Rumor: iPhone 5C won't be as cheap as expected; shows up in supposed press shots

We’re all anxiously waiting for Apple to unveil their brand new iPhones this fall, including the long-rumored lower-end iPhone 5C. There have been a number of important leaks and claims surrounding this new iPhone and we can now add a few more to that list.

The rumoured device will supposedly feature a plastic case as well as mid-range internals such as Apple A6 SoC, 1GB of RAM, and an 8Mpx camera. Basically the iPhone 5C will be an older iPhone model repackaged in a plastic case, if all these rumors turn out to be true.

However, there’s one more rumor going around thanks to According to them, the iPhone 5C’s main selling point, its price, won’t be as impressive as expected. From the very beginning the 5C was supposed to be a cheap alternative to the regular iPhone, designed to help Apple penetrate lower-end and developing markets. But now, claims, via unnamed sources, that the new iPhone 5C will in fact come with a hefty $500 price tag for an unlocked device. If this turns out to be true, and we find it a bit unlikely, then Apple’s strategy may have been completely misunderstood from the start.

The pricing isn't so surprising if other rumors are to be believed, that the 5C will be based on the hardware of the previous generation (in this case the iPhone 5) which is also rumored to be discontinued on the release of the iPhone 5S and C.

As for the images you see here, other sites have claimed that they are press shots of the iPhone 5C. However, they come via a Romanian tech site which claims to have them via a Romanian phone retailer, which claims to be in possession of the dummy iPhone 5C used for display purposes. If that story sets off your BS-meter, rest assured you are not alone. Even so, these are pretty well made, albeit probably fake, shots and they should give folks a sense of what the upcoming device will be like.

One more image, the iPhone 5C with what looks like a bumper case.

Source: iOSDoc | Images via | Thanks to our forum user The better twin for tipping us!

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A word to Neowin. When this phone is officially released, you will have to compare it to devices that were release around the same time as the iPhone 5. All of those phones will be about one year old, will have dropped in cost.

Right now you can get a brand new Galaxy S 3 for $399.99 CASH with no contract. Which means for a phone that Apple is pawning off to everyone as "new" when in reality is old, still costs to much.

Isn't this like the 4th time they sold a mobile device as new, yet it was using 1 year old or more hardware? Because they did this way to many times with the Mac.

Wow. That is exactly how much I was thinking it would cost, tho I was expecting $450. But I didn't add the 40%

The reality is, this makes it even more stupid. They could have simply took the 5 as it was and just lowered it $150 and kept it the same. HAHA.

Carriers usually pay roughtly 50% of the cost for you. 199.99 for a regular 16Gb iPhone vs its $650 retail price. Doing the math, carriers would simply sell this one for $150. That isn't cheaper. How is this going to help other countries?

Haha this is funny. What all you fans got to say about this "plastic" crap? At least with Samsung, you get some better hardware even with their less fancier Galaxy devices.

I rather buy a Galaxy S III, which right now is Free to $99. Has a better camera, faster cpu, SDCard and more.

Edited by Hi_XPecTa_Chens, Aug 23 2013, 6:16pm :

guessing this will be targeted towards the asian/chinese market. i remember reading an article about a study done there that apple's sweet spot would be $486 (what people are willing to pay for the 'cheap' iphone). this isn't too far off from that.

I thought it was fairly obvious the 5C was just going to replace the 5? Look at the price they're selling the 4S and my guess is that's the price they'll sell the 5C.

Current prices--------------Prices after release of 5S
5: $649----------------------5S: $649
4S: $549--------------------5C: $549
4: $450----------------------4S: $450

What, Apple put out a CHEAP product... My oh my
Anyway, I don't quite understand the point of this since this is now the case.

It can't be. Apple cannot support their market cap without a large profit margin. They're actually in a pretty bad spot because the hardware business is going bad across the board.

Those aren't actual Apple press shots, just renders based on leaked information. Apple never shows their devices in third party cases like that.

I don't know that this will actually be cheap enough for emerging markets. I think it will be more of just a replacement for the space currently occupied by the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Free on contract on a big subsidized plan.

Right now to get a cheaper iPhone you have to buy an 'old' iPhone with the dock connector, smaller screen, etc. I think people would be more interested in a low end iPhone that was a new product rather than last year's product price-reduced.

Even if it was only $200 it would not be worth it, plenty of android phones around for $200 or cheaper that are better. You wont be stuck with crappy iOS also.

For $200 i could get a s3 (used) along with some other second hand handsets with 12 month warranty.

For the $500 they are asking i could get a contract with unlimited internet crap loads of text and calls for less over the duration of contract.

You could literally take the contract out for a galaxy s4, htc one or whatever and put $500 into the account the bill is going out of and then enjoy never paying for credit / internet.

However you look at it the whole point of apple is the brand, the "trendy" "sheepy" "with the crowd" sort of thing, This iphone is aimed at cheap ass people. Who out of the people who actually buy iphone would want this? I can;'t even see apple fan boys wanting this they would go for the 5s or whatever instead so they don't look so cheap.

Those pictures look fake to me. I know Apple's polish. One shows iOS 6 while the other iOS 7. Also, look at the inconsistency of the status bar fonts, and note the display's similarity to the iPhone 3GS. It looks more like a GooPhone 5C to me.

When 4S launched, ip4 was near perfect butget phone, but with ip5, there are no budget phones has ip5's screen. Apple trying to get rid of small screen, IMO.

