remarks but I don't agree with your car analogy. The main reason I don't agree with your car analogy is based on what revitalized the Porsche company, they made an affordable SUV. The Porsche SUV is their volume seller and now their bread and butter. Lamborghini is taking a page out of Porsche's book and developing an affordable SUV.

Posted via Android Central App

I see more Kia Sportages, Toyota RAV4s, Chevrolet Equinoxes, and Ford Escapes than Porsche SUVs.

Selling more than before isn't the same as dominating the market.

I tried to convince my friend to get her Nexus 4 for cheaper on the Google Play Store instead of on contract for more, since she's leaving the country before her contract will be up, but she wouldn't listen. "it's cheaper now!" um no, it's going to be more expensive.

Oh, you would be shocked at the number of people who don't realize that the upgrade price for a phone is NOT the same as the regular retail price. Not until they need to replace a phone on a non upgrade eligible line....

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From the return of Steve Jobs in 1997 up until this point, I really thought of Apple as an accidental luxury brand - a really good hardware company that just happened to be in high demand among the brand and fashion conscious. But yesterday showed us what Apple currently thinks of itself - a luxury brand. They think they are Louis Vutton. It is going to cost them. Oh wait, in the mobile world, it already has.

No it hasn't. It's cost their consumers who have bolstered Apple into being one of the most profitable companies in the universe. And they will continue to flock for years to come. Some day it may slow down but this momentum will last quite a while yet - no matter what devices Apple release.

Nail on the head.

This is a money maker rather than an enabler. More Chinese with money and westerns will buy this iPhone because its now its more affordable.

Apple isn't concerned about the rights to the internet access and information like Google and I think when we all get excited about the Google vs Apple vs Microsoft debate its easy to forget that Apple "Unashamedly" is all about selling premium products and making a lot of money doing so.

That's not to say Google isn't about making money by the way they just have a different approach and you don't have to have a bleached white smile to fit into their plan.

You may have to like the idea of Burning man festivals though ;P

They didn't price the Moto X wrong. It performs just as well if not better than the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.

Sent from my Galaxy S3

SSDD. Apple falls more behind the curve, still claims to be first at everything.

Posted via Android Central App and Droid Mini

I kinda think Apple was smart here...just like with the introduction of the iPad. Nobody thought that a giant, non phone version of the iPhone would take off and it changed the entire market. The 5C will get buyers at the 99 dollar price...most people in the US buy on contract...and it will succeed in locking users into Apple's ecosystem. Once locked in...most people never want to switch...and next time around the same buyers may buy one of the high end iPhones. We all know most Apple users are brand loyal for life. Very few switch off the platform and ecosystem because they have too much money and content invested in it. I am not an Apple user but I admire what they do...focus on the user experience and market the hell out of their products and do so brilliantly. They also pull off launches...products announced....products available...pretty much everywhere...10 days later. Look at Motorola....the X launch is a mess..still no clue when other stores besides AT&T will have this phone in store..I'd have one if I could get 32gb on Verizon....actually...I'd have two.
And a word on the fingerprint scanner...Apple will pull this off the way the laptops and phones of the past couldn't...It's cool...and word is..flawless and instantaneous....everything has been thought out...from multi easy set instant place your finger on the home button to activate the don't have to wake the phone first...and it will be used for payments too.

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The problem with that idea JMG is that here, in the US, Apple already owns the market. They've had $99 subsidized phones and even free phones forever, since the 3gs at the very least. The 5c was supposed to help them everywhere else in the world where phone subsidies are just a fantasy, China for example. Where the iPhone 5c could have helped them claw back some of their non-existant and well eroding marketshare - they just put out a device that will sell for $550 against more competent devices priced in the $200 range...again.

I get what you're saying - but in a lot of ways - the US is a tiny mobile market, espeically when compared to China/India - and certainly a completely different landscape with carrier subsidy, which doesn't exist in most places

No it won't. The 5c is a REPLACEMENT for the 4s @ the $99 price point. Of course it's a better phone than the 4s, but regular people just want the $99 iPhone, they could care less about specs.

What problem does the 5(c) solve? It doesn't seem likely that this helps them on China Mobile, because it's 3x the cost of some really nice Android phones. That, btw, run MIUI, which look just like iOS.

Posted via Android Central App

IMHO the reason that they didn't launch a $300 out right iPhone is that it would have cannibalized the high end models. It is the same way they missed the mark on the iPad mini.

