So what was the point of the 5C?

0000757

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Dec 16, 2011
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So I'm rematching the September 2013 keynote of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s launch, and one thing just popped into my head: why was there a 5c?

I know one argument was the attempt to make the iPhone 5s look better. If this was the case though, why wasn't the iPhone 6 replaced with a plastic 6c to make the 6s look better?

Another argument is that it allowed Apple to offer a cheaper iPhone, but the iPhone SE proves that an iPhone can be up to high standards and still be a lower price.

So realistically, what was the point of the iPhone 5c? Was it to just try something new? Was it the start of a business model they decided to cancel? I'm genuinely curious what everyone's thoughts are on this.
 

se1000

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It was to repackage the 5 in a form factor that was distinctly different than the 5s and still sell it.
 

Rigby

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Another argument is that it allowed Apple to offer a cheaper iPhone, but the iPhone SE proves that an iPhone can be up to high standards and still be a lower price.
That's the reason. They wanted a low(er) budget phone and thought they could get away with repackaging the previous model's internals. Since it didn't sell too well, they are now using updated hardware for their new budget model, the SE.
 
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Azzurro

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5C was my very first iPhone. Because it was the cheaper option to experience iOS. I was an Android user and it was an awesome start and I have never looked back. I guess it was its purpose, to me at least.
 

Toltepeceno

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The 5c was 20% of the sales a month after release. That may not seem like much but it's pretty good for a year old phone as it was essentially the 2nd year of the 5 and if you notice the next year the 5s only was 7% of the phones sold in it's second year. So as 2nd year old tech the 5c outsold the 5s by almost 2/3. Do you see the point now? Money and it was not a dumb move at all. In fact I bet the percentage went up after hitting places like here in mexico, the 5c was the only iphonel I ever saw in the wild and not a lot of them.

http://www.cultofmac.com/400075/apples-plus-sized-iphones-are-growing-more-popular/

 
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steve23094

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There was a market for it, it might not have been your cup of tea but it was suitable for some people.
 

nnoble

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Jun 19, 2011
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The point was China and possibly other emerging markets; a world outside of the USA.
 

LovingTeddy

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Simple. The cost. You see Apple usually push previous generation down the line to be the mid-tire iPhone and 2 years old iPhone as entry level iPhone.

iPhone 5 consist aluminum, glass and it is not cheap by then. Apple usually want to maintain certain margin for their phone and use exactly same material for 100 dollar cheaper is something Apple did not want to do.

You said iPhone SE. iPhone SE came 3.5 years after iPhone 5 and 2.5 years after iPhone 5. After 3.5 years of same design and mass production plus all these recycling, components are costing less. But that was not the case 2.5 years ago.

Apple need to find different way to maintain its profit margin and make iPhone 5 cheaper.

iPhone 5C is just that. Quit frankly, iPhone 5C is one of my favourite iPhone. I have white one and I always wanted a blue one. If there is iPhone 6C or whatever, I will buy.
 
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0000757

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The point was China and possibly other emerging markets; a world outside of the USA.

I understand this, but there's the SE, and the fact that they never did that with any other iPhone, just the 5. There was never a 3GC, 3GSC, 4C, 4SC, 5SC, or 6C. Since they always lowered the cost of the older model, I never just saw why they did that specifically with the 5 and not any other phone, well, ever.

That's the reason. They wanted a low(er) budget phone and thought they could get away with repackaging the previous model's internals. Since it didn't sell too well, they are now using updated hardware for their new budget model, the SE.

Did it really not sell well? I know it did bad in China, but I was under the assumption it did pretty decent in all the other markets. Not as good as the flagship, of course, but not poorly.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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But why not do that with the 6 and 6s? They kept the same body style.
I understand this, but there's the SE, and the fact that they never did that with any other iPhone, just the 5. There was never a 3GC, 3GSC, 4C, 4SC, 5SC, or 6C. Since they always lowered the cost of the older model, I never just saw why they did that specifically with the 5 and not any other phone, well, ever.



Did it really not sell well? I know it did bad in China, but I was under the assumption it did pretty decent in all the other markets. Not as good as the flagship, of course, but not poorly.
They wanted to try something new to see if it would bring more customers and sales. It seems like it might have done well or at least fine but perhaps didn't do as well as they would have liked to do it again.
 

Pakaku

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Too bad it was a cheap-end version. Would've been amazing to get a 128GB phone in an interesting colour for once.
 

Channan

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Mar 7, 2012
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The 5c was 20% of the sales a month after release. That may not seem like much but it's pretty good for a year old phone as it was essentially the 2nd year of the 5 and if you notice the next year the 5s only was 7% of the phones sold in it's second year. So as 2nd year old tech the 5c outsold the 5s by almost 2/3. Do you see the point now? Money and it was not a dumb move at all. In fact I bet the percentage went up after hitting places like here in mexico, the 5c was the only iphonel I ever saw in the wild and not a lot of them.

http://www.cultofmac.com/400075/apples-plus-sized-iphones-are-growing-more-popular/

That sounds like releasing a new design with old hardware was a much better idea than just selling an old phone until you look at the numbers of the 6s/6s Plus launch.

The old 6/6Plus sold better than the 5c on their respective launches. I'm guessing the 5s sold much worse on its second year because that was when Apple introduced larger displays, so many people weren't willing to go with the older, smaller screen just to save $100.
 

Toltepeceno

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That sounds like releasing a new design with old hardware was a much better idea than just selling an old phone until you look at the numbers of the 6s/6s Plus launch.

