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back to article Apple slams brakes on orders of (not so cheap) plasticky iPhone 5C

Apple has told its hardware makers to reduce iPhone 5C production for the fourth quarter – sparking concerns that demand for the handsets may be weaker than expected. The 5C went on sale in September along with the high-end 5S, with both models hitting 11 markets – including the US and China – at once, for the first time. The …

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No surprise

It's way too expensive compared to the plastic decked out competition.

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Holmes

Re: No surprise

This is where everybody seems to think of it as a tech item. To most iPhone buyers it isn't.

It is as much about technology as a Rolex watch. The watch is a nice piece of engineering, but it doesn't keep the time better than a £ 7.99 plastic one from the ASDA budget basket. If you now case a Rolex in plastic, would anyone think that it'd sell? I don't think so. It's a 'Veblen Good'.

So, my strategy (if I was responsible for Apple's sales) would be to go the other way: make it more expensive!

The next iteration of iPhones would have an iPhone 6S and an iPhone 6E. The 6S could house a new processor, a new camera, more RAM, better display and sell for £700 unsubsidised. The 6E (xclusive) would be a repackaged 5S in a Titanium alloy shell, would come with an exclusively shaped, J.Ive- autographed charger and a lambskin sleeve designed by Vivienne Westwood. It would have an extra 'Assistant' button that, if you press it, connects you to an actual Apple Genius who solves your problem (charged for through your phone bill). It would cost £ 1200.

And sell.

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Facepalm

Re: No surprise

Yet iOS7 is a cheap copy of Android. Clearly, this word "cheap" must be going through some kind of reality distortion field.

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Re: No surprise

"Yet iOS7 is a cheap copy of Android."

Really? What bits did they copy? Was it stuff like the way the icons shake when you want to move them?

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Holmes

@ Bob Vistakin - Re: No surprise

Android? IOS7? What's that good for? Is it a kind of part of this trinket? Does it need to be there? I shall ask my butler to instruct the head mechanic to send someone to enquire about this . . .

Do you know how many turns the mainspring of an Omega Constellation has? How many teeth are on the date wheel of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual?

Who cares? It's a thing that people take care of for me if I pay for a luxury item. I trust that it will be of suitable quality.

That's how it goes, Bob.

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Re: No surprise

Don't those people immediately wrap their iThingy in Burberry cases from the market anyway?

Just paint over the colored bits with tipex and you have a white iThingy again

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Re: No surprise

@Spasch: "It's way too expensive compared to the plastic decked out competition."

"A mere two weeks after the iPhone 5C launched nationwide, Best Buy is offering the device for only $50 today"

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/3/4800318/best-buy-puts-iphone-5c-on-sale-just-two-weeks-after-launch

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Thumb Up

Re: No surprise

Upvoted for "Veblen Good" (though not a fan of Veblen's ideas in general)

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Re: No surprise

Well the world's a crazy place.

People prefer to spend larger sums of money on a flashy metal finished iPhone 5s, then they cover it in cheap plastic and rubber protectors to make it look worse than a 5c. What gives?

No, I've not bought a 5c either.

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Re: No surprise

as long as that Apple Genius actually lives up to the name. The ones I have had the delight of experiencing make a shop assistant in Currys look like the font of all technical knowledge in comparison.

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Re: No surprise

That isn't really true. iOS7 isn't any more of a copy of Android than a Tonka Truck is of the real thing. iOS7 is little more than a app drawer with a wonkey, vertigo inducing background and a snazzy media player that appears on the lock screen. ITo be a copy of Andoid it would still need to add:

- widgets or other methods of adding live information for instant display

- customisation ability beyond changing the wall paper and ringtone and sorting apps into folders.

- ability to integrate third party apps such as launchers, browsers or keyboards that override the stock ones.

- ability to sideload apps (even if that introduces a massive potential risk of malware)

- the ability to browse the file system and save files from any source or program without having to rely on bouncing back and forth through cloud servers and providers.

- google Now = Siri done right

- real multitasking including the ability to have two app windows open at the same time (thanks for that Samsung)

Jailbreaking iOS does get some of these features right, but that isn't really the answer

Let me know when they actually implement some of these features and then it might be worth taking seriously.

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Facepalm

Re: @ Bob Vistakin - No surprise

@andreas koch

Oh how useful selective amnesia can be when you choose to use it. With all this focus on the details of the number of cogs in your posh watch etc, it's almost too easy to forget wer'e dealing with the assholes who claimed to have invented the rounded corner, the sliding bolt (of the kind used in the Pyramids) and more recently the revolving door.