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You shouldn't drink this early, that's a bad sign.
The year old $250 Nexus 4 stacks up very well against the as yet unreleased $650+ iPhone 5s.

You are spot on. I'd take the Nexus 4 over the iPhone 5S (minus that awful glass back) any day. It's an all around better device. I can't wait for the next Nexus.

I'm mixed on the back, I love the feel of it in my hand, I hate that I can't put y phone on the arm of the sofa and not have it slide off.
That said, most folks seem to put their phones in cases anyhow, so what does it really matter except with freaks like me who don't?

The nexus 4 doesn't even have LTE.. And we all know I was talking about the moto x.. Its pretty telling how bad the moto x is by the fact people have to put the nexus 4 in front of it. The nexus 4 is a nice phone but why would I want a non LTE phone? I live in rural NH and almost everywhere I go is blanketed in 4g.. Even my tiny town I get 20+ MB up and 10+ MB down. Fact is the moto x lines up in par with the i5c but its not the budget model.. It should be though. Very underwhelmed by it but rabid fanboys will blindly defend crap products that Google is invested in.. Like the galaxy nexus.

So the only thing you can put down the Nexus 4 for is lack of LTE? That is the only thing. Seriously? LTE does not make the phone... AT ALL. I went from an LTE phone to the Nexus4 and noticed minimal difference.

Sorry, but the Nexus is Google's flagship line, not the Moto X.
If you want to talk about blindly defending crap products, let's have a chat about the 5c, or the pathetic 'upgrades' to the 5s or the god awful screen on the iPad mini.
Even better, let's talk about Apple charging $700+ for the iPhone 5c in China! Talk about crap...

I think you're a little misguided in thinking Motorola's Moto X is Google's flagship phone.

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Nothing will change as said. ... Android will be on top... ever. ..Apple. ... losed. ..and trying and copying. ..all the other mobile companies. ..

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Don't be sorry; he just butchered the English language, in cold blood, lol.

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Believe me...I hope I'm wrong....I would love for the 5s to disappoint...the fingerprint scanner to become a gimmick...the 5c to flop...but out of a group of 30 people I know at work...25 have iPhones...and out of the five that have Android phones ...3 want to switch. And many of these people had Android phones and switched to iPhones and are not looking to switch back. Apple focuses on the important factors...user experience, integration, ease of use, camera, stability...which is how most people use their phones. I know one guy who recently got a Galaxy phone from and iPhone 5. He liked it a lot for the first was new, different...he's back to the 5 ...sold the Galaxy...It's the mistress factor....

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Do you work with a lot of older folk? At my office everyone has android except the old guys that barely know how to use it and the guys on company phones (who complain about having to use a blackberry still). In my group of 20 friends we have only one iPhone user. Rest use high end androids and one flip phone.

A lot of people who switch back actually bought cheap Android phones. The others jsut can't adjust to the new ecosystem. There is room for both and people have there preferences... My only issue with Apple fanbios is that they think their phone is so much better then any Android phone and think it's there is something special about an iPhone. There is really is not, if you require the higher end build design the HTC One is at good or better then the IP5/IP5S and if you want flexibility and features the S4 is better then both. I personally don't get the... "Look my phone is made out of aluminum and that makes me cool" thing. I prefer having the ability to expand storage as I choose, not at time of purchase even if I don't know I will need it. I also like that I can swap the battery and often do when doing backcounty hiking/atving/snowmobiling as i use it for a GPS. I also like the option to have wireless charging. Sure the S4 has a little lag sometimes but it's rare and I personally would never let this be a decision factor as it's simply no big deal and the other features benefits FAR out weigh a little rare lag in the UI. The great thing is there is a phone for everyone based on their personal needs, be it fashion, functionality, big screen, small screen, features, ecosystem, etc...

The one feature I'll expect on every future phone or tablet I purchase will be forward facing dual speakers. IMO, they are great on the HTC One and a design decision every company should follow.

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The one feature I'll expect on every future phone or tablet I purchase will be forward facing dual speakers. IMO, they are great on the HTC One and a design decision every company should follow.

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Well first of all the C looks like a toy in those stupid colors but some people will like it and it will be more durable. The funny thing is that Apple is now making more money off of their fanbios because traditionally they would have been selling the iPhone5 for $99 and the 5s for $199 but instead they wrapped the 5 in a cheaper case and sell it for $99...

