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iPhone 5c not gaining traction in China

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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iPhone 5c not gaining traction in China
The Apple iPhone 5c had all sorts of angles attributed to it, from “cheap” to “color” and whatever else you could think of. Before the 5c was released, one of the prevailing thoughts was that this would be a model targeted to be accessible in developing markets.

When we saw it was simply a color form factor implemented on the previous generation iPhone 5, most of those bets were off and rightly so. Rather than be an attractive alternative to the iPhone 5s, we were seeing data that showed the iPhone 5c actually driving people to the 5s.

It was thought that when Apple finally inked a deal with the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile, it was expected the company would see a steady, if not huge, amount activity for the iconic device. However, the 16GB iPhone 5c was starting a $738, roughly $200 more than can be had in the US at full retail. That is a large amount of money in a country where the purchase power parity averages somewhere under $10,000 per year, and as such, pre-orders with China Mobile were not impressive by any measure.

Such economic realities affect the price of electronics around the world, but in Apple’s case, the result is a growing inventory of iPhone 5c devices that are admittedly not in demand. That demand (or lack thereof) is being reflected in markets around the world, most notably in China, where the iPhone 5c is markedly flat in gaining market share the past few months.

Looking at this graph from Umeng.com, a Chinese analytics network, the iPhone 5s is exceeding the performance of the iPhone 5 from a year prior. The Y-axis is percentage of iOS devices in China and the X-axis represents number of months following the device’s debut in the US. The delay for the iPhone 5 is due to the device not launching officially in China for a few months following the US release. The indicators are pretty clear.

Rumors are pointing strongly that the iPhone 5c will be phased out with the release of the new generation iPhone, presumably the iPhone 6, this autumn.
iPhone 5c not gaining traction in China

sources: Ben Evans via VR-Zone

19 Comments
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posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:00 12

1. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5150; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Lower the 5c price and you will see a difference, but that's impossible since Apple products are awfully expensive.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:27 5

5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1309; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Apple had a great chance on 5C. Nice-looking and capable phone, would've been serious mid-range hero. Pricing is just total failure. Apple, lower the price, so when more people buy it, you make even more profit. I know Lumia owner who wants 5C, but he's not willing to get one with with that price. Another lost customer.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 01:14 2

8. alterecho (Posts: 1072; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


Yeah. I saw the 5C in a store. It was absolutely gorgeous. The price below it was not.
Add to that, the fact that it performs miserably in drop tests, its DOA.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 01:25 4

9. Finalflash (Posts: 1534; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Dude, their entire purpose with the 5c was to push people to the 5s. There is no other BS reason for that phone to exist, everything else was conjured up by Apple apologists trying to make things make sense beyond "Apple is just screwing us over".

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:31 3

6. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Awfully overpriced!

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:59 1

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5578; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


I doubt that even with a lower price, Apples Crap phone would sell. Although, if the new price were free, they probably would sell the 3 million that are presently in inventory.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 08:18 1

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 10281; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


It's not impossible, but apple is reluctant to do so. This device sold ok, but was a bad strategy Xperia. It'll definitely be cheaper next year, but it'll mostly be on prepaid carriers. Not a shining moment for apple.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 11:16 2

16. corporateJP (Posts: 1548; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Apple dropped the ball with the 5c.

Had it been between $200-$300 off contract, they could be picking up serious market share and it would still be profitable for them.

Their pride killed this model.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:05 1

2. androtaku (Posts: 159; Member since: 12 Dec 2013)


oh wow thats "surprising"

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:21 1

3. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2973; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Fruit succeeded in what they were targeting. 5c was made for 5s sales boost. It made the 5s look way better offering.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 00:22 9

4. Lt.Green (Posts: 342; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


$738 is robbery!

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 07:56 2

13. MrOCD (unregistered)


I agree. The pricing for this phone was a stupid decision. And don't even get me started on the iPad 2!

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 18:56

19. Diezparda (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)


LOL in my country 5c was recently got a price cut from $790 to $730 for 16gb model

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 02:18 1

10. techperson211 (Posts: 493; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


It's a sacrificial lamb for the 5s to shine.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 02:26 3

11. Topcat488 (Posts: 1120; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


well the analyst say that the iphone customer is rich, I guess you can add, that they're NOT stupid also to that list... O.o

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 07:27 7

12. networkdood (Posts: 6260; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


People in China can get way better phones for much less ...

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 08:03 4

14. silencer271 (Posts: 149; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Not selling well ANYWHERE. And china has ALOT better phones for much cheaper.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 11:22 2

17. fredmode01 (Posts: 16; Member since: 17 Jul 2012)


Blue one is quite 'cute' in real life. I liked their 5c plastic casing better than metal 5s, strangely.
But way too expensive anywhere/anyway. It's a pity, they lost a customer.
Bought myself some Lumia stuff instead, with a sweet blue silicon case, as iOS became ugly as hell to me, and WP8 is smooth as silk.. Happy with this decision. Good phone, and correct price.

posted on 15 Mar 2014, 18:53 2

18. Diezparda (Posts: 205; Member since: 23 Oct 2013)


an iPhone 5 simply repackaged into uglier, colorful plastic case, i don't get the point why people buying this phone especially them who wad an argument between iPhone 5 premium material over Galaxy S4 (ugly, plasticy, glossy, etc...)

it seems their argument is invalid when it comes to Apple

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