Apple is reportedly cutting iPhone 5c production output in half after weak sales

Apple’s iPhone 5c was introduced to hopefully bolster the low-end market for the company and give them a bigger piece of the ‘cheap’ smartphone retail sales. But, with a price starting at $99 (on contract), the price was higher than many were expecting.

With a price difference between the 5c and 5s of only $100, the bargain value of the 5c is diminished. More so, if you look at the feature differences between the two, the 5s becomes a better value for the long term as it has a faster processor and should be able to run Apple’s next generation operating systems better than the 5c.

It seems a bit obvious to make those statements but with only a $100 separating the 5s and the 5c on retail shelves in the US, the 5c does become a bit of a lame duck unless you are attracted to the color options.

But, it’s hard to ignore that the 5c was likely targeted to regions outside the US where consumers are traditionally more price sensitive. Apple was expected to produce a low-cost iPhone to help boost sales in China and other emerging regions but according to new information, the 5c may not be doing so well.

According to a post on Ctechcn, they are starting that the 5c is facing poor sales, and that Apple is cutting daily production capacity in half from 300,000 units down to 150,000 units.

iPhone 5c at Verizon has no shipping delays unlike the 5s

Now, it is hard to ignore the fact that Apple sold a record 9 million phones in the opening weekend of sales for the new iPhone, but Apple did not break down the sales makeup of the units that were sold.  Additionally, if you go to Verizon’s website, it shows that the iPhone 5s is still backordered while the iPhone 5c is ready to ship. On AT&T, the iPhone 5s will ship in 7-14 days while the 5c is ready to ship now as well.

Seeing that both AT&T are ready to ship the 5c but not the 5s, could lend some truth to this report. Apple will be releasing its earnings in a few weeks where the company may detail out the shipments of 5s vs 5c, but they could also simply give raw iPhone figures too.

Source: Ctechcn

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

HP CEO: Microsoft is becoming our 'outright competitor'

Next Story

Valve: Some Steam Machines will also have AMD and Intel graphics chips

59 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Anyone have a reputable source for "poor sales"? Or are they just cutting production, as they usually do, after the product has gone through its launch?

Over the years, the "Millennials" complain, b*tch & moan about big oil, big walmart, CEO's making a killing, something needs to be done, but, will stand in line to fork over 800 bucks for a phone, that costs less than 300 bucks, who's former CEO was so "rich" (but...but...but...he only took one dollar salary), that he would buy a new car every 90 days, put a temp tag on it, park in the handicap spot.

That's because next to the 5s, why would you want the 5c? The 5s looks amazing, something that many people are agreeing on, regardless of their Android preferences.

The iPhone 5 looks as cheap as a Lumia 520, if not cheaper. It's overpriced for a device that doesn't have a high quality feel and look to it. People willing to pay that much for a phone are expecting a phone that looks the part.

Sorry apple, but having your cheap model £100 less than your premium model is a big fail. How do you compare with the Lumias at £120 when the 5c costs £469?

The article starts off with a false premise, then continues to argue against it: "Apple's iPhone 5c was introduced to hopefully bolster the low-end market for the company and give them a bigger piece of the ‘cheap' smartphone retail sales."

That simple isn't true.

Exactly, it was never positioned as a low-end phone or as a 'cheap' smartphone. I don't understand why people assume this! Surely the price tells people that it is very much priced in the premium end of the market.

It's not uncommon to cut down shipments if there's plenty of inventory, just as it's not uncommon to ramp up production when inventory is slow. It's just basic supply chain logistics.

Apple have sold millions of them in a matter of weeks. There's nothing poor about that number.

Well if it priced in the premium end of the market why use cheap plastic shells to put on it, its absurd they just think everything that comes out of them is pure gold... obviously the consumer doesnt agree. The rediculous thing is you can get a brand new lumia 925 for about £300 factory unlocked and its 10x the phone the 5c is. but ya know whatever

Yeah, is not true but a lot of people assume this because a lot of analyst were mentioning it before the announcement, but once officially revealed, the design decisions taken for the phone, and particularly the price point, are not in line to address the low end market. This it's a phone aimed to the middle tier market that doesn't necessarily want the best phone specs wise, but still want quality, in other words this it's the iPod Mini of the iPhones. Also it's way to win more money from past products. If the phone was marketed as low end it should be free with a contract at the very least.

Now, is it failing? well maybe, it depends on the perspective we want to see it because there's not enough data to say so. There's a ton of factors to consider. For example, how many previous model iPhones are sold once the the new one it's out? If they are selling more than that, taking into account possible market growth, then it was a good decision, even if they are readjusting production. Of course, production readjustment to 50% less is no good ever, but I won't qualify it as a failure, but more as a miss-estimation that will hamper the profits but not necessarily eliminate them or create real looses, we need more data to judge it properly.

