Apple again reportedly cutting orders for iPhone 5c, wild speculation ensues

Another day, another report that production of the iPhone 5c is being cut. This time out it's the Wall Street Journal that suggests that Apple has cut orders for the iPhone 5c for the 4th quarter with Pegatron and Hon Hai, the two companies that assembles them:

Apple Inc. has notified its two assemblers for the low-cost iPhone 5C that it is reducing orders of the smartphone for the fourth quarter, people familiar with the situation said, raising concerns about weaker-than-expected demand and its pricing strategy for the device.

There's no doubt that at launch, all the buzz was around the iPhone 5s. The highest end offering, the one folks queued up overnight to get, and the one that ultimately sold out pretty rapidly. The iPhone 5c wasn't that phone, and it's never supposed to be that phone. The iPhone 5c is the long game for Apple, and first month sales were never going to match that of the iPhone 5s. It just wasn't going to happen.

Cutting orders doesn't necessarily mean it isn't selling. It could quite easily also mean that Apple just made far too many of them to begin with. After all, it's the first iPhone available in 6 different colors, so there's bound to be a healthy level of inventory around. As for the pricing strategy; Apple doesn't sell 'cheap' devices. It's been said before, and it'll be said again. The iPhone 5c is priced at around the same mark the iPhone 5 would have been had it not been retired, and plastic doesn't always mean cheap. Anyone who's held an iPhone 5c would say the same.

On the flip side, iPhone 5s orders are said to have been increased. That's a good thing, a very good thing. There were a lot of disappointed folks on launch day, especially folks who wanted a gold one, and there are still many, many people waiting on their iPhone 5s. We'd be more concerned at this point if Apple hadn't requested an increase.

So, what do you make of all this? Typical 'Apple is doomed' mentality kicking in, or do you think there might be something to it? Earnings call day isn't far out, and while Apple doesn't usually talk specific sales by model, maybe there'll be something to put all the skepticism to bed?

Source: Wall Street Journal

iPhone 5c

iPhone 5c
Apple's first popular iPhone with a 4-inch in-cell display, LTE 4G, and BT 4.0 LE. Fun features include:

Complete review >

Released
September, 2013

Alternatives
iPhone 5s, iPhone 4s

Replacements
iPhone 6 (rumored)
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

More Posts

 

4
loading...
0
loading...
43
loading...
0
loading...

← Previously

Cupertino City Council unanimously approves Apple's new Campus 2

Next up →

Apple updates Java, Canon and HP printer drivers for OS X

Reader comments

Apple again reportedly cutting orders for iPhone 5c, wild speculation ensues

32 Comments

Probably just me being in a small area, but I have yet to see any iPhone 5c out in public around me.

I saw one over the weekend. It was the first time I've seen one out in public. My wife has one and loves it. When I spotted the 5c this weekend, it really stands out nicely. It's an eye catcher, even at a distance. I much prefer the premium look of the 5s personally. If you're looking to save a few bucks and don't need the latest and greatest, the 5c is a great option.

I haven't seen any of the new models. Though that's probably because they're not sold here yet.. ;)

I upgraded to a 5C and I love it. It feels nice in the hand compared to the 5 and it looks great as well. I know this is a sentiment shared by many others.

Richard I think you're right. We are a month into release and I would imagine that there is a very healthily level of stock available. Especially with the options available.

Again, it seems to be people making 'Apple is doomed' reports. The 5S was targeted at those who stand in line and wait, 5C targeted as upgrades and new entries. Long term thinking the 5C will do well. This is Apple we're taking about here, they think ahead. Other companies do also, but Apple has proven they do it well.

Sent from the iMore App

did you upgraded from a 5? and if you did how come is an upgrade, because the 5c has the same specs and internal like the 5, I think you downgrade because the 5 is aluminum and the 5c is plastic

Whatever it takes to meet demand for the 5s! I was able to get 1 on launch day but had to order another for another family member and we're still waiting 3 weeks later.

Even though I opted for the 5S I think the C is a cool device.

I haven't seen any where I live but that doesn't mean much since I live in the boonies. Whether a success or failure, I believe that Apple produced the 5C under duress - from WS, not from consumers.

