I think there is definitely a truth in there. And if Apple can continue to go down the path and remains profitable, more power to them. The question always comes down to: Do you want a market share, or are you happy being a supplier of coolest phones an average consumer in a specific region can't afford?
The problem I have with iPhone 5c is that it's not even the coolest phone. By offering it in five different colors, Apple clearly wants more market share appealing to the masses, but they are not willing to come down with prices that agree with the mass market.
Apple, has it all. An awesome set of product portfolio, great OS and a great consumer base. Apple has always (and it will always be) focussed on niche products. iPhone 5C is no exception. As everyone else has pointed out, it is not a cheap product. I think we should not think of this product as India or China specific. And rightly said, contractual selling in India (and maybe China) does not make sense financially because of various issues. Anything Cheap, is not Apple. For example, they will never sell a Chromebook like product for the price of an iPod. So why this phone? People get bored of the color of phone, thats evident with the number of iPhone cases that sell. I think C stands for Color. They look cool. Remember the number of color iPods sold? The colored phones are a teaser for existing iPhone users to buy them. They already have iPhones, so they are financially sound. And they will think, hey this is cheap, let me buy. That is playing with mentality.
They have more or less just changed the packaging of iPhone 5, so they can reuse the iPhone 5 stuff like the PCBs and maybe all the chassis. Cheaper and more profitable for them
Most of the emerging market works on the model of prepaid phone model. There is never a discount from the model players. I do not see how this phone could be cheap in Africa and some emerging market where telcos do not subsidize. For Apple to stay on the growth path, it needs all these markets.
Not sure where Apple is going now. It is interesting to see them look up and down, left and right looking for growth with incremental innovations and products. Sure the Chinese market is a huge one but that is not a given. There are real competitors in that market and Apple will have to compete hard
As per the news in the local newspaper in India the 5C version Iphone will not be cheap in India as the price of $99 is with service provider contract . Without the contract ( which is normally the case with Indian users) the price comes to around same as the earlier iPhone version.
Even in China the price of 5C without contract is actually more than the price of iPhone 5S as per the news.
So why a "cheap" tag is being attached to this product?