Apple investor reaction muted on iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s

“Apple is releasing two new iPhones this month instead of just one, including a cheaper model aimed at less wealthy countries where new Apple phones have been desired but out of reach because of their price,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times.

“The lower-cost model, the iPhone 5C (the ‘C’ for color) comes in a plastic case and has the same features as the now-outdated iPhone 5. The fancier model, the iPhone 5S, comes in aluminum and includes a faster processor and fingerprint sensor for security, among other features,” Chen reports. “The iPhone 5S costs $200 with a contract, and the iPhone 5C costs $100 with a contract.”

Chen reports, “Philip W. Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. said the new phone was ‘more colorful than anything we’ve made before.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, um:

Apple's "Flower Power" (left) and "Dalmatian" iMacs
Apple’s “Flower Power” (left) and “Dalmatian” iMacs

“Both iPhones will be available in the United States, Japan and China and other countries on Sept. 20. Apple announced a partnership with NTT Docomo of Japan, but not a highly anticipated partnership with China Mobile, the biggest carrier in China. It will be the first time Apple has been able to release its phones at the same time globally,” Chen reports. “Investor reaction was muted. Apple’s stock price finished the day down about 2.3 percent.”

“With its profit growth slowing, and smartphone sales surging in countries like China, India and Russia, the cheaper iPhone is targeted at what analysts call ‘aspirational consumers’ in those countries — the top 10 to 20 percent who are slightly uncomfortable about spending more money on a fancy brand, but might be convinced at the right price,” Chen reports. “Apple was careful to not make the iPhone 5C sound cheap. It emphasized that many key parts were made of a high-quality polycarbonate material, and underneath the plastic is steel reinforcement. And Apple added networking parts that make the phone compatible with global cellular networks.”

Chen reports, “At full price without a contract, which is how many overseas carriers make people pay for phