I don't want to say "I told you so," but it might just be, as we wrote a few weeks ago, Chinese consumers may not bite iPhone 5c. I wonder what was Apple's original expectaion -- in terms of 5c vs. 5s demand in China.
China can not have a premium brand? Why? There is money being made in China, by Chinese. The people with money want to have the latest, greatest, fastest coolest stuff, just like... ummm ... everywhere.
I read there are about 200 Million high end celular customers in China. Will everyone in the country buy the 5s, NO. Even 100 Million new phone buyers is pretty good.
No, dougwithau. we never said that China cannot have a premium brand. They actually LOVE premium brands like Apple. The issue is that those China Mobile subscribers -- the largest subscriber base in China -- need to move onto LTE to truly appreciate the power of iPhone 5. Right now, their proprietary 3G (TD-SCDMA) is not doing its justice (compared to the standard 3G); so most iPhone users under China Mobile are using 2G!
Something needs to change here.
But at any rate, what I was amazed about is the irony that many industry observers including myself who thought cheaper iPhone 5c might be perfect for Chinese consumers might turn out to be false.
Originally, rumor said iPhone 5c is targetting the non-subsidsized market like Europe and most Asian countries. I thought there will be a bigger price difference, $150+, between iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. With $100 difference, iPhone 5c seems to be more attractive in subsidized market. A $99 iPhone for a year or 2 is no doubt a big attraction to a lot of parents who have their kids demanding an iPhone.
As of iPhone 5s goes, gold version will undoubtly be the most popular iPhone in the coming couple months simply because it is unique in iPhone 5s. In a long run, I can see the gold version will outsell any other color in China and Indian. High demand of "Gold". ;)
It is only the press that decided Apple was going to release a cheaper phone, and that it was targeted at China.
Looking at the lineup now, it seems reasonable that the 'C' didn't stand for "cheap" or "China", but perhaps for "colorful"...
This is no different than how they continued selling the 4S after the 5 came out, except they change the case. Perhaps product differentiation, so people getting last year's phone at a discount don't have something that looks exactly like the current top of the line. Maybe next year they come out with the 6, and keep the 5S as is and 5C as is, and if they do a 6S two years from now that looks too similar, they'll drop the 6 for a 6C or something?
It seems to me that in a market where the price of either iPhone is very, very high relative to what most people can afford, initially at least, the expensive one can outsell the cheaper one. Not because everyone in China is buying one, but rather the opposite. Very few people can afford any of them at all. Those few who can will want "the best."
In markets where most people can afford either one, the cheaper one wouldn't be perceived as "you haven't quite made it yet."
Seems to me that the c model isn't nearly cheap enough to make a big dent in the Chinese market, however. So the truth seems to be, in a market like the Chinese one, the tactic doesn't work at all. (I kind of like that gold color of the s too!)