Yes, you're correct. The iPhone 5c was preceded with worsened profit margins, and that's what this phone is supposed to solve for Apple, not being a budget phone. The budget phone thing is purely a rumor and old speculation that has since long been shown wrong.

The iPhone 5c is simply an iPhone 5 with better profit margins for Apple. That's all. Yes, it's still expensive, but that's because the iPhone 5 is a premium product. Sure, it won't sell as well as the iPhone 5s, but did the iPhone 4s sell like the iPhone 5 when that one was released? That's a more valid comparison here, and where Apple is going with this.

my prediction couldn't be more any accurate. This is a mistake and it's no brainer that the iPhone 5c doesn't receive a positive reaction from the consumer. Not only the device is terribly expensive but lack of compelling reason to get the 5c over 5s. However,if the 5c include a touch ID then it might actually give a reason for many to people consider it. The 5s is A+ and 5c is A!

I think Apple was aiming this as a "cheap" premium device, and were hoping that people would be willing to spend more on it over the common free to $50 devices that cellphone carriers sell, or devices like the lumia 521. Unfortunately its unsubsidize cost is just way to high to compete in areas like India where the $100ish 521 has quickly gobled up marketshare, or even china where Xiaomi phones come with quad core processors and 1080p screens and more value (for chinese consumers) for less the cost of the unsubsidized 5c

Given that it is just a plastic shell and none of the build-quality goodness of the 5 or 5s, the fact they're almost the same price makes it not worth it. In the UK its £460odd where as it should be around £300 to be attractive.

Not to mention the 5S will keep its value more than the C, so when you come to resell it you'll lose even more.

I spoke to my business account manager at my local Apple store when I went to pick up my S, and he called the sales of the C 'embarassing' a week after launch.

I can definitely see why there is little demand for this device, they've simply got the price very very wrong.

I originally thought it was a low end market phone and expected it to sell by the bucket load, but it's just an iPhone 5, just like other releases they continue to sell the older device but repackaging the 5 has allowed them to sell 3 completely separate devices that can hit slightly different markets, but it's not really going to sell any more than the 3GS/4 did after the 4S hit the shelves.. yet people will still think it's the end of apple.

You must be joking if you think that they're satisfied with getting the same sales as an older previous-gen got with all the advertising they have put into it. The problem with the 5C is that it's a cheap device that they're just trying to market as being more expensive. For $100 people would just rather go with the 5S.

contriver87 said,
You must be joking if you think that they're satisfied with getting the same sales as an older previous-gen got with all the advertising they have put into it. The problem with the 5C is that it's a cheap device that they're just trying to market as being more expensive. For $100 people would just rather go with the 5S.

I still stand by what i said but you are right, they cant be happy if they r cutting orders it's not meeting expectations. they should definitely just lower the price, but they never will.

Astra.Xtreme said,
They should have made one in black. It probably wouldn't have helped the matter, but at least the plastic wouldn't look so cheap.

I don't actually mind plastic, glass is so slippery and i don't use cases so all the glass phones i have are not as nice to handle as plastic ones. And from my view, glass breakage is much more common then plastic breaking on phones.

I never really had a problem with my 4S being slippery, but I guess I never touched it unless my hands were dry. In any case, the 5 and 5S don't have the glass on the back (mostly), so it shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Astra.Xtreme said,
They should have made one in black. It probably wouldn't have helped the matter, but at least the plastic wouldn't look so cheap.

A black one would look nice. The white ones doesn't look too bad. The other colors are a bit obnoxious IMHO. I think having a brightly colored phone would get old fast.

Astra.Xtreme said,
They should have made one in black. It probably wouldn't have helped the matter, but at least the plastic wouldn't look so cheap.

My other half opted for a pink one and she loves it. Have to say it certainly doesn't feel cheap - it's very solid and nice in the hand.

Axel said,

My other half opted for a pink one and she loves it. Have to say it certainly doesn't feel cheap - it's very solid and nice in the hand.


I'm sure it's fine since Apple is known for top-notch build quality, but shiny plastic, by nature, is a cheap-looking material. I imagine without a case, it will scratch really easily.

rippleman said,
mark it down to ~$300 and i might get one... other then that... why?

I agree. If they mark it down further, the 5C could have been a pre-pay service plan phone champion like the Nexus 4. At its current price I think its more-or-less a rip off.

I don't think Apple were ever trying to market to the "low end" - only tech blogs/sites speculated as much. They simply wanted to replace the iPhone 5 with a phone that gave them a bigger margin - the iPhone 5 was too expensive for them to reduce in price (as is customary) so they canned it and replaced it with the 5C.