I definitely agree with this. I think it's a brilliant move by them though because unfortunately....people will buy it ...but it's the first thing I thought on manufacturing costs for the previous iPhone and give it a new name...and it'll sell ...

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All the complaints I hear are the same....I love the big screen...but the phone is too unorganized....there's too many settings...I don't feel like setting all the screens up....where are all the apps I like.....all apps are available for the iPhone first....

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It's just different and many people don't adjust well... There is nothing unorganized about Android, it just has more options/settings. One person calls this confusing and the a other see it as more flexibility...

"All the complaints I hear" - good grief.

"but the phone is too unorganized... I don't feel like setting all the screens up....where are all the apps I like"

Isn't this contradictory? The whole point of customized home screens is to put apps on the screen where you'll remember them or arrange them in a way you'll like. Much easier to organize that way than to bury them in a giant app drawer.

I couldn't agree more....however try telling it to an iPhone user...I had an hour long discussion tutorial session with a friend over the weekend showing him how to use his GS4 ...he's owned it for a month...and I've never owned a Galaxy phone's ridiculous...he was so set on not being able to move apps around in the app drawer....cuz I guess you can do that on an iPhone....I kept trying to tell him on Android phones you rarely use the app drawer...or at least I don't ...unless I want to quickly uninstall an app. He also couldn't grasp the widget concept...or usefulness of them...and was unimpressed with most Touchwiz features cuz "he'll probably never use them." It was frustrating to say the least. I'm shocked at how many people I know with Android phones who don't even know their phone has voice commands...and don't know what Google Now is or how to set it up.

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Or, more likely, we're just geeks. Not everyone cares enough about the same things to learn everything there is to learn about them. They could blow your mind with knowledge about something you don't know anything about, and make you look like the idiot.

Yeah, I have the same experience. I'm a 45 year old man and I have a 22 year old co-worker. He bought an S3 because he couldn't afford an iPhone. He then asks me what apps to get and I tell him a bunch of the ones I use but I say, "I can better recommend apps if you tell me what you'd like to do with your phone." And of course, he doesn't know what he likes to do. Even in the vaguest of terms. So I say, "Well, do you want to read on it or listen to audio books or have a gps track your bike rides or watch movies...?" and he just seemed overwhelmed and, frankly, surprised that any of these were options *for a device he already owned*!

I have a neighbor who bought my 2012 N7 because I gave it to her super cheap ($80) and I guess she thought "I have to have a tablet!"

A month goes by and I ask her how she's enjoying the tablet and she says, "Oh, it's great! I use it every day." "Oh, yeah? What apps did you get?" "Oh, I don't do that. I'm not gonna punch my credit card in online."

Yesterday she asked me the name of a book I recommended a year ago. I told her it's cheaper online than in the bookstore ($10 vs $18) and, though she agreed that reading it on the tablet would be more convenient than carrying around the book, she's worried about the online transaction. This is not some old crazy biddy who's yelling at kids to get off her lawn. She's in her 30s!

I know it's easy to dismiss these people as stupid or morons or whatever, but I don't think that's correct. I've known the neighbor for 20 years. I've worked with the other guy for 4 years. These are smart, capable people. They just do not have an affinity for these things which I think those of us who do take for granted as obvious when that's not necessarily so.

I'm a troll cuz I have an opinion? I don't even own an Apple product. I've never owned an Apple product. This forum and website is strictly to bash Apple and not to have actual conversation/discussion?

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Actually, I thought you had also posted something further up, but you hadn't, it was someone else. Mea culpa.

Given the annual cycle Apple falls in, this to me looks absolutely like they have simply accepted defeat insofar as the lower end market is concerned. Mobile growth is so fast that another year of Android's relentless rate of adoption without a competitive iOS presence in that part of the market looks like a big missed opportunity. Ecosystem lock-in is a powerful thing. I've talked to a bunch of iPhone users that have expressed interest in Android in general or a particular phone that's caught their eye but feel like it's just too painful to learn everything over again and to get all their stuff out of iTunes. I know Apple is not run by dummies, and I am sure they've thought about every aspect of their product lines in great detail, but it's a mystery to me why they wouldn't want to establish beachheads in every market they can. Maybe it's because Android's "lock-in" may not be as strong as Apple's given the lack of iTunes. Maybe it's that they don't think the profit margins will be good enough right now, but they could still find the break-even point and do what they could to cultivate a base of users that would bring in some money downstream...