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Re: No surprise

"It's way too expensive compared to the plastic decked out competition."

Clearly, that must be why it is outselling the Samsung S4 then. /s

http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/07/iphone-5s-5c-sales-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4/

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Re: No surprise

This kind of "Premium" phone already exists: it's called the "Vertu". Base model (hand-stitched leather back, casing made of surgical steel) starts at €4.900,- and the Premium model (real sapphire glass, solid gold case, touches made of actual gemstones, Personal Assistant worldwide...) can climb the price range to a whopping €13.000,-. On the technical side, however, it's a total letdown...

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Re: No surprise

WOT - a newer fone outselling an older model of another brand - that's out-FSCKING-rageous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

STOP.PRESS: SAMSUNG S4 Outlsells iPhone 4!!!!

STOP.PRESS: SUMSUNG S5 to outsell iPhone 5,

and yes (just so you don't think i'm biased) -

iSloan 6, may well just outsell S5 (for a few days/weeks ;)

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Re: No surprise

Turns out the story is wrong anyway:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/17/wsj-backpedals-on-iphone-5c-supply-chain-cuts-story

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Headmaster

Bob - Re: @ Bob Vistakin - No surprise

No need to call anyone a terminal part of your digestive system.

This is economics, not primary school.

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Devil

@ Evgo7311 - Re: No surprise

I'm totally aware of the formerly Nokia-based Vertu. And I must admit that I stole the 'assistant-button' idea from said vendor . . .

Nevertheless, the Vertu is too expensive for the mass market. It's price is above the just-tolerable-if-I-drop-the-next-2-rent-payments line and will therefore be a real luxury item for really rich people and not for the wannabes that we all love to rip off.

Sorry Claire, I usually reserve this icon for you, but it's been quiet lately.

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Re: No surprise

@EvilPixieMan Actually the iPhone 5 (older than the S4) also outsold the S4 over an equivalent period of availability, and I should hope the S5 will outsell the iPhone5, but if past performance is a guide, it won't be outselling the 5S. Fortunately for Samsung, though past performance may be a guide, it's applicability is not set in stone. However I think the problem Samsung have is that the S4 along with the good stuff, had some wayward features they threw in to see if they would stick. It's a different philosophy to Apple. But the iPhone 5S has been a solid iterative upgrade with some really useful tech. Samsung should avoid building wayward features on wayward features and should focus on the elements of the feature set that is working best. I'm not convinced however that they have anything groundbreaking planned for the S5. It will be difficult (though not impossible) to match the speed and accuracy of the finger print scanner of the iPhone 5s (Apple purchase Authentec because they were ahead for compact no need to swipe scanner tech). They won't be able to go 64 bit with this next iteration (which, despite initial skepticism, has now been proven to provide a tangible performance boost) because Android won't support it. They will probably be able to match the motion chip and will be able to create a competing low-power bluetooth competitor to Apple's forthcoming iBeacon tech. They will of course improve the camera and can maybe do something really earth shattering there. However I suspect they will just up pixel count and aim to do slower slow mo than 120fps gives. They can prove me wrong of course, by doing something totally new. We shall see.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No surprise

Money talks./

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No surprise

It's probably the same price they would have dropped the '5' to when the '5s' was released. Apple keep 1-2 older handsets as cheaper options and the 5c is basically just a 5 in a plastic casing. So the pricing seems about what you would expect if you view it as a 5. It will also appeal to some additional markets and for Apple it's clever - people who want the aluminium case will pay a bit more for a 5s (where they may have bought a 5) and people who want more colour now have a choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No surprise

Oh and 64bit - oh not Android then...

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Re: No surprise

<Sheldon>I refuse to contribute to the devaluation of the word genius</Sheldon>

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Pint

@ bazza - Re: No surprise

It's all part of a well understood behaviour:

Handicap Principle

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Sell!

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

two thirds

Should that be a Pegatron-rebrander then?

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Trollface

Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

They would have to upspec their products a bit but that wouldn't be very difficult.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

As I understand it, the iPhone 5S has faster graphics than anything else on the market, and a fast CPU (though I doubt being 64 bit has anything to do with it...more likely to be something like better memory bandwidth). The small display allows it to have tolerable battery life with a small body. It is indeed a very advanced product.