I'm sorry but Tim Cook is making a huge mistake. They could move a lot more units if they lowered the price 450$ and they would still make a big profit on those 2012 components. I'm tired of these "luxury" prices. We used to have a 999$ iMac and a 549$ regular unlocked iPhone. And sales are down, go figure.

Hiring all these luxury product garbage flingers is a bad bad sign. Burberry? So Apple is trying to go after newly rich trophy wives who pay 600$ for a purse?

"Cutting orders doesn't necessarily mean it isn't selling. It could quite easily also mean that Apple just made far too many of them to begin with. "

Sure it does. They made too many. They didn't sell as many as the planned. No need to write an apologist article. It happened. It's not a surprise to a lot of people that it was still too expensive to draw in new customers who couldn't afford iPhones. If you can you went for the 5s.

Just the feedback from my teenage kids and their friends was enough for me to realize the 5C wouldn't be selling gangbusters. They wanted no part of it, especially the boys. Also, like many above, I've seen none in the wild - and I live in the metro NYC area as well. (Though to be fair, can't say I've seen a lot of 5Ss either, but that's more difficult to distinguish from a regular 5.)

If the 5C had taken off and outsold the 5S, we'd have the doom talk. Oh no, it's cannibalizing the 5S and margins will be terrible. Sell! Dooooom.

But since it's the 5S actually outselling the 5C, by some sources 2-1, the doom talk focuses on lack of growth. The 5C isn't cheap enough. Future growth won't be what we thought. Sell! Dooooom.

People, back to basics. Apple is a premium brand company. They will never lead in overall marketshare. And if they do, it's only temporary or at launch of a new category product (like the ipad). What investors want to see is sufficient margin and gradual growth of sales. Apple is knocking it out of the park in this regard. If marketshare was their goal, of course we'd see rock bottom priced items but that's not what a premium brand company does.

This is all leading up to the iphone 6 next year when Apple is likely to knock down the biggest barrier to entry that goes against it. A big screen phone. Once Apple increases the resolution again (in a similar move to going retina), they can go any phone size.

I'm kind of confused as to why Apple fans (and I'm an Apple guy myself) continue to spout the argument that "Apple doesn't sell cheap devices" to justify an obviously overpriced device. It's an iPhone 5 with cheaper materials. Pricing it at a level that still makes it beyond the reach of many consumers who would love to buy an iPhone but can only afford mid-range Androids seems pretty stupid to me. What is the point of this device, if not to attract people away from competitors? It's price is high enough where it will still only sell to already-Apple fans. And most already-Apple fans would pay the extra to get the 5S.

I agree. I'm a recent "iPhone convert" who has had 1 Blackberry and 2 different Android devices in the last 6 years. While I typically get the "top of the line" device when I upgrade, the 5c wasn't really even considered because the difference between $100 and $200 wasn't that big of a deal when you consider that the life of the device is 2 years. If the 5c was $49, I may have thought differently because I didn't really "need" the enhancements that the 5s brought - but I could easily justify it given the 2 year lifespan.

I bought 2 iPhone 5c's (actually got them free cause AT&T gave me $300 for my 4 and 4s). I too love the way it feels in the hand. I'm a little disappointed as to all the negative reactions to the C. If you don't like the colors put it in a case, I think most people do anyway. As far as blaming Tim Cook, you have to remember that before Jobs died he had a hand in planing many devices for 2to 3 years out. So all you folk who think you have the ability to read the minds of the deceased need to give it a rest.

The 5C is actually nice. I like the feel of it. My Mom just got one, upgrading from an Iphone 4S. She got green with the black case, pretty spiffy combination. Best Buy gave her $165 on the trade in, so she actually made money. Not a bad deal and since the 5S cant be found it was a no brainer.

I would never buy one because its nothing but a 5 with a plastic case, but for the smartphone illiterate its a good choice.

