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Not so budget: iPhone 5C to cost $400-500, fit between iPhone 5S and 4S in Apple's lineup

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Not so budget: iPhone 5C to cost $400-500, fit between iPhone 5S and 4S in Apple's lineup
As tends to be the case with the rumor mill, only about 25% of what we hear is accurate, and the other 75% is based on incorrect assumptions generated from trying to fit together all of the misinformation. The idea that Apple would be coming out with a truly budget device always seemed a bit too pie-in-the-sky for us, and if a new report is to be believed, the iPhone 5C won't be so budget after all, and may actually be a replacement for the iPhone 5.

The idea that Apple would release a $200 budget iPhone was one that started because one man (and notorious Apple fanalyst) Gene Munster simply repeated the rumor as many times as he could. The prediction was based on the worst possible idea that Apple needed to have a budget device, so Apple would create said budget device, despite there being little to no evidence that it was going to happen. 

Once we heard about the iPhone 5C, people started connecting the dots with Munster's claims, and here we are. But now, a much more reliable source: KGI's Mingchi Kuo is giving a much more believable story. Kuo says that the iPhone 5C is designed to replace the iPhone 5 on store shelves and in the price lineup, saying:
iPhone 5C to replace iPhone 5, while iPhone 4S goes on. We’ve learned that the iPhone 5 line will be terminated from 4Q13, while the iPhone 4S line will carry on. From this, we infer that iPhone 5C is launched to replace iPhone 5. In other words, the 5C model will be positioned as midrange. We forecast its retail price to be US$400-500. We expect iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will fall into the price ranges of US$600-700, US$400-500, US$300-400 and US$200-300, respectively, in the new product cycle. Since iPhone 4’s specs may not be adequate to run on iOS7, we think this line may be terminated.

Additionally, Kuo is saying that we may actually see the iPhone 5C earlier than we thought, because an TDD-LTE version of the device may be headed for China in time for the country's October Golden Holiday, assuming the deal with China's largest carrier, China Mobile, do reach a deal. The iPhone 5C would still launch in Q4 in the U.S. and the rest of the world. 

This new scenario sounds much more plausible to us, because it allows Apple to continue to control its supply chain and costs, while not directly pandering to the low-end (something Apple hates to do), and it allows for a bit of differentiation in devices. With this plan, the three devices that Apple would sell: the iPhone 5S, 5C, and 4S, would all look different, instead of the top two looking exactly the same. And, no doubt Apple can build the 5C more cheaply than the iPhone 5, which helps boost profit margins. 

source: 9to5Mac

54 Comments
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posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:23 18

1. emadshiny (Posts: 1091; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Apple is the greatest cheater.
thats why i hate it.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:17 11

24. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 547; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Yeah iPhone C to replace iPhone 5???? Lol...
what does iPhone C got special over iPhone 5
iPhone 5 is beautiful elegant looking phone
and iPhone C looks cheap & glossy.
Now where is the proud Apple who sells premium looking devices????
they are cutting same branch as they sitting.....lol

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 01:14 1

51. noim1 (Posts: 286; Member since: 15 May 2012)


ppl will simply buy the iPhone 4S not the 5C if they r looking for budget iPhones ...

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:23 5

2. tech-head (Posts: 132; Member since: 02 Sep 2011)


This is kinda confusing.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:32 2

9. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4629; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Knowing Apple not confusing at all.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:08 3

21. sum182 (Posts: 217; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Its still kinda confusing....i mean, why discontinue the 5?....unless they're recycling most parts from the 5 to make the 5s. Besides a few (which we've seen pictured), in which case those will go into the 5c so no parts are wasted...but still. Also, I'm curious, I'm sure that iOS 7 won't run well on a 4, so they'll terminate it. However...how's it run on a 4s?...cause i have my doubts... Anyone with a 4s out there install the beta? Hows it looking?

