Will the "cheap iPhone" reputation of the 5C ruin it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Adelphos33, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I understand this sounds superficial, but hear me out... I mentioned a few times that I preorded the iPhone 5C to people this weekend. They said "Oh, you got the cheap one!"

    The thing is that I don't really want a 5S because the form factor always seemed too light for me. The 5C appears to be what I am looking for (denser phone, iPhone 5 stats, better battery life, etc) with a side benefit of $100 cheaper for the 32 gig model. I would have actually liked a 64 gig model because I push up against the 32 gig limit on my 4S a lot.

    Staying with my 4S is not an option, and I am due for an upgrade. I actually think I may prefer the 5C, but I don't want to have to defend my choice of phone 24/7 when I use it, which I may have to do. No prior iPhone model had this issue no matter when you bought it. Anyone worried about this?

    This may be a problem with any "cheap" iPhone, particularly in the US when the out of pocket cost for phone devices is artifically low due to phone subsidies. If people can identify a "cheap" iPhone, it may end up annoying end users (no matter how good the phoen actually is)
  2. applhipstr macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2013
    There was never a cheap iPhone. I had been trying to preach that for the longest, but the media continued...

    The iPhone 5c is marketed as a "cute, trendy" iPhone.

    Whether or not people buy into it is another question, but I think if it sells even half as what they project, they're going to praise it anyway. I ignored it but people will buy this for their kids. Thus money will flow.
  3. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    This is certainly a matter of "Who the hell cares?"

    Why do you care what others think about the phone you bought? Just buy what you want and don't listen to others.
  4. Tunster macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2009
    For one, it's not cheap. It's still a quality product. For two, don't conveniently forget about the the 3GS. That had a rear plastic back. Wasn't considered cheap then was it? :D
  5. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Gee I don't think the rep will be damaged. The 2nd gen nano was pretty inexpensive but they sold a gazillion of them because they were practically indestructible. That will be part of the appeal of the 5C, I think. That polycarbonate doesn't just look like fun, it can take a joke, which is great. I will like not having to coddle mine in a sleeve the way I have felt I should with my 4S.
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    That's a conundrum. I want item x but what if people make fun of me. Uh. Tough decision mate.
  7. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    I don't know why people care about it being looked at as "cheap" to others..
  8. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2010
    Parts Unknown
    It's funny. The 3GS is some relatively old technology and it was sold for free for a long time. The 5C is actually a little better (battery, etc) than the most advanced iPhone available right now and it is $99. Yet the 5C is called the "cheap" iPhone. This I do not understand.
  9. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    Biggest mistake is the pricing

    Apple really made a mistake here. They could have wiped out a big part of the Android market by making the 5c cheaper (in pricing, not features).

    Lots of people got Android phones because carriers throw them at them.

    There are only a handful of phones that are really competitive, and from a hardware POV, the 5c would have been great.

    But: They messed up the pricing. Totally.

    I would have considered buying a 5s and a 5c to put my employee SIM card in there. But the difference between the 5s and 5c is way too small.

    They should have sold it for $299 and $399 unlocked, they would have sold like cupcakes.

    I'm replying to the N-th posting covering that topic, but I'm really angry.

    Apple still thinks they can compete at that pricing level, while the competitors are offering new phones every few month.

    I buy the 5s, but I honestly think Apple missed such a great opportunity here.
    It's really bad decision making.
  10. Sdreed91 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2011
    I need help. I don't take a lot of photos, I don't play games, and I don't use passwords (Wouldn't use touch ID). Is the 5c a justifiable purchase? Like others on the forums the negativity has turned me off to the 5c. I am coming from a 4S.
  11. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    and a lot of Android vendors are losing money selling these cheap Android phones. Other than Samsung, all of the 1st tier Android vendors are a money losing operation.

    They're selling them for $550/$650 and they're gonna sell like hotcakes.

    You're entitled to your opinion, but I think there are a few guys at Apple that know what they're doing. Let's have a little faith in this management team ... afterall, they've been doing this (quite profitably) for a decade now.


