Sorry iPhone 5c: You’re A Flop In China, Too


The iPhone 5c flopped in the U.S. — and now figures released by Umeng, China’s largest app analytics platform, suggest that things aren’t much different in China.

In the fourth month since its launch in China, the colorful iPhone 5c accounted for slightly less than 2% of all active iOS devices on Umeng’s app analytics network.

By comparison, the iPhone 5s represented 12% of the market — while the iPhone 5 remains a consistent seller.

The figures are interesting, since the original concept behind the 5c was that it represented a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 5s, and would find it easier to penetrate a market used to not paying large amounts of money for smartphones.

Instead the iPhone 5s has gone on to dominate the high-end smartphone market in China, while the 5c attracted criticism for lacking features and retailing at a high price point that budget consumers did not find appealing.

While Apple has not confirmed one way or other, some rumors suggest that Apple might discontinue its lower cost “c” iPhone line following the launch of the iPhone 6 later this year.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Sorry iPhone 5c: You’re A Flop In China, Too”

    I don’t understand. Are you directly addressing the iPhone 5c? Do you expect it to respond? Or are you speaking indirectly to Tim Cook, reminding him that he’s only human and created a product with less success than you hoped for?

    Either way, why not give this subject a rest? I doubt if you’d like to continually be reminded of your failures, real or perceived.

  • jpswain

    So Apple is distressed that the 5″c”olor isn’t selling, so to bolster sales they decided to release a 8 gb version and invariably call it 5″c”heap.
    Apple doesn’t have the OEM pipeline to manufacturer phones if it flops, so they
    yank out mediocre parts and replace it with cheaper parts.
    Apple is downgrading the 5c from 16 gb to 8 gb and marketing it 10% less to entice sales.
    Samsung is opening champagne.

    • digitaldumdum

      Samsung may be opening champagne, but not because its phones outsell or are preferred by users. They are not. Samsung only *wishes* it had the credibility of Apple… and alcohol won’t help.

  • Jurassic

    We don’t know exactly how many iPhone 5c have been sold, but we do know that Apple has sold about 200 Million iPhones all together in the past year.

    It is estimated that “only” 20% of iPhones being sold are the iPhone 5c model. Doing the math, and extending to a full year of sales, that equals approximately 40 Million iPhone 5c sold!

    It turns out that other than Samsung’s top selling Galaxy S4 phone model, no other iPhone competitor has a top-selling smartphone model that sells as many as the iPhone 5c.

    So… if the iPhone 5c is a “failure” (as some irrational bloggers have been calling it) then companies like HTC, Motorola, etc. should close-down shop and give the proceeding to their investors, because none of them can make or sell a smartphone even as successful as the iPhone 5c “failure”. ;-))

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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