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:11 1

22. msa1988 (Posts: 411; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)


I have the 4S and will have it until Christmas, so I'll let you know how it runs as soon as I DL it. It won't have all of the features, so it should still run relatively smooth.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:29

25. sum182 (Posts: 217; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


The main thing i'm curious about is the true multitasking....since it only has the 512mb ram, i cant see it handling it that well, unless they're leaving it out too (i'm sure theres a list somewhere). Thanks for the reply.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:25 16

3. bubbadoes (Posts: 314; Member since: 03 May 2012)


How is this plastic toy affordable at 500 when retail for the 5s will be 650. Will fail

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:31

7. sniper1087 (Posts: 311; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


Basically what samsung is doing with their plastic toy which is 639, as long as the software provides a good experience, if is cheaper it will sell, remember a lot of people buy on contract so we expect it to be free on contract.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 17:53 1

47. Piotrek007 (Posts: 76; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


So sad... Samsung have cheap plastic, YES ! But they have the most modern tech that apple never had in iPhone so you paying for best quality processor, screen, camera, and more...

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:33 10

10. promise7 (Posts: 224; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


The sheep will follow the herd.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:00

18. Sauce (Posts: 1149; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


*^Cough cough^* haven't heard that comment before. Baaaaaaa.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:29 13

4. xperiaDROID (limited) (Posts: 4852; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


iPhone 5C to replace iPhone 5? Cheap plastic to replace premium metal? You called that a budget iPhone with such price?
You're a genius, Apple!

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:39 14

13. pellegrini (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)


Premium metal that scratches like hell.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:16 7

23. darkkjedii (Posts: 9334; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


A Rolls Royce is a premium car rite? Takes your keys, run them down the side of it, and tell me what happens.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:05 1

27. quadrazeus (Posts: 359; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Haha! Nailed it, bro.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:00

35. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4629; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


darkkjedii is your brother and he nailed pellegrini? :D

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:17 1

38. darkkjedii (Posts: 9334; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


No, he's just a techie not a blind fanboy, like some are.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:24

39. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4629; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


No, I mean that quadrazeus have said that you are "bro" and that you have nailed something. :D

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:16 1

37. darkkjedii (Posts: 9334; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


+1 quad

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 14:26

41. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


I can't see making a comparison to aluminum and car paint. Not only that, phones are designed and built to take abuse. Cars getting keyed, no.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 16:40

45. darkkjedii (Posts: 9334; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I never said paint, I'm talking about the metal underneath. It will scratch also. Don't be naive, usually you post like a techie

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 18:58

48. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


We both know when someone mentions taking a key to the car, they're talking about trashing the paint job. No one walks up to a car and says "I'm going to mess that aluminum up!"

That's obvious and naivety isn't a part of it.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 19:22

49. darkkjedii (Posts: 9334; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Go do it

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 19:33 3

50. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


Not the point. As I said earlier, phones are designed to take such damage more than cars are. Cars and phones aren't in the same categories so premium means different things. Keying a phone and keying a car also has totally different connotations.

As many times as I've wanted to compare cars to phones, I restrain myself because few, if any, ever make the point that was intended when written. Totally different technology that is used in completely different ways, analogies are better left unwritten more often than not.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:29 12

5. chistoefurpuffer (Posts: 139; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


That's Apple for ya. They would sell a toothbrush with an Apple logo for $200.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:31 1

6. buccob (Posts: 1049; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


So will it replace the iPhone 5 or 5S?

(I know its the 5, but the article and title have mistakes...)

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:32

8. softfurryanus (banned) (Posts: 232; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


If it's free on a two-year contract people will eat this up.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:34

11. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


not worth it better buy ps4

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:00 2

17. DFranch (Posts: 129; Member since: 20 Apr 2012)


Yeah, but the ps4 is hard to fit in your pocket, and it gets terrible cellular reception.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:36 1

12. drnggaj33 (Posts: 127; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)


apple is still apple theres no such thing as a cheap iph...they're not gonna catch up to samsung and google because ppl overseas all have andriods phones but ppl in the usa only get apple phones makes no sence smh

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:46 1

14. pellegrini (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)


Brazil has the true budget IPhone, just google for "Gradiente IPhone".
The best part of it, it runs Android.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:47 1

15. Chakra (Posts: 116; Member since: 02 Dec 2009)


So right now, all Apple is doing is banking on their brand to get them by, and when other companies are poised to challenge base on their innovation, Apple uses lawsuits to hinder them. Remember when being competitive meant trying to be better than your opposition.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:07

20. Sauce (Posts: 1149; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


This isn't Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon. This is real world business. Might want to learn how they (as in powerful corporations) operate =)

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 08:52

16. clevername (Posts: 1407; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)


So iPhone 5s will be 200-32gb, 300-64gb, 400-128gb
iPhone 5c 100-16gb
and iPhone 4s free on contract for 16gb

just my theory based on this new info.
I can totally see apple doing this.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:02

19. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 487; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


I actually prefer the plastic look a la Nokia and Samsung. The current Aluminum and Glass combo of the iPhone 5 looks great for the first week but gets scuffed and nicked to hell in no time, even with a case.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 09:42

26. vaibhavaggarwal (Posts: 44; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


This can't be true..........

