How is $550 for a 16GB Apple iPhone 5C an emerging market price?

How is $550 for a 16GB Apple iPhone 5C an emerging market price?

Summary: Apple revealed a couple of iPhones today with different design elements and very similar pricing. The plastic 5C is not anywhere close to the value many of us thought it was going to be.

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How is $550 for a 16GB Apple iPhone 5C an emerging market price?
(Image: Apple)

Before the Moto X was launched everyone was expecting it to launch with a low price similar to a Nexus device, but the 16GB sells for the traditional $199 two-year contract price. The new 32GB Apple iPhone 5C sells for $199 with two-year contract, which is the same as most high end Android smartphones and more than most Windows Phones.

ZDNet editor Larry Dignan wrote that the new iPhone 5C is launching with costs aimed at emerging markets. If we are talking about Apple's premium pricing emerging markets that makes sense, but I don't see how having a contract price the same as most all other Android and Windows Phone devices is any different.

If Apple wanted to shake thing up with the low cost market, then I was thinking they would come out with a model priced at $199 with no-contract or free on contract. According to All Things D, the full no-contract price will be $549 for the 16GB model and $649 for the 32GB model. Are you kidding me Apple?

The $99 iPhone 5C, with two-year contract, may appeal to many folks, but I recommend you spend the extra $100 up front to get the more capable new iPhone 5S. As I wrote before, the two-year contract price only addresses the immediate purchase decision while the full two year cost of the contract you are signing up for is what matters. For most people, it doesn't make much sense to save $100 up front and then wish you could have a faster phone a year from now.

You can buy something like a Samsung Galaxy S4 for that same $199 price or go with the Lumia 925 or HTC One for just $99.99. Don't get suckered into thinking that the 5C is a low-cost iPhone. If you like the features and design, then by all means go for it, but make sure you are not just looking at the price.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

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37 comments
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  • Incredible

    Apple just showed everyone that they have no idea what they're doing. In countries like South Africa where this phone is 'aimed' at phones like the Lumia 520 sells like hot cakes at R1899. Blackberry made the mistake of selling their Q5 (supposedly cheap) at R5499. Now Apple is going to come in with their 'Cheap' iPhone 5C at nothing less than R6999.

    Emerging markets will reject the iPhone 5C. Who's making these decisions at Apple because he should be unceremoniously fired.
    Dreyer Smit
    • I am very sure Apple know exactly what it is doing

      Who says that the 5C was aimed at emerging markets?

      Did Apple actually say this, or was that all speculation by analysts and bloggers?

      Does Nokia actually make money on Lumia 520 sales? Not a knock on the phone itself or the demand of emerging markets, but low cost low margin products are not what Apple is about.
      yoshipod
      • iPhone 5C

        Okay so where are they aiming this? At the people who want last years tech wrapped in a nice overpriced shell?

        Guess they don't really want to take the bread out of Google's mouth
        Dreyer Smit
        • Probably the same section of the market

          That was buying the 4S this past year?

          Selling lost cost, low profit, phones is not going to "take the bread out of the mouth" of any Android manufacturer or Google. All it will do is lower Apple's own earnings.
          yoshipod
          • if the cost was 200 or less it would ma a diff

            At 500 Apple is in for a huge market share loss
            Uralbas
        • Lots of people out there..

          Will allow the $100 price difference to make or break their cell phone purchase decisions, even though we all know the real costs of cell phone ownership is the monthly service fee.
          oncall
          • Service fees

            Subsidized prices are big in the US and few other countries. All over the world the iPhone 5C 32 GB is priced around 900$ (except US).

            That's a year old phone at 1.5-2 times what flagship phones that are better than the 5S cost. If this doesn't alienate customers nothing will.
            Sacr
      • Yes..

        ..it is what they said. Besides, why else would they do it? Come on, figure it out more on.
        ryork272
    • Just as incredible is Apple showed that for the 3rd year in a row they're

      content to spend another year with their latest offering already trailing the competitions existing products before it even comes out. They are definitely counting on the isheep to yet again perform another mindless upgrade.
      Johnny Vegas
      • apple is totally stagnating

        The iphone 4 was a good phone but nothing has changed since then. You can tell its gotten bad when the biggest selling feature is that they took the flat UI from a competitor and they now have a 64 bit chip.
        toddbottom3
        • Yes but....

          This is a much better phone than the 4 or 4s. It's a nice piece of hardware (the 5s) with an outdated OS (iOS7). The Galaxy line blows the new iPhones away.
          ryork272
  • It's baffling that it's $550 until you realized you get colored plastic

    with that. And not just any colored plastic, colored plastic with an apple logo on it in a cardboard box with an apple logo on it.
    Johnny Vegas
  • Too Little, Too Late

    Apple will have a hard time being seen as the cost-conscious option, and that kind of price definitely won't do it. They need a $125 phone like the Lumia 520 variants to have a chance in that market, if that's their goal.
    WebSiteManager
    • "Too Little, Too Late" For what?

      "They need a $125 phone like the Lumia 520 variants to have a chance in that market"

      Really? How's that working out for Nokia and Microsoft?

      Let's see what Tim and Peter say about Q4 FY2013 and Q1 2014 in late January. Something tells me that they don't need to take any tips from a WebSiteManager.
      matthew_maurice
      • Well... it is working well

        For android genius. Ask yourself why android has 70% market share? Think before babbling mindlessly.
        ryork272
  • Short Answer?

    Perfect fodder for a ZDNet headline on an otherwise slow news day. Next!
    Nemo Who
    • It seems a reasonable question to me.

      nt
      ye
    • Nemo No Clue

      If Apple releasing a new iPhone is a slow news day, what does it take for it not to be a slow news day? Come up with a better argument already! They should have a dumb filter around here.
      WebSiteManager
      • Here's something for you....

        This entire "big" announcement was leaked weeks ago. Literally the entire 2 whole product updates. No new iPad or Macs... no new anything. Just a regurgitation of what we all knew weeks ago. Whoopee!
        ryork272
  • "How is $550 for a 16GB Apple iPhone 5C an emerging market price?"

    Simple...the "emerging market" in is the Middle East...like Dubai, or the U.A.E.

    $550.00 is chump-change there.

    Simply more "Voo-Doo economics" Matthew.
    IT_Fella