Following a slew of leaks and rumours Apple has finally announced the launch of its eagerly-awaited iPhone 5S and the lower-priced iPhone 5C smartphones at a special event held at its Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday 10th September, 2013.
This particular launch was a trending topic on social media for weeks preceding the launch as the rumours had predicted a ‘cheaper’ Apple iPhone. With the smartphone industry poised to grow greater than ever, the gizmo pundits had predicted that Apple would come out with a cheaper iPhone, to counter competition from Samsung, HTC and other Android based phone manufacturers.
Here in India, the expectation was that Apple would finally launch a phone that’s priced below 25K and steal precious market share from the ever popular Samsung and emerging Micromax, Nokia etc.
Well Apple chose not to do that.
Sticking true to its premium positioning, the new phones were priced as lavishly as the previous iPhones. The entry-level 16GB iPhone 5C without a contract has been priced at $549 in the US. That comes out to a bulky INR 35,000 at current exchange rates. Adding to this the iPhone 5C is only $100 lesser than the iPhone 5S, making us question the need for this cheaper Apple, which isn’t cheap at all!
The only selling point for the iPhone 5C seems to be the various colours it is available in. However, Nokia and HTC were quick to jump on the twitter bandwagon and make few interesting claims.
While Nokia is clearly mocking Apple for introducing various colours for the iPhone 5C, as Nokia was a pioneer with the Lumia series of its smartphones having many attractive colours, much like the latest Apple iPhone.
HTC is taking on the design fundamentals of Apple, claiming that only the iPhone components have been upgraded whereas serious innovation is lacking. HTC went on to run a campaign where users can exchange their iPhone devices for minimum $150 rebate on a new HTC One. In a cut-throat environment like the present smartphone industry, these types of rants and ridicules are becoming more and more commonplace.
Coming back to Apple, the iPhone 5C however does seem to be a masterstroke. With everyone expecting a cheap phone from Apple, traditional Apple lovers were very skeptic about how the brand perception might change. Switch from a Premium segment player to a mid-level player would’ve impacted Apple in a significant way! But with Samsung ruling the Smartphone market, Apple had to try and create a new market opportunity. It has done so, with the iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5C gives the option of opting for a slightly cheaper Apple iPhone to the consumer. The loyalist will go for the 5S and the new finger print recognition that it offers, but a major group of consumers who would’ve gone for a cheaper HTC/Nokia/Samsung will now consider the colorful Apple iPhone 5C.
So will the move work? Will iPhone 5C offer a realistic substitute to some price-conscious consumers? With Nokia having been acquired recently by Microsoft, can we expect some radical twists and turns in the smartphone industry?
How these phones actually perform in the market, we will know, only in due time.
Meanwhile what do you think about the Apple 5C?