The old 6/6Plus sold better than the 5c on their respective launches. I'm guessing the 5s sold much worse on its second year because that was when Apple introduced larger displays, so many people weren't willing to go with the older, smaller screen just to save $100.

Bingo. Regardless of what some say it DID sell well repackaged compared to just continuing the second year of say the 5s.

As you say it also shows the demand for larger screens after they appear.

So while the 5c did well against a 4" screen neither it or the 5s did well against larger screens.
 

Andres Cantu

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May 31, 2015
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There's also the fact that the 5c support way more LTE bands than the 5 (13 vs 4), so it made more sense for China than the 5. Still, their main reason was to increase their bottom line by decreasing the cost of production.
 

majkom

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
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look, 5c was the best design in my opinion, best grip of all iphones.. and was really durable, no need for case, that plastic back was really durable...
 

kmj2318

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To differentiate it from the 5s. The 5 and the 5s look too similar, so people had to pay up if they wanted to premium design. Now that there's no other 5 too compete with, the SE won't meaningfully bite into the flagship phone. At least that's what I think Apple thinks. Considering that they made much less SEs than they needed to.

Instead of redesigning the 6, they just kept it. But they did take away the gold option form the 6. Which is definitely a way to get some people to pay the extra money for the new one.

I don't think either option is ideal. With redesigning last year's phone, you have to intentionally make it less appealing than the phone it's replacing. If you just keep last year's phone, the same design has to compete with itself and that lowers margins.

When I see people talking about how well the 5c sold, I think they're talking past each other. It's not a necessarily a success if it sold a lot, and it's not necessarily a failure if it sold little. If they sold the 5c to people that would not have bought an iPhone otherwise-- good! If they sold the 5c to people that would have bought the new phone-- bad! Same goes for the SE. If the SE takes away a lot from the 6s or 7, that is not good at all.
 
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LovingTeddy

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I understand this, but there's the SE, and the fact that they never did that with any other iPhone, just the 5. There was never a 3GC, 3GSC, 4C, 4SC, 5SC, or 6C. Since they always lowered the cost of the older model, I never just saw why they did that specifically with the 5 and not any other phone, well, ever

Simply. Cost. Apple probebly think iPhone 5 cost too much to make back then and not willing to lower 100 dollar.

SE is different. Cost has reduced dramatically since 2012. Apple can easily make SE, charge at lower price point and still make decent profit.
 

Channan

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Mar 7, 2012
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To differentiate it from the 5s. The 5 and the 5s look too similar, so people had to pay up if they wanted to premium design. Now that there's no other 5 too compete with, the SE won't meaningfully bite into the flagship phone. At least that's what I think Apple thinks. Considering that they made much less SEs than they needed to.

Instead of redesigning the 6, they just kept it. But they did take away the gold option form the 6. Which is definitely a way to get some people to pay the extra money for the new one.

I don't think either option is ideal. With redesigning last year's phone, you have to intentionally make it less appealing than the phone it's replacing. If you just keep last year's phone, the same design has to compete with itself and that lowers margins.

When I see people talking about how well the 5c sold, I think they're talking past each other. It's not a necessarily a success if it sold a lot, and it's not necessarily a failure if it sold little. If they sold the 5c to people that would not have bought an iPhone otherwise-- good! If they sold the 5c to people that would have bought the new phone-- bad! Same goes for the SE. If the SE takes away a lot from the 6s or 7, that is not good at all.
That doesn't make much sense, considering Apple sold the iPhone 3G with the 3GS, 4 with the 4s, and 6 with the 6s.
 

ABC5S

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Sep 10, 2013
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So I'm rematching the September 2013 keynote of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s launch, and one thing just popped into my head: why was there a 5c?

I know one argument was the attempt to make the iPhone 5s look better. If this was the case though, why wasn't the iPhone 6 replaced with a plastic 6c to make the 6s look better?

Another argument is that it allowed Apple to offer a cheaper iPhone, but the iPhone SE proves that an iPhone can be up to high standards and still be a lower price.

So realistically, what was the point of the iPhone 5c? Was it to just try something new? Was it the start of a business model they decided to cancel? I'm genuinely curious what everyone's thoughts are on this.

That was a few years ago and now you are asking this ? It was cheaper, for those that want cheap and for those countries that cannot afford the more expensive model. You have been here long enough to know better.
 

Lostanddamned

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2009
647
152
London, UK
Doesn’t anyone remember “scratchgate”? The slate colour of the iPhone 5 would scratch, chip and flake with almost no assistance and leave the phone looking incredibly ugly.

The iPhone 5 was killed off before its time, and replaced with the 5C, at the same time as the introduction of Space Grey - a colour which scratches and discolours far less than slate ever did.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,474
18,814
Simply. Cost. Apple probebly think iPhone 5 cost too much to make back then and not willing to lower 100 dollar.

SE is different. Cost has reduced dramatically since 2012. Apple can easily make SE, charge at lower price point and still make decent profit.
That said many of the parts in the SE are from 2015.
 

LovingTeddy

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That said many of the parts in the SE are from 2015.

There was only 1 devices used A6 chip back then. Now there is 2 devices uses A9. You have twice more production, the cost goes down. Now SE also used A9, so you have 3 devices uses A9, it will drive the cost even less.

Majority of the parts were from iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6. With all these recycled stuff, Apple could theoretically refurbishing many parts and reuse for iPhone SE.

As I said, the main reason for iPhone 5C is cost consideration. Apple does not have much cost considerations with SE, because of scale of economic.
 
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