The competition has a number of additional features which are useful to some people but not all. Obviously a large number of people don't find them useful. Adding two large seats in the back, a towbar and a rack of Hella lights on the roof would not in fact "upspec" a Porsche 911.

I don't have an iPhone because it doesn't meet my needs, but I don't feel the need to be sarcastic about it.

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Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

Was your sense of humour surgically removed? or did you just stick your fingers down your throat till you sicked it up?

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JDX
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Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

If you think that stating something that is flat-out false counts as a joke, maybe you shouldn't be critiquing others' sense of humour.

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Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

BWHAHAHAHAAA - its a Porsche now?

Kind of pathetic the excuses and comparisons Apple users try to make to placate their egos... with their absence of utility. But lets take that analogy - lets pretend its a Porsche. But its one that you can drive anywhere and they promise in 1 or 2 years they'll build a track you can drive it on. But by that time, it will be a Porsche from the 1960s and outdated with technology that's newer, better, and usable. But hey, you can always claim it as a collectors item... ?!?

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Joke

Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

Now I understand the saying "A fat boy is a happy boy."

I certainly have not sicked mine up, in fact, here comes some more delicious cake.. nom nom nom.

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Trollface

Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

what's even more interesting, is the fact that if you replace the Porsche 911 frame with plastic, you get a Fiat Panda.

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Re: Shouldn't be hard for apple to break into the lower end of the market

the iphone 5S has one of the most benchmark optimised processors on the market, but it is still outperformed by a significant margin in some benchmarks that test the whole system by processors like the Snapdragon 800. 3D Mark in particular is a good example. Here the Snapdragon has about a 30-50% margin over the A7.

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See .....

Not even Apple fanpeople are stupid enough to be ripped off to that degree. The margin on those phones must be really stupidly high. ..... and they look like shite too!

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JDX
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Re: See .....

Why do you think it costs significantly less to make than the 5[S]?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: See .....

You all should tone it down a few notches. Until a few weeks ago, the 32GB iPhone 5 was $299, which I could not really afford. Now I can get a 32GB iPhone 5c for $199. Anodized brushed aluminum back or metal lined plastic back? Who cares! They are still better built than the all poly-carbonate (including the screen) phones that some favor. I don't need the fastest, most feature laden phone on the planet but I do need a bit more storage and I appreciate a well built device.

Bottom line is that $100 does make a difference to some of us.

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Re: See .....

if you are spending $199 on contract, why would you waste it on an outdated piece of tech like the 5c though? You would be much better off with the LG G2 or save yourself even more money and get a Lumia 925 for $0.99.

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Re: See .....

If the money mattered to you, you:

A) wouldn't be buying a brand new gadget

B) wouldn't be buying an new apple device, which are all high priced compared to functional equivalents

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No mention of increased production of the 5S then?

Nah, of course not.

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Re: No mention of increased production of the 5S then?

It is in the article

Foxconn said that as well as cutting orders for the 5C, Cupertino said it would need more of the 5S models for the fourth quarter.

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JDX
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Re: No mention of increased production of the 5S then?

Well obviously if more people are buying 5S rather than 5C, a reporter would simply say "5C selling below expectations". Facts just get in the way of the story.

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Re: No mention of increased production of the 5S then?

I'm wondering whether the actual communication went more like:

"We know all your factories are flat out coping with demand right now so in order to increase production of our flagship model would you please reduce production of our other models?"

Seems like good business sense to me?

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Anonymous Coward

explains why investors are dumping Apple shares

Apple have no answer for emerging markets, where equally capable but quarter of the price Android handsets are king.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android handsets are king...

...shit!

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Re: explains why investors are dumping Apple shares

You know who else doesn't have an answer for emerging markets? Pet food manufacturers. Just like having pets (not working animals) is a luxury, so is a smartphone.

The term 'emerging markets' is product specific, it does not mean that markets for everything are developing in that place or that a given market ever will develop there for that product.

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Re: explains why investors are dumping Apple shares

>Apple have no answer for emerging markets

Neither has Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes et al - hasn't stopped them selling lots to emerging markets and developing countries...

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Re: explains why investors are dumping Apple shares

If you're in an "emerging market" try buying kitty litter anywhere. You just can't get it.

Petfood is readily obtainable.

It may be that this is the true metric of a developed market.

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Either nobody wants a pikey iphone or it isn't pikey enough price-wise

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