The only ones who were going on about it being their "cheap" offering was everyone else. Thing is... everyone was totally WRONG.

testman said,
I don't think Apple were ever trying to market to the "low end" - only tech blogs/sites speculated as much. They simply wanted to replace the iPhone 5 with a phone that gave them a bigger margin - the iPhone 5 was too expensive for them to reduce in price (as is customary) so they canned it and replaced it with the 5C.

The only ones who were going on about it being their "cheap" offering was everyone else. Thing is... everyone was totally WRONG.


As usual, everyone else but Apple is always holding it wrong somehow.

I don't see why what he said is wrong, you just seem to be displeased it wasn't criticizing Apple.
Apple has always avoided 'cheap' products, and have always presented themselves as a premium brand. Whether you believe it's premium enough or not is your own issue, but the 5C was clearly never targeted at the low-end, but as a higher-margin product to replace the 5 as Testman said.

I think the point xankazo was making is that when everyone expects product A and you release product B, that's not everyone else's issue, that's the company's fault for not leading the market to where they were going.

testman said everyone else was wrong, s/he is wrong. Everyone else was misled by Apple, and that is Apple's problem, not everyone else's problem.

AeonicVision said,
I don't see why what he said is wrong, you just seem to be displeased it wasn't criticizing Apple.
Apple has always avoided 'cheap' products, and have always presented themselves as a premium brand. Whether you believe it's premium enough or not is your own issue, but the 5C was clearly never targeted at the low-end, but as a higher-margin product to replace the 5 as Testman said.

Agreed. Gotta love the Apple hate polarization though.

greenwizard88 said,
I think the point xankazo was making is that when everyone expects product A and you release product B, that's not everyone else's issue, that's the company's fault for not leading the market to where they were going.

testman said everyone else was wrong, s/he is wrong. Everyone else was misled by Apple, and that is Apple's problem, not everyone else's problem.

Just because people want a company to release something doesn't mean they should. People want Mercedes to release a cheap car - it's not going to happen because they are a premium brand. As Steve once said - What's wrong with being the Mercedes of the computer (phone) industry?

But Mercedes does have relatively cheap cars that come in under 30k, where as their top of the line sedans are approaching more than 3 times that price.

You're not seeing that sort of variation with Apple here, and you have 2 products that are too similar. In this case it often seems worthwhile to spend that extra to get the higher quality product given the relatively minimal difference.

Not surprised. An iPhone 5 with a colored plastic shell. Really doesnt give much to entice people to upgrade. Lots who had the 4s skipped the 5 because it was no real major improvement.

But same can be for other phone manufacturers as well. I used to get a phone every year..now things do not change as much so its every other year.

The fact that the plastic shell is a poorer version of the Lumia shells means that anyone buying the phone for the color alone would get a Lumia instead.

techbeck said,
Not surprised. An iPhone 5 with a colored plastic shell. Really doesnt give much to entice people to upgrade. Lots who had the 4s skipped the 5 because it was no real major improvement.

But same can be for other phone manufacturers as well. I used to get a phone every year..now things do not change as much so its every other year.

Hardware is no doubt getting significantly faster, but there isn't much on the application level to utilize the increase in speed. If you place a 5S and a 5 side-by-side and performed common smartphone tasks (email, SMS, phone call, web surfing) I doubt you would notice much difference. But the benchmarks show a larger difference.

I think OEMs should focus more on battery life increases rather than performance increases. I remember my old Samsung "feature" phone would go days without needing to be recharged. I maybe charged it once or twice a week and beyond that I didn't really ever think of it. I'd like it if smartphones were back on that level of battery life.

greenwizard88 said,
The fact that the plastic shell is a poorer version of the Lumia shells means that anyone buying the phone for the color alone would get a Lumia instead.

...and get superior hardware for a cheaper price too.

Shadrack said,

I think OEMs should focus more on battery life increases rather than performance increases. I remember my old Samsung "feature" phone would go days without needing to be recharged. I maybe charged it once or twice a week and beyond that I didn't really ever think of it. I'd like it if smartphones were back on that level of battery life.


Before GDR2 my 920 would last for 4-5 days on a single charge with no data connection, no wifi and no Bluetooth. in battery savings mod.Not using it at all besides a few phone calls and random time checks. Basically using it like the old dump phones. Go browse internet on such an old phone and the battery drops dead like a brick.
Considering the battery life improved significantly with GDR2/Amber..... 6 days should be easy. haven't tested it yet much though. But 1,5-2 days with mediocre usage is doable.

Rudy said,
The 5C lacks too many things for savings of only $100

True, if they had it at $100 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini price I'm sure they probably would have sold a lot more and made a higher profit off lower margins and I doubt it would have impacted iPhone 5S sales as those who want a 5S will go with it regardless of the price changes at the entry level of the market.

