iPhone 5c not gaining traction in China

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.

sources: Ben Evans via VR-Zone



1. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

5. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 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.

8. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 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.

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 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".

6. SleepingOz unregistered

Awfully overpriced!

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 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.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31326; Member since: Feb 05, 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.

16. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 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.

2. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

oh wow thats "surprising"

3. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

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

4. Lt.Green

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

$738 is robbery!

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!

19. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

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

10. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

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

11. Topcat488

Posts: 1416; Member since: Sep 29, 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

12. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

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

14. silencer271

Posts: 254; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

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

17. fredmode01

Posts: 19; Member since: Jul 17, 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.

18. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 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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