Apple has said it before in an interview, they don't necessarily care about being the most popular/used ecosystem, even though it would be nice. They care about what they think is the best product they can make. They also care about pleasing the customer base they already have. It was on an interview with Tim Cook I believe. They whole iPhone project started to please Jobs and other employees by creating a phone they would want to use.

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Apple is too arrogant to make a phone that costs less than $500. That is why there will always be more Android dominance in emerging markets

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Based on their earnings, I'd say not catering to the lowest common denominator is wise moreso than arrogant.

It's not like the phones are priced unattainably high. They're just not CHEAP.

This article was spot on. More pretty colors from another company that realizes paint is cheaper than making higher end tech affordable. "cheaper" iPhone's that cost the same as a higher end Androids will be much easier to justify now that you can buy them in lime green or yellow. Way to innovate. Who's copying who this time? Don't forget to send Nokia a thank you card, Apple!

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It's not free, it's "free" with a 2 year contract. The point is that Apple was in the perfect place to really disrupt the budget segment of the market by offering a really good phone at a truly lower price. They didn't do that. I'm not saying they should have, but it would have been a great step away from the subside model.

Give me a break. It's got a freaking 3.5 inch screen which is a complete joke for a smartphone. I'd take my original EVO 4G over a Iphone 4s! My girlfriend just picked up S3 for $10 on contract... Much better deal then a free iP4S on 2 year contact.

You can if you want but I think that it would be a good idea. Google gets paid enough money they dont need iphone users and I know a crap ton of people that wont swith to android because they have all the google apps on iphone. Most of those people that say if they didnt have those apps on iphone they would.

Bless your heart. You still think Google gives a rip about hardware sales or Android marketshare.

They want people using Google services so they can feed the advertising machine. They don't care how it happens.

Actually asshat I dont. I do however think that why not let people do it with only Android instead.

I dont see any ADVERTISING in my gmail app... or my Google Maps app... it will force people to use the web based sevices from other phones.

You have it backwards. Google needs to dominate in the services space on ALL platforms. They need to try to beat Apple at their own game on their own devices. Best case for Google is to own services like Amazon owns online shopping so that in 5-10 years when the top smartphone OS's are Firefox and Symbian3 Google will still own services (long after iOS and Android are forgotten).

For future reference.....using the word asshat in your response makes it really hard for people to take you seriously.

You may not see the ads in your Gmail app yet, but you will. Regardless of that.....the ads are still being sold based on data that they gain every time you send or receive an e-mail. Just because you don't see an ad in your face when they do it doesn't mean the transaction isn't taking place.

You make up all your apple,Google crap yourself or your radio shack coworkers help you along

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You have a lot of good inside knowledge why these big companies do what they do. No wonder everybody is stupid or a moron to you you know everything

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You must wake up in the morning feeling free since you use android your not tied down and forced to use ios. Must be a great feeling

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It is too expensive especially in europe. They schould have done the 5c with 4s internals and sell it for 400$ and keep the 5 as a mid class device. I can get a 5 for 50 bucks less then a 5c which one would you get... Anyway Nexus 4 rules everything when you look at the price / use ratio...

Is it sad that I read about 4 sentences and said to myself "That looks like a Jerry Article."? I'm beginning to know the AC guys' writing styles!

Oh, and the Moto X disappointed me in a similar fashion.

I Simply think the iPhone 5/5S is killing Apple Inc in terms of manufacturing costs so they couldn't afford to make it cheaper and that's why they decided to kill it and re-introduce it as 5C.

The iPhone 5C is simply the iPhone 5 priced as it should minus the expensive skin.

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"An inexpensive model from Apple could have changed all that. But they didn't do it. They could have, but for whatever reason they chose not to."

Apple will never compete in the low-end segment because they don't want their products to be perceived as cheap or inferior. Throughout the introduction of the iphone 5c, Apple always avoided any mention of plastic or other cheap(ish) materials. Apple products are, first and foremost, about image and cachet. They have zero interest in selling anything that does not have a huge profit margin. Their whole business model is built around that paradigm, and it will never change. That is why Apple is sitting on mountains of cash, and why they don't care what their marketshare numbers are, so long as the money train continues to roll.