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:25

28. Furbal (Posts: 142; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


I'll recommend the Optimus g pro for $400 new from att before that...

A cheaper iPhone would have been nice for many older friends of mine.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:27

29. djripster (Posts: 109; Member since: 10 Dec 2011)


It makes more sense to have a iPhone 5C - iPhone 5 - iPhone 5S rather than a 4S in that equation... It makes more sense for Apple to retire their old connector and smaller display rather than retire their newest device

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:34 1

30. Pancoon (Posts: 42; Member since: 05 Jul 2013)


Well this is just plain stupid....

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:47 1

31. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Wait...so if this is true, remember it is still a rumor, Apple is going replace the iPhone 5 with a cheaper made iPhone 5C...which mean it is going cost them less to make. But, they are still going ask you the pay the same price as the "higher" quality iPhone 5. So, increasing there profit by screwing over their customers. If this actually do come out true, it will be another reason in my book why I will not support Apple.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:50

32. konnor (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)


Hilarious. I knew Apple couldn't actually make a "budget" phone. $400+ is not budget. They're just trying to confuse people.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:55

33. legend1 (Posts: 100; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


i would rather buy the 5 over the 5c just becoz of its premium feel and look

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 10:56

34. jaxson983 (Posts: 36; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)


Apple is the new Blackberry. In 5 years people will look back and shake their heads.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 11:01

36. jaxson983 (Posts: 36; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)


Side note....all of these phones look the same any way...."Premium look" because its metal was a stupid theory anyway. Who cares what it looks like. Its in your hand or your pocket or case all of time. Plastic, metal, wood all the same

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 08:11

52. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


I agree with you. I never really jump on the whole bandwagon that glass and metal caused the phone to be "premium". I have a guy I work that has the "premium" iPhone 5, and he left it in his truck, when he went back, he had the high temp warning, so thinking to take it out of his case to help it cool off, the frame bent. So, now his phone is bent at the top. There have also been those claims that the iPhone was bending in people back pockets when they would sit down. I think I have started to lean to polycarbonate with a matted/rubberest finish. A texture backing is nice also.

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 13:33

40. amilcarmz86 (Posts: 95; Member since: 09 Jul 2013)


again 400-500 $ price is not cheap at all... -_-"

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 15:06

42. redemmed (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


This is my two cents what if the 5C is for China only C - China Just a thought

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 16:19

43. ricco (Posts: 17; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)


Good remark, redemmed

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 16:37

44. TechDork (Posts: 176; Member since: 10 May 2010)


Wait, what.......

posted on 19 Aug 2013, 16:56 1

46. PermanentHiatus (Posts: 238; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


A 32GB iPod Touch, which is what the 5C is based of, is only $300.

So they'll reduce that to 16GB, add a radio and still raise the price? wtf

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 10:00

53. Arthurhkt (Posts: 79; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


Kinda sad with this news, at first i really thought that Apple has at-least learn some lesson from current market, consumer are looking for lower end market in certain market, i certainly hope the best of them but if this is true, then good bye Apple, say good bye to the other world than US..... You are following BlackBerry path in term of mobile market

posted on 20 Aug 2013, 10:16 1

54. McLTE (Posts: 621; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


You do realize what Apple is trying to do here don't you?

I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone say it yet...

Apple is taking a page out of Samsung's book.. offer phones built with cheaper materials and reap the benefits of higher profit margins.

Apple is not making as much money on their "premium" line so they created this new "C" line to once again boost their profit margin.

They are banking on the fact that people will flock to the 5C to get the cute colors and be all chic with them, which will probably happen. They will keep the 5S at the premium price to make it look like the 5C is a deal.

Apple is going to structure prices to steer parents towards purchasing the 5C for the bazillion teens out there and THAT is what their plan is.

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