Every Other Smartphone Maker Would Kill To Have A “Flop” Like The iPhone 5c

iPhone-5C-martin-hajek

We’ll admit we’ve called the iPhone 5c a flop more than a few times. But it’s important to remember that what is a flop for Apple would be a huge success by the standards of any other company, which is why the iPhone 5c outsold every Blackberry, Windows Phone and Android flagship in Q4.

That’s not to say that the iPhone 5c’s sales are what Apple wants it to be. In the most recent quarterly earnings conference call, Tim Cook himself admitted that iPhone 5c demand “turned out to be different than we thought.” Even though the iPhone 5c is selling well according to the standards of the rest of the smartphone industry, you have to wonder if even for $100 less, people would really prever a colorful plastic iPhone 5c than a premium-feeling iPhone 5. Even people opting for year old miles are buying an iPhone to get a high-end product, and the major failing of the iPhone 5c seems to be the plastic just doesn’t satisfy that requirement. What do you think?

  • D R

    Every other phone manufacturer, including Samsung, wishes they could make a flop like the 5C.

  • gmcd

    i feel exhausted after browsing the internet too long, but can’t imagine how tiring it is to complain (professionally) about something that works perfectly well… stop feeding the problem, please.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Might as well face it. People just love to trash Apple. It’s become a grand sport to trash the top consumer tech company on the planet. I don’t remember Microsoft’s earliest days when it became the top tech company. Did everyone feel a need to verbally bash them for putting all their rivals out of business? With the free internet and all the bloggers out there, every story gets rehashed and regurgitated over and over. One thing I’m sure of is that Apple won’t take a $900 million inventory charge for the iPhone 5c like Microsoft did for the Surface RT.

    I’m sure there are lots of companies with products that could be considered flops out there. I mean, exactly how is H-P doing with all of its products? Are they all selling well or not? Who knows because no one really talks much about them. They sell a lot of products but I’m sure some of them likely never reach their intended sales expectations or H-P wouldn’t be in the predicament it is in now. Is the whole iPod line-up now also considered a flop as sales dwindle down to almost nothing?

    • deasys

      “Almost nothing” being almost $1 billion dollars worth of iPod sales in the last quarter alone.

  • Dilbert Adams

    The main factor for me when it came time to choose between the 5C and the 5S, I thought getting the A7 64bit Chip would get a bit more longevity out of it.

  • aaloo

    I really don’t know what to tell you Mr. Brownlee. I’d give you credit for owning up and accepting you were wrong. However, as a journalist, you should really do your homework first and back up your statements with facts rather than pure conjecture and hearsay. It makes your previous stories look like click baits. You should have written that article yourself instead of appleinsider’s Mr. Dilger. At least you were brave enough to post this story here and admit you were wrong. Best of luck.

  • Andi Lindner

    I think the 5c is a great phone. And Apple can do one thing, almost no manufacturer can do with their products. They can do cheaper. Such a plastic phone could be sold for under 300$ within next two years or so and Apple will go mainstream with it. O.k. it´s really bold from Apple to give us a 5 in plastic for the same price slump they did every year and say it´s new. But hey it´s brilliant marketing. I like the video scene where the 5c´s are dancing through the production line in harmony. In fact injection molded plastic is far more cheap to make than a milled aluminum framed 5 (about 20 times at the moment, r&d is paid off). Time will tell if and when the 5c goes mainstream or cult like a pair of chucks. Perhaps with the absent but most important colors, the black and (product) red phones for under 400 bucks in September. It seems Apple takes something, nobody from us have. Enough time. It´s easy for this company, they have the money.

    • moofer

      I wish people would stop using the word “cheaper”. It is “less expensive.” Apple doesn’t do cheap. The word has implications on product’s quality, and that simply isn’t the case. The 5C is brilliant.

      • Andi Lindner

        You´re right, moofer. I does´t mean Apple ever will make low quality things. They can lower the prices if they want to.

  • http://www.gofuckyourself.org/ Glockenspiel McRibbontropp

    I don’t mind the plastic at all. It feels very durable and I prefer it to the aluminum. The problem I have with the 5C are the PASTEL colors. If apple were to introduce a 5C in black or graphite grey, i’d buy one tomorrow.

    • josephsinger

      In re colors: The truth is that I would guess that a majority put a case on their phone anyway so it’s not that important. You can basically make your phone the color or look you are looking for just by doing a different case.

  • Quentin Jersey

    People OUTSIDE the company state their sales expectations and if those “goals” aren’t met = flop. Just the crassness of our “culture” these days. Everything is a damn meme not backed up by facts or evidence. Apple sucks! Why? Because somebody on the internet said so.

  • moofer

    The iPhone 5C feels absolutely amazing in your hand. It doesn’t feel like plastic; it feels ceramic. Anyone who complains about the phone being made of plastic, hasn’t held one. If I could get the 5S guts in the 5C shell, I’d buy one.

  • moofer

    Oh, and thanks for the re-hashed AppleInsider article.

  • Robbie

    I love the iPhone 5C. I don’t have one, but if they make a 6C in multiple colours, I’m grabbing one for my next upgrade. It’s a solid phone inside a snazzy body and I’m in love. Problem? We all jumped to the conclusion that this would be cheaper, right outta the box. On launch day – nope. Six hundred bucks for the cheapest model (in Canada). What consumers thought they were gonna get – a phone they could buy OUTRIGHT and thumb their noses at their carriers who are beginning to charge close to $100 a month for half-decent data plans – and what we actually got were so far apart that it felt like a slap in the face. Obviously that was never what Apple intended, and it was our fault for jumping to conclusions too quickly, but it really left a sore spot. It’s still a good device, though, I’m not knocking it – just the hype that was built up was so powerful that it changed the way we thought about it.

    • Andi Lindner

      totally agree. I´m curious about the future of the product!

  • Andi Lindner

    Did you realize Apples marketing strategy in Germany? In Munich for example you can´t go 100 meters without seeing a big poster of a 5c. Another noteworthy fact is that you can buy a brand new 16gb 5c for 420€ on Ebay and Amazon instead of 599€ at the Apple Stores. Is that a brilliant “hey, you know what? I saved 180 bucks on a new iPhone, isn´t that great???” marketing trick from Cupertino? What do you think about that?

  • Andi Lindner

    Did a short research about what Cook said about a failure of 5c demand: “It was the first time we’d ever run that particular play before, and demand percentage turned out to be different than we thought. We sold more 5S than we expected,” Cook said. Here was no word about the 5c. Only the question was about a 5c demand. Everything else came from our fantasies.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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