Opinion: Will Apple abandon the ‘low-cost’ iPhone concept after apparent failure of 5c?

5c

Apple doesn’t break down its iPhone sales figures, so we don’t know for sure that the iPhone 5c sold poorly, but certainly everything we do know seems to point in that direction – from early sales estimates through analytics and consumer surveys to Apple switching production from the 5c to the 5s.

Tim Cook said in an earnings call that “the mix was something very different than we thought,” and intimated that the model might be dropped: “If we decide it’s in our best interest to make a change, then we’ll make one.”

None of this necessarily means that the 5c was a complete failure, of course: record-breaking iPhone sales right from the outset could mean that the plastic phone did ok, it’s simply that the 5s sold far better than expected. It could also be that it was the extra sales gained from the 5c that helped break those records.

But I suspect not. While the brightly-colored 5c was not without its fans, it was the iPhone 5s with its Touch ID sensor and gold colored model that got all the attention, and I don’t think Tumblr advertising is going to change that. So my bet is we will again see a trend away from  colorful plastic iPhones …  Read more

Next iPhone reportedly sports a larger screen and sapphire crystal display

Apple-iPhone-6-concept

Apple is preparing to release not one, but two new versions of the iPhone in September, according to the South China Morning Post. Each version will ship with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, coming in at a whopping 4.7″ and 5.5″, respectively. The displays are said to have a pixel density of 441ppi, much higher than the current 326ppi found in the iPhone 5 and later.

The report also states that both displays will be made from sapphire crystal, which fits with recent reports that Apple is planning to have its latest sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ operational in February for a “critical” product component. The displays will also be flat, not curved, the Post says.

Read more

WSJ says two larger screened iPhone models due this year, plastic 5c to be scrapped

8370634900_0e749e110e_h

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is planning to release two distinct iPhone models with larger displays later this year. This corroborates a report from Bloomberg News published late last year, so this is not entirely new information. The first new iPhone is claimed to have a screen between 4.5 and 5-inches while the second model will go beyond 5-inches in size:

Read more

Foxconn execs charged with taking bribes to award iPhone supply contracts

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Several former execs at Foxconn have been charged with taking bribes from companies supplying the company with iPhone components, reports the WSJ.

Following a year of investigation, prosecutors said Thursday they have detained a former Foxconn general manager for allegedly taking kickbacks from supply chain partners. Prosecutors said three other former Foxconn employees were released on bail [after being charged] …  Read more

China Mobile iPhone launch could lead to subsidy wars, say analysts

Image: thenextweb.com

Image: thenextweb.com

Analysts say that the official launch of the iPhone on China Mobile could lead to subsidy wars as Chinese carriers compete to attract buyers. The predictions, quoted by Business Insider, follow price cuts by rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom as China Mobile reports 1.2 million pre-orders.

China Mobile is currently offering the iPhone 5s free with a 24-month contract costing the equivalent of $98 a month. A 30-month contract on China Unicom costs $63 a month.

I do think you’re going to see a subsidy war coming,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of Shanghai-based RedTech Advisors. “China Mobile, if they’re not making their targets on sales for these phones, they’re going to increase the subsidies [...] It’s like airlines: the other guys will fall like dominoes, so China Unicom will do it and China Telecom will do it” …  Read more

AAPL stock more than 3 percent up on China Mobile news

aapl

After the fall in Apple’s stock value when the China Mobile failed to materialise as expected on 18th December, yesterday’s news that the deal had finally been concluded sent the stock shooting back up again, having climbed more than 3 percent at the time of writing (it was up 4% in pre-market trading but has settled).

With the WSJ having reported that 18th December was the day, the market was clearly jittery when nothing materialized. Everything had appeared to be in place: regulatory approval, Apple putting the handsets on sale in China on the opening weekend, China Mobile posters, a pre-order website, in-store displays – and 4G service up-and-running on schedule …  Read more

Delayed China Mobile iPhone launch may be due to renegotiations based on 5c vs 5s sales

Photo: arstechnica.net

Photo: arstechnica.net

KGI’s Mingchi Kuo has suggested in a note to investors that the mystery of the apparent delay in the iPhone launching on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile, may be due to last-minute renegotiations with Apple on volume discounts across the two new models.

We believe weak sales of iPhone 5C may trigger a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile partnership. While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers [...]

We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization …

Read more

iPhone 5s undisputed king at all four major U.S. carriers ever since launch

Canaccord_iPhone_survey

The iPhone 5s has retained its status as the best-selling smartphone at the four tier-1 U.S. carriers for the third month running, with the iPhone 5c taking third place after the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Data from Canaccord Genuity showed that the iPhone 5s has topped the sales charts at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile every month since launch, reports AllThingsD.

“Our surveys indicated continued strong sales of the iPhone 5s, as it was by far the top selling smartphone at all four tier-1 U.S. carriers and at most channels where the smartphone launched globally,” analyst T. Michael Walkley explained in a note to clients. “Our surveys also indicated steady iPhone 5c sales with the smartphone’s color options and more affordable price point proving popular with its intended audience” …  Read more

iPhone market share in China more than doubled following 5s and 5c launch

counterpoint-china-iphone

Data from smartphone market intelligence specialist Counterpoint shows that iPhone market share in China more than doubled between September and October even before launching on the country’s biggest carrier, China Mobile.

Apple’s market share rose from just under 5 percent to 12 percent, taking it from 6th place to 3rd place, behind Samsung and Lenovo …  Read more

T-Mobile, regional carriers offering iPhone 5s and 5c for $0 down on Black Friday

iPhone-5s5c-deals

Update: It turns out this deal doesn’t provide much of a savings in the long run. T-Mobile is raising the monthly installment from $20 to around $27, so while you won’t have to put any money down up front, you’ll still be paying off the full cost of the device over the 24 month installment plan period.

According to a leaked internal memo posted by TmoNews, T-Mobile is going to be dropping the upfront price of both the iPhone 5s and 5c to $0 down on its usual instalment plans for Black Friday. That cuts the usual down payment for the iPhone 5s down from $149 and the iPhone 5c from $49. The deal will officially kick off on Friday and last through Sunday, but the report notes that “a select number of stores will be accepting orders from Thursday evening.” After getting your iPhone for $0 down, you’ll pay around $20 a month for 24 months on T-Mobile instalment plans.

Some regionals carriers are also gearing up for big discounts this Friday. Appalachian Wireless announced it will offer the 16GB iPhone 5, 5C or 5S for a penny on contract today only and nTelos will also have the iPhone 5c for $0 on Friday. Appalachian is also advertising the penny deal for Black Friday on its site, but no word if iPhones will be included after today. T-Mobile definitely beats Walmart’s best deal with the iPhone 5c for around $45 on contract, but we’re thinking other retailers and carriers might announce iPhone discounts for Black Friday too.

Read more

Best Buy & Walmart Black Friday ads bring the year’s best Apple deals

From 9to5Toys.com:

Yesterday it was Target. Today the Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday / Thanksgiving deal advertisements are now official. Both ads feature heavy discounting on iPads, iTunes cards, iPods, Macs, and more. The most impressive deals at Walmart include an iPad mini for $299 with a free $100 gift card, and free gift card offers with the purchase of an iPhone 5c/5c. Best Buy offers up to $200 off a new Mac laptop, 15% off iTunes cards, and an Apple TV for $85.

While we haven’t seen Apple’s Black Friday deals for this year, it’s pretty safe to assume they won’t stray too far from the ‘education pricing for all’ strategy implemented at preceding Black Friday promotions.

Head over to 9to5toys for complete coverage of these ads and all others that have leaked thus far as well as best deals as they happen. Read more