Wednesday, September 11, 2013

iPhone 5c price disappointment: 'Cheaper iPhone' fails to check-in


Apple unveiled two new iPhones at a special event held at its Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday. It announced iPhone 5s, successor to the iPhone 5, which comes with a lot of new features like a brand new A7 processor, the first 64-bit chip inside a smartphone, improved camera, and, the highlight of the device, a fingerprint-scanner called Touch ID.

Apple also unveiled iPhone 5c, which was widely anticipated to be the low-cost iPhone, but it turned out to be a big disappointment on that aspect. While the iPhone 5c boasts impressive hardware specifications and comes in a wide variety of colours, the key criteria for this iPhone was always going to be the price, and this is where it disappoints.

The iPhone 5c was supposed to be Apple's weapon to take on Android in at least the mid-level smartphone segment, if an entry-level pricing was never going to come to fruition. However, one look at the off-contract pricing for the iPhone 5s in various regions, and all those hopes can be put to rest.

The entry-level 16GB iPhone 5c without a contract has been priced at $549 in the US. That comes out to a whopping Rs. 35,000 at current exchange rates (1 USD = 63.65 INR) and does not include the duties and other charges that come in while pricing a product in India. If you were hoping for a sub-Rs. 25,000 pricing for the iPhone 5c in India, it's safe to say we won't see anything like that.

The pricing in other regions is even worse, with the iPhone 5c priced at 599 euros (approximately Rs. 50,500) in Germany and 469 pounds in the UK (approximately Rs. 47,000). Of course both those prices include VAT, which can be sizeable. Pricing in Hong Kong is HKD 4,688 (approximately Rs. 38,500). 

However, it's the pricing in China, one of two "emerging markets" - the other being India - that the iPhone 5c was said to be targeting that is really surprising. The iPhone 5c price in China is 4488 Chinese Yuan Renminbi, which works out to over Rs. 46,500, without duties or any other charges.

With just a $100 price difference between the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s, it's a little difficult to fathom why the iPhone 5c even exists. The iPhone 5c surely won't help Apple penetrate into any newer markets, and its only selling point seems to the number of colours it's available in.

It seems Apple is not willing to shed its 'premium' tag just yet, and that, more than anything else from Tuesday's event. will surely disappoint millions who were hoping to see Apple in a more 'affordable' avatar.

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