Jack March on the iPhone 5C

Jack March, responding to a segment on this week’s The Talk Show in which MG Siegler and I talk about the purpose of the iPhone 5C:

I almost feel like the 5C was meant to fail, in fact, every time it was purchased was a failure for Apple. The phone was created to encourage people to buy the phone that gave Apple the bigger margins.

The biggest victory for Apple would’ve been to sell zero iPhone 5C’s, only made as a trap to get people to buy the more expensive model, and that’s a genius business strategy.

Selling zero of them being good for Apple is (vastly) overstating things, but I think it’s almost indisputable that one reason why the 5C debuted in 2013 was to differentiate the mid-tier model from the then-new high-end model. If Apple had followed their pattern from previous S-model years (3G to 3GS, 4 to 4S), they would have unveiled the iPhone 5S and simply moved the year-old iPhone 5, unchanged, $100 lower in price. That’s the same sort of strategy that led them to this year’s 16/64/128 storage tiering instead of 32/64/128.

But I still think this year, 2015, is the year the 5C was really made for. It gives Apple a lowest-tier (typically, free-with-contract) iPhone model that looks cool but still looks like it should be cheaper than the other phones in the lineup.

Thursday, 5 February 2015