Let's be realistic. I just proves that the majority of Apple customers are going to want the best version of the phone. The 5c is the version that parents will buy their kids. The 5c was a marketing gimmick. They took the 5 and put a colorful plastic back on it because the marketing people were listening to all the "Customers" complaining about having only 2 color choices. I guess that wasn't exactly the truth. People want the technology not the pretty colors.

There's still only two color choices. Black or white. I think what's more remarkable this year is Apple changing the mindset of consumers to refer to different colored phones based on the color of the back of the phone. The back of the phone is of course the most irrelevant part of the phone that the majority hide in a case anyways.

There are infinite colors for iPhones in the form of cases. In retrospect it feels like a bunch of olg guys trying to figure out what those youngsters want. They want pretty pop colors!

The price was just plain wrong and it was obvious to everybody but Tim Cook. Funny to see Apple apologists everywhere scrambling to try to make a positive read on this.

I had the blue 5c and traded it with a buddy for his white 5c, because the white one seems to go better with a lot more cases than the blue 5c. Nevertheless everyone that has seen my 5C, loves it..

Same here, everyone that sees my 5C likes it. The only negative comments I've heard about it are on tech sites like this one.

Sent from the iMore App

Please remember this fact… The 5c is just the older 5 with minor spec changes and added color choices. The 5s is the "latest and greatest" model, so of course that's the model that should be selling well.

What were the 4s sales like in comparison when the 5 came out?

What were the 4 sales like in comparison when the 4s came out?

That's how you can gauge whether or not the 5c is doing poorly in relation to the 5s. Then factor in the fact that the 5c costs less to make giving Apple a better profit margin.

Context, context, context.

Trubador you've got the perspective spot on.

I don't know why anyone would read into a reduction in orders for the 5C. Initially at launch if a product sells with multiple styles ie color variations etc they plan on each and every one of those variations being equally popular. As the smoke settles after launch they reduce the total order adjusting for the demand on lack of for particular variations in the model.

In real terms, the 5C is not meant to be a 'mammoth seller', it will always be last years model at reduced price for the budget conscious buyers. In fact if it does better for iPhone market share than the 4S did in the same position then it will be doing perfectly well.

In fact on another site the percentages showed that a 4% gain in the share of the iPhone marketplace for the iPhone 5C compared to the iPhone 4S while the 4S, in it's new 'free on contract' merely has the same share that the discontinued iPhone 4 had.

So in real terms if the other site's source of percentage share of the iPhone market place are correct then the 5C has actually stolen 4% of the marketplace from the latest and greatest model.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

When the 5 came out, there was virtually no marketing around the 4s. Same with the 4 when the 4s was launched. It is a completely different situation.

Apple is marketing the 5c as a brand new device, for a brand new audience. If you enter Apple's website, the 5c even has a stronger presence than the 5s. Its NOT a last year device, its a brand new one, which was expected, by EVERYBODY, to sell VERY well.

I wasn't interested in the 5S. I got the 5C, saved the $100 to spend on something else, and got a phone that does everything I need. To each his/her own. I'm happy with the green 5C that I got.

They are still pushing the commercials for the 5C. On the web site you get the 5C first before the 5S. I also have seen 5S in public, but not any 5C. I think people are holding back on money so close to another Apple event.

Honestly I believe that the 5C wasn't meant to compete "alongside" the 5S, not because it's cheaper but because it was supposed to be released by itself. Just my opinion.

But I think that the iPhone 5 and 5S were supposed to be combined as ONE iPhone but the death of the late Steve Jobs created unforeseen problems, etc. If you think about it, both phones were minimal upgrades compared to the 3G - 3GS and 4 - 4S. Not much change in design necessarily from the 4S to 5 except a minimal .5in upgrade unlike the 3GS going from a rounded back to a flat glass-on-glass 4.

I think the "original" iPhone 5 was meant to have both the bigger screen, the three color options (maybe the slate instead of the Space Gray though) and Touch ID. This would make sense regarding the upgrades from the 3GS to the 4 with Retina Display, a new design, finally white-on-white and better camera, etc.

Not claiming any fault on Apple's part, but that's my take on the situation: trying to regain footing within the company. Would explain the reasoning behind discontinuing the 5 only after nearly one year.

Sent from the iMore App