I don't understand the argument in this article. It's not clearly explained WHY the 5c won't be good low-end competition.

Because it's not priced as a low-end device. Two years ago the high end phones were running at the same price that the 5c is priced at today. At best, it's priced as a mid-range device.

What a soppy article. There is no money anymore in low end phones. There is precious little distribution of profits in high end phones outside the 2 leaders. What Apple has done is avoided the "race to the bottom" which this article suggests it should have taken. What they've done is widened their product line a little while still trying to keep their premium positioning. It's probably wise and will help them play in the new markets without diluting the brand too much.

You can go for volume and small margins, or stay a value player with smaller volumes. That's business 101.

I still wouldn't touch their products whatever the price.
I'm an Android lover ;)

Agreed. I sorta expected Apple to release a third iphone -- one with a larger screen -- to attract phablet fans. I hate to admit it, but if Apple offered an iphone with a 5-5.5" screen, I might be tempted to go back to iOS (at least for a couple of months, until I got frustrated waiting for a jailbreak like my iphone 4). Apple missed a huge opportunity to take a bite out of Samsung's territory, and consumers looking for larger devices will continue to flock to the Note 3, HTC One Max, etc. Apple has underestimated the demand for such devices, and Samsung's recent sales figures for the Note series proves that.

You obviously are thinking very little outside of the American market, which is saturated. There are literally BILLIONS of people out there without a smartphone. Huge markets that will never be able to afford an iPhone. The problem is Apple thinks too much like a luxury hardware brand. Google, on the other hand, is thinking in terms of content and advertising. Get your devices in as many hands as possible and those hands will consume huge amounts of content and feed Google huge amounts of marketing and advertising data.

While Android is sucking up all the low-end marketshare because Apple neglected it, Apple's high-end marketshare is under continual assault from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, etc. They've backed themselves into a corner and rather than try to branch out, they've instead decided to fortify their position with... a fingerprint scanner.

Apple's global marketshare is at 13%, and that's going to continue to shrink. Maybe they're comfortable being the niche, luxury brand, but I don't think that's where they really want to be and it doesn't strike me as a position that is safe to try to hold onto. Once upon a time, they were the dominant OS in smartphones. Then they lost that spot to Android, but they still sold more smartphones than anyone else. Then they lost that spot to Samsung, but they still have the #1 selling smartphone model. How long until that changes? My guess, not very.

I am glad you know the inner works of apple and Google so us dummies can be informed. Thanks

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That's pretty basic analysis, if you can't see that for yourself, then 'dummy' isn't a terribly inaccurate descriptor.

What happens to Apple in 5 years though? When Android has eaten up every corner of the emerging markets and is growing a generation of Android users, how does continuing to price themselves out of the game help Apple? Sure, it will have still have a solid fanbase in the US and Western Europe, but this dwindling marketshare has to start hurting them at some point. Thus far Apple has had the "better" app ecosystem, with more apps available and more highly polished apps in general. They have historcally always gotten apps weeks and months before the Android equivalent.

Android has largely caught up, at least in numbers, and the app quality is nearly there as well. That is utterly predicatable given the sheer numbers of users. It cannot be lost on developers that they have a potential audience *right now* that is about 7 times as large on Android. As emerging markets fill up with new generations of Android users while Apple sits on the sidelines, it becomes increasingly more attractive for developers to look to Android first. Sure, there will always be people writing for iOS, just like there is software still written for the Mac despite its tiny market share. Nevertheless, will things go the other way and iOS users be forced to wait weeks and months for software Android already has? Maybe the lack of diversity in the product lines will help them there.

I am no fortune teller, and I am sure Apple has its reasons for what it's doing. Time will tell whether it was the right move for them. It just doesn't make sense to me for them to compete at only one end of the market. If the software and service ecosystem were not a factor, and all we were talking about was the hardware then it might make sense. But the longer a person stays on a platform and the more they invest in media, apps, and knowledge tied to that ecosystem, the harder it is to switch. It just looks like Apple is missing a big chunk of future users while they compete only in the largely saturated segment they currently occupy...

Tim Cook himself stated "it's not all about market share". I don't agree with him and I think Apple is making the same mistake they did when they were in competition against Windows back in the 80's. They did not learn their lesson then, and they are continuing down the same destructive path. Times are different: this is the digital age. Perhaps they have a large enough following that they can keep milking the fat for 5 more years.