    Then go out now and purchase an iPhone5. It's basically the same as the 5c, but with the nicer (IMO) form factor. You can get the 5 for under $100 (on contract) at the big stores. I'm guessing they'll still have 5's around until the end of the year. You may snag a great closeout deal.
  12. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Why is staying with your 4S not an option?? Unless it is broken, there are other people who will make that exact choice??
  13. Sdreed91 macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2011
    I could get the 5 however, I do find the 5c more attractive. It's not that I can't afford the 5s it's just I don't feel the need to spend the extra money on features I'm not going to use. If that makes sense
  14. dhc921 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2009
    Am I the only one who feels the current iphone 5/5s does not feel good naked on hand? Most people put a plastic case around their iPhones anyway but I really wish I can just use the phone as it is. I really think with the 5c I can truly use it without a case and have a great handle of the phone.
    That is the only one reason I am going for the upgrade.
  15. Adelphos33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Home button doesn't not work properly, phone is getting a bit slow, battery is 2 years old, etc.
  16. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    before if they saw you got a new iPhone and it was the 4S when the 5 came out, it was the same thing, oh you got the old one, same difference.
    If you bought the phone to impress which seems to be your reason then get a 5S, if for use, you can use whatever you want.
  17. zedzded macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2013
    Perth, Australia
    The 5C may have a plastic backing, but it's steel reinforced and the plastic is a higher end polycarbonate. So it's not the same material as used in the Iphone 3. That said, it will be hard for it to lose this "cheap, plastic" label it acquired during the lengthy hype/rumour period leading up to it's launch. Throwing into the equation the relatively high cost plus the continual availability of the similarly specced 5 (In Australia anyway), it's easy to think that they may struggle to sell them. It's not a bad phone, but it's too close in price to the 5S and the availability of the 5 really means someone is only going to buy it because they like coloured plastic. Half the people stick their phones in cases anyway, making the coloured back irrelevant. That said, Joe Public continually surprise me with how stupid they can be, so it will probably sell in droves!
  18. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Not really. I was actually thinking that a 5C would be fine for my needs because the only advantage that I really see is the finger print reader - which I may very well never use.

    I know the 5S is faster and stuff .... I don't really need that much speed though for iMessage. :)
  19. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    You're definitely overthinking it.
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If a million different manufacturers sell Android phones closer to cost than iPhones, but Apple makes way more off selling fewer, which business will be around longer?
  21. pmau, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    This is actually an interesting question.

    History or textbooks on economy will tell you that competition drives down prices. One might argue that Apple has lost the exclusiveness and sooner or later has to compete on price level.

    There will be a point were keeping prices high will cut in their revenue.
    (Because of units sold)

    I'm agreeing that this is NOT true now, but I doubt your projection for the long run.

    In early 2000 Nokia and RIM were the leading phone manufacturers.

    They had high priced phones and in the case of BlackBerry did not sell to the masses.

    Look at them today.

    I'm not saying that Apple is doomed, but if you don't believe in cycles, just pick any company that was famous 10 or 15 years ago.
  22. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Apple is in a position to be able to compete on price ... it's just that they don't currently have to. They compete very well for the higher end consumer and it shows in the bottom line. I don't think the high-end is saturated, so they still have a few years.

    If they do have to compete on price, they have a few things going for them to combat a bloody price war. First, they have a crap-ton of cash. Sure, the shareholders don't want Apple dipping into that, but it gives them the ability to withstand an onslaught of phone vendors posing as non-profit organizations. Secondly, they have other income streams to supplement hardware sales. iTunes, iRadio, iAds can all contribute if they have to take smaller margins on the hardware.

    Both Nokia and RIM made key strategic mistakes that doomed them. High prices had nothing to do with their problems. Nokia was tied to an aging OS and missed their chance to move onto a more modern OS. RIM relied on their enterprise connections and didn't market directly to consumers. When employees started comparing their Blackberries to their spouse's/kid's iPhones and Androids, they started asking the IT Department "why do I have this POS, when my wife has a great iPhone/Droid?" Next thing you know, BYOD is the hot new thing at lots of companies.

    This is true. Tech companies have typically short lifespans, but there are exceptions. Apple's already gone through their crisis and they've been rebuilt, by many of the people that are still there. I have more confidence on Apple's ability to stay ahead of the game than I do with MSFT's, HP's, and Sony's ability to get back in.

    At some point, smartphones will become a commodity and it will be difficult for anyone to make money. The easy money will come from the high-end. All the rest are racing to the bottom.

    Pundits like to compare Apple's situation in phones with the Win vs. Mac comparison of the 90's. Sure, but look at that situation now. Personal Computers are a declining business, but Apple is the only PC manufacturer making any money on computers. Everyone else is shedding their PC business and leaving it to the former contract manufacturers.

    The next big thing is about to hit. This will drive the winning tech companies for the next decade. Who you betting on to come up with the next big thing?
  23. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013
    I agree with you on this. The iPhone 5 has hard edges and is a bit too thin IMO. With a case it feels just about right.

    5C is smooth all around and has more heft to it, and most of the "hands on" preview writeups indicate that it is very comfortable to hold.

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