The iPhone 5C specs and features are out with the rumoured name for the supposed budget iOS 7 smartphone sticking. But is the 5C really geared for the price-sensitive market?
According to Apple, the 16GB 5C will be available on Sept 20 at $100 while the 32GB build is priced at $200. The models will be offered with contracts lasting up to two years but no specific pricing for the unlocked versions were provided for U.S. consumers.
But by estimates coming from Engadget, the 5C minus telco subsidies is not exactly the affordable gadget that analysts have envisioned it to be. It will start at around $550 or twice the price of same-class Android rivals, the Nexus 4 and the upcoming Nexus 5 particularly.
Android watchers are convinced that Google Play will sell the Nexus 5 at $300.
So how exactly will the iPhone 5C beat out its rivals when its asking price is either higher or equal with Android-powered handsets?
To lure global buyers, Apple needs to push down the 5C price point, according to Wedge Partners analyst Jun Zhang. The sweet spot is between $300 and $400, Mr Zhang told BGR, adding that "in China, the price range is considered as the middle-range smartphone market, compared with the high-end market segment."
In short, the key for the 5C to really explode is for Apple is to engage in a pricing war that it can actually win.
And the tech giant is more than able to compress the iPhone 5C pricing a bit since the handset is seen to yield better margin profits compared to the iPhone 5. The former is manufactured at lower costs, Engadget said.
It could be that Apple earnings will shrink a little at the onset but by slowly establishing better presence in emerging markets like China and India, the iPhone maker should reap gains that will redound to long-term benefits, Reuters' Poornima Gupta said in a report published by The Huffington Post.
The best prospect for Apple is the halting of its skidding market shares value, which has been the trend in the past few quarters, the same report said.
While the 5C is not exactly the game-changer device that previous iPhone models have been, it can potentially deliver some $30 billion in annual revenues, the Reuters report said.
But Apple must prove that it still has the chops to innovate, which is wholly doable by bringing its unique device and services environment to a greater number of people around the world - focusing on China and Japan.
To do that, Apple needs to make the 5C more accessible and giving the gadget a $300 price tag should be a good start.
That way, global buyers will rush to get the iPhone 5C on its Sept 20 release date and soak on its exciting specs and killer features, the latter courtesy of the soon-to-come-out iOS 7.
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