A lot of people were up in arms with the cost of the “cheaper” iPhone, dubbed the 5c. Many people expected a half price handset to meet the needs of the basic user, but were met with a phone that was costing not much less than the flagship phone, the iPhone 5s. At first glance, it would appear that Apple dropped the ball, made it overpriced, didn’t fill the gap of what was seen as the cheaper user, at least for purchase outright. It would appear that Apple ignored the consumer entirely.
But in fact, they did everything right, although it may not seem like it right now.
What Apple did was plan for the future. The 2013 run could be seen as somewhat of a ‘stopgap’ for putting in line products thinking forward. Lets put a few things out there right now.
Had Apple had introduced a “cheaper” iPhone (lets for arguments sake, call it the 5c), at a much cheaper price, new users would have been celebrating. But lets think of all those that bought the previous years iPhone 5. They would have been screaming with disgust as this new iPhone 5c would have devalued their iPhone 5 entirely. A cheaper iPhone 5c would have made the iPhone 5 become instantly worthless. Apple products tend to hold their value extremely well more so than most other consumer electronics, so this would have gone totally against the value of Apple.
So what they’ve done here is clever marketing. They’ve introduced an iPhone 5c as the “cheaper” iPhone…for the next year. That’s right, they are thinking of the pipeline, where in September of 2014, they will introduce the “iPhone 6” (whatever that may be), then keep the iPhone 5s (or have it replaced by some minor updates), and then have the iPhone 5c as the “cheaper” iPhone, thus finally eliminating the iPhone 4s, leaving the entire iPhone line up in a healthy space, all with lightning connections.
Now, this is all based on years of following rumours, reading blogs, doing research, etc, so it’s not based on anything factual. But knowing the Apple cycles and having been following it for years (and from working in a Marketing job for the past 8 years) this is a personal conclusion that I’ve come to…and it makes sense.
Similar to that, leaving TouchID off the Retina iPad mini was strategic. Don’t give away everything right away and leave it for the next update, because lets face it, there isn’t heaps you can improve on the iPad year after year other than speed bumps or perhaps a thinner design, and the competition is still trying to catch up so you have time.
This might suck for the consumer at the moment (at least for new buyers), but it makes sense in the bigger scheme of things.
So I’m expecting an iPhone 6, possibly with a bigger screen (although I hope not), and iPhone 5s, and then an iPhone 5c) as the lineup for 2014. And they may finally bump the specs up to 128, 64 and 32gb capacities. And also the A8 chip.