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

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.

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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