Rudy said,
The 5C lacks too many things for savings of only $100

I'd have more interest if it were $450 off contract. Its just priced too high. Sure, when looking at an on-contract price its 1/2 the price of the 5S, but when you compare the MSRP of $550 to $650 a ~15% savings really isn't very good when you consider the difference in features, material build quality and performance.

Shadrack said,

I'd have more interest if it were $450 off contract.

Bro, seriously. A top line Lumia 1020 is $600 and it annihilates this $550 joke extortion.

At $300 you start to become of interest. $450...nah.

ROFLCOPTERS said,

Bro, seriously. A top line Lumia 1020 is $600 and it annihilates this $550 joke extortion.

At $300 you start to become of interest. $450...nah.

$300 DOES sounds better, but I stand by my $450 figure as being a sweet spot that would stir more interest in the device. This is Apple we are talking about here. People who want iOS and/or Apple products are already paying a little-to-a-lot extra for it.

-adrian- said,
But it was goog enough with the iphone 5 fuer 100$ more
To be honest if I had the choice between a 5C and just picking up a regular 5 I would go for the 5

Rudy said,
The 5C lacks too many things for savings of only $100

I've never understood how contracts work in America, do you pay the $200 upfront and then its yours, as in no further handset charges?

Here in Aus, the phone is either free, or u pay approx $5 extra a month on top of your plan, for the 2 year contract...

People were paying that price until the day the 5c was announced though.

They should cut the price by another $50. But being Apple I would be shocked if they did that; better to just cut production and hope they sell enough 5s's instead.

adza33 said,

I've never understood how contracts work in America, do you pay the $200 upfront and then its yours, as in no further handset charges?

Here in Aus, the phone is either free, or u pay approx $5 extra a month on top of your plan, for the 2 year contract...

Typically the way 2-year contracts work in the US is:

The service provider "subsidizes" ~$400 - $450 worth of the phone and you pay the remainder up-front with 2-year commitment to some minimum service (i.e., an iPhone would require data and voice services as minimum). The phone technically is yours, but it is also carrier locked to that one provider. Most providers will "unlock" the hardware after the 2-year contract is up or you pay an ETF (early termination fee), which is usually based on the $400 - $450 that the service provider subsidized minus however long you've been on the service.

The catch? Well, the 2-year contract service providers cost more. I estimate that they are increasing the monthly cost of their service by ~$30/month. I base that on the fact that pre-pay non-contract service providers can offer the same service for about $30 - $45 /month compared to the 2-year contract service providers that are about $70 - $95 /month. So (for example) the iPhone 5c up-front cost is $100 + ($30 * 24 months) = ~$820 in total cost. >< Ouch.

What's the extra catch to all of this? Once you pay off your 2-year commitment in over-priced service, the service providers keep your monthly bill the same. Its as if you bought a car on a loan and you have to keep making car payments AFTER you pay the car off but just for the privilege to drive on the road. It's a complete scam, and I'm shocked at how many people fall for it. Then again, Americans aren't exactly known as being "smart" shoppers.

Pre-pay is the way to go IMHO. Sure, you spend a little bit extra up-front but you ultimately save a lot of money especially if you only upgrade your phone hardware once every 3 years.

Shadrack said,

Typically the way 2-year contracts work in the US is:

The service provider "subsidizes" ~$400 - $450 worth of the phone and you pay the remainder up-front with 2-year commitment to some minimum service (i.e., an iPhone would require data and voice services as minimum). The phone technically is yours, but it is also carrier locked to that one provider. Most providers will "unlock" the hardware after the 2-year contract is up or you pay an ETF (early termination fee), which is usually based on the $400 - $450 that the service provider subsidized minus however long you've been on the service.

The catch? Well, the 2-year contract service providers cost more. I estimate that they are increasing the monthly cost of their service by ~$30/month. I base that on the fact that pre-pay non-contract service providers can offer the same service for about $30 - $45 /month compared to the 2-year contract service providers that are about $70 - $95 /month. So (for example) the iPhone 5c up-front cost is $100 + ($30 * 24 months) = ~$820 in total cost. >< Ouch.

What's the extra catch to all of this? Once you pay off your 2-year commitment in over-priced service, the service providers keep your monthly bill the same. Its as if you bought a car on a loan and you have to keep making car payments AFTER you pay the car off but just for the privilege to drive on the road. It's a complete scam, and I'm shocked at how many people fall for it. Then again, Americans aren't exactly known as being "smart" shoppers.

Pre-pay is the way to go IMHO. Sure, you spend a little bit extra up-front but you ultimately save a lot of money especially if you only upgrade your phone hardware once every 3 years.


thanks for that mate!!

a royal scam that is, i just got my 1020 on a new contract which is on a $60 a month plus $12 extra each month for the handset repayment..