Perhaps it is safe to say Apple's iPhone 5c is a flop. The company reportedly cut production of the colorful plastic, reduced price phone by 35% and may soon cut production all together. On the flip side, however, iPhone 5s orders are proving strong. Retailers are confirming the shiny gold model is backordered for up to 40 days. That being said, according to this NPD blog post yesterday, Apple has boosted iPhone 5s production by a massive 75%. Part of the reason the iPhone 5c is not going over as well as Cook and company had hoped may be because of consumers' preconceptions that the "C" in the name stands for "cheap," a belief reinforced by the phone's "unapologetically" plastic shell. On the other hand, the base price may have not been cheap enough, failing to meet these anticipations and therefore turning away those who were hoping for a low-cost iPhone option. Some iPhone owners even view the 5c as being a step backwards for Apple, as the curved edges are reminiscent of the original iPhone that debuted in 2007.
If anything, the 5c is a failed experiment in trying to please the masses.
It is difficult to understand why Apple decided to replace the popular iPhone 5 with a plastic iteration and expect it to sell just as well. The late Steve Jobs shrugged off low-to-mid-priced technology throughout his impressive career and lifetime. Analyst at Oracle Investment Research Laurence Balter claims, "Apple customers are still interested in premium products from a premium brand. If anything, the 5c is a failed experiment in trying to please the masses. Apple should stay focused on the premium and let Samsung take the lower end of the market."
According to Kantar Media, Apple has spent an estimated $333 million on advertising for the new iPhone–from colorful billboards and posters, to TV ads showing a diverse target demographic and the slogan "For The Colorful." Another analyst, Gene Munster, for Piper Jaffray Cos. explains it simply. According to him, the iPhone 5c is a new phone because of its release date alone. The hardware and specs are all old; they are the same as the already well-received iPhone 5. The 5s offers something new with improved performance, an improved camera, and some added features. It is a new phone by design, not by appearance.