@Jerry Hildenbrand

Thanks for the post.

Apple seriously learn the current days smartphone business tricks, no doubt.

Apple and Google have different Business models. Google is a Marketing company that uses services to drive views of their ads and Apple is a Goods Company. Apple wants to sell the hardware. iOS and iTunes are ways to get you to buy the device and the upgrades to those software platforms are used to kill off older devices and get you to upgrade.

Google wants the masses to be exposed to their ads via gmail, G+ etc. So they want the android phones to be that gateway. The cheaper and more mass market the better. They are not trying to make money selling devices. Otherwise they would have fully absorbed Moto and started building their own devices and killed off AOSP at 4.0.

That being said Apple did miss on the opportunity they had here, but they will still sell a metric butt load of 5c's and 5s's.

The will, but will they sell more phones overall? I doubt it, not by much, the 5C will only hurt 5S sales, not Android sales.

They didn't even try to throw iPhone 4 spec into it and make it sub £300.
Not effort to do anything what so ever.
Apple literarily dropped the iPhone 4s 8gb at over £300 as the base model, dumped the iPhone 5 and put in its place the 5C and put the 5S above it all...

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Apple innovation = re-wrapping last years Christmas gifts and putting them under the tree for this year.

You've really got a grudge against Motorola haven't you? What happened, did a Droid steal your ex-girlfriend?

I only made one comment about moto x. What did you catch your boyfriend fucking a apple employee?

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the 5C was and is a device designed to be a profit margin increaser for Apple. Rather than price the iPhone 5 and $99 on contract, they redesigned it to be cheaper, added colors, and called it the 5c. Very smart business move, but in the end the consumer gets less.

If anything, I think Samsung are missing a chance to really clean up the mid-market.

The S4 mini is overpriced for what it is - if they reduced the price a little or upped the spec (without upping the screen size) then there would be every chance that they would sell more of these.

At the moment they are just releasing too many low-end models that they cannot hope to support and whilst they are good for the price, they often give customers a bad experience of a smartphone (mainly because they have unrealistic expectations). I saw a comment by someone who was going to buy an iPhone because their Galaxy Ace was crap. Yes, I know the guy is a moron for comparing a GBP150 2 year old phone with a new GBP470 phone but these things stick and if you are going to win customers, then you have to make things idiot-proof.

This 5C is well over-priced and will rely on ripping people off (by using marketing) to make sales (and I'm sure it will sell extremely well). If I was an Apple customer, I would actually be pretty peeved that the company that gets so much loyalty is now willing to do the minimum possible to improve their products and still over-charge. They are very lucky to have people who are blind to this.

Every vendor should have to earn loyalty with every product, not just the first couple.

PS: Wow I have to say that for an article this is discussing pricing, it is pretty retarded to mark currency symbols as spam!

The only phone the 5C will take sales from is the 5S. Apple know this, so to prevent a revenue drop they kept the price high. Its the only thing they can do, any other scenario would result in a drop in sales or profit or revenue. All 3 would affect share price and confidence..

If Android isn't careful Lumias are gonna start gaining traction on the low end. Google needs to do something to address performance on the low end. For somebody looking for a $150 or cheaper I'd be hard pressed not recommending the Lumia 520. The 620 is even $99 contact free on AIO.

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I was actually so disappointed with Apple. I thought, for once, they had considered the people who, let's face it, can't afford an iPhone. I know I can't. But I really thought they were being considerate. Clearly not. Maybe next time, maybe next time...

If apple were to release a device with a large screen I would consider trying out out but I may not be sold. I'm so intertwined with Google it's not funny

Posted via Android Central App on my S4

It's OK, there's still plenty of incentive for Nokia to make low-end phones better. Lucky WP7 has always run smoothly on low-end hardware - maybe one day Android will catch up?


I own a nexus 4 gs3 gs4 gs2 atrix4g nexus7 and while they rund very well never had a true smooth experience. However apple might have a smooth running device but I hate how their system is so locked down.Androud may never run super smooth but the freedom that comes with it and price ranges are something apple will nevr match because theyre too proud.

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Am i the only one who notices that the discount on the device is only if you buy on contract. The prices are about the same if you buy outright.

Apple what? Lol. I'm done with Apple. I don't even follow news about Apple anymore. I'd take a look once they have screens that go beyond 5 inches. Other than that. No more iPhone for me.

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