While Apple hasn’t exactly admitted, the iPhone 5c is more or less considered one of the company’s biggest flops in recent years. The handset, which was intended as a low-cost alternative to the flagship iPhone 5s, never really caught on with consumers. Could an even cheaper version of the device salvage its place in Apple’s smartphone lineup?
A newly leaked memo being sent around by German carrier O2 suggests an 8GB version of the device could launch as early as tomorrow, March 18th, at a price €60 (about $80) lower than the off-contract price of the 16GB model. As Apple typically likes to synchronize launches globally, there is a good chance that, should this rumor pan out, the cheaper, lower storage iPhone 5c could come to other parts of the world as well.
Apple’s iPhone 5c strategy has been curious since the smartphone’s announcement in September of last year. The handset was long-rumored as a cheap, entry level device that would target emerging markets. Instead, it was revealed as a retooled version of the iPhone 5 that would sell at a price not remarkably lower that the concurrently announced iPhone 5s.
Around the world, the iPhone 5c never really caught on as a “budget” phone as consumers opted to spend a relatively small amount more to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. Poor sales of the “unapologetically plastic” device have only been masked by the popularity of the 5s, and Apple frequently references total sales of both devices under the same figure. Apple has repeatedly altered its order numbers to reflect a waning interest in the device.
Perhaps a slightly cheaper iPhone 5c could drum up some additional sales, but it’s hard to see the variant turning around the model’s poor fortunes. Most analysts agree that Apple will likely abandon the strategy come next product cycle, choosing instead to launch two “premium” devices.
[via Caschy’s Blog]