See my above post, IMO, Apple plans to stop selling old model phones (maybe not now, but at some point). These lower end phones are really meant to ensure the high end phones seem better. Imagine someone next year choosing between getting a $99 iPhone 5 or a $199 iPhone 5S (with contract). Considering both devices will run iOS 7 and will look the same, the person may be hard pressed to pay "double" for the newer phone. But if instead he has a choice between the cheap looking iPhone 5C for $99 or the 5S for $199, and the old iPhone 5 is sold out and discontinued, now he sees the value of the higher end phone.

UnclePritchard said,
not surprised at all... it's apple. with this money you get a lumia 820 easily for this money

Except for the Nokia 1020, you can get any Windows phone for this price.

If this rumor is true, it seems Apple doesn't care about the emerging markets and will let Nokia continue to grow at the iPhone's expense.

if $500 is true for the "cheap" one, lets say... it is not an emerging market phone by any mean cus its to expensive so what youll see is people buying the cheap "version" for there kids etc undercutting there own bottom line just like the ipad mini did. I hate apple as a company cus of all there BS but even i thinking wtf are they doing?! a premium devices company making a mid range product thats more expensive than competing highend devices

Tbh it seals it for me, all apple is, is an idea of "excellence"... now they flushed that idea down the toilet, they'll need that $100 billion as there stock goes the same way cus theyve got nothing. Smartwatch from any company is fail before it hits the streets. there own TV complete fail becuase theres to many high end manufactureres out namely samsung for sterescpoic 3d and LG for passive 3D. sure itll sell but no where a game changer.

If the iphone 5c really is a $500 phone apple are screwed, pure and simple and shows that they have have delusions about the markets there in

-adrian- said,
look at the smart phone sales... there is enough money in the world

Get out of your own little world & you'll realize the world a much bigger place.

DJGM said,
Anyone who spends that kind of money, on a phone, has got more money than sense!

Put yourself in that bucket buddy!! The average service provider adds about $15-20 a month to your bill to make up for the contract discount they give you. So if you buy a phone for $199 and keep it for the 2 year contract, you have really paid $559 - 679 (which is where those full retail prices come from).

I really like the way T-Mobile is doing their pricing. You know what you are paying for. They cut the price of all of their plans by about $20 a month, no contract, and then they sell their phones for full retail. Don't want to fork over $500 all at once? They will give you a "loan" that you repay $20 a month for 2 years.

It works out to be about the same in the end, but you know what you are paying for. And you can save money if you decide to keep your phone longer than 2 years or get your phone from somewhere else. The other guys just pocket that $20 a month once your contract goes month-to-month.

DJGM said,
Anyone who spends that kind of money, on a phone, has got more money than sense!

There are some who actually use the functionality of the phone but I see far too many people buying expensive smart phones and not because they need it but rather it is because that is the latest music have gadget and if they don't have one then they feel like they're the odd one out.

Tech Star said,
And which other company doesn't do this? What about the change from GS3 to GS4? I thought so.
What the heck? The GS4 was an upgrade to the GS3...not a downgrade.

Look at the facts bro.
From 1280x720 to 1920x1080
from 4.8" to 5" yet it fits in a smaller case
more software features, quadcore/octacore depending on where you live.

The GS3 and GS4 look "somewhat alike" This thing looks identical to the 5 except it is poly-carbonate.

I thought you guys hated plastic. Certainly to could get the almighty Cook not to send you all back to the stone ages. Oh wait, looking at the featureset of the iPhone; I'd say you all never left.

Right now you can get a brand new Galaxy Note II for that same $500. Even tho it is almost a year old, you get a better camera, more storage, fast and better CPU/GPU, better OS, more features and a higher resolution and so much more.

Again, it would have made more sense to just keep making the iPhone 5 as is and just sell it cheaper which it would have dropped $150 anyways due to the newer model.

All they did was take the 5 and shove it into plastic. Which in fact doesn't make it any cheaper because the parts are already cheaper do to being a year old.

Apple just basically have the vast majority of you all fooled into submission. Now watch how many run an buy it like a bunch of mindless zombies. Standing in line missing work and starving their families for this junk.

FarCry3r said,
Yeap. $500 outright is not cheap at all. Might as well get the proper version.

Which is what right now? $700? I forget, heh.

are you sure? Probably 90% of iPhone users out there are covering their phones with plastic. Also, the iPhone 3G was plastic.

IMO the real reason Apple is making the 5C is not to give us a low cost option, we already have that with the ability to buy the previous model. It is because they know that with each new iPhone there is less reason to upgrade. How many will buy the iPhone 5S if they can get the almost as good iPhone 5 for a lot less or the 4s (which is still a great phone) for free (with contract).

I suspect that with the release of the 5C you will see the practice of Apple continuing to make older models and sell for a discount go away. They will probably only be sold as supplies last. The 5C will be cheaper, but with a reduced feature set and cheaper case. All in all, it will probably be a less compelling device than the existing iPhone 5.

In a nutshell, the real reason for the 5C is to be less good than the existing 5, in order to promote sales of the 5S.

yeoo_andy_ni said,
I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy who can get this right now for $350 -.-

So true, so very true - I wouldn't be surprised given the negotiations with China Mobile that Apple will be happy to take the lower margins if it means that they can lock up a long term contract with China Mobile and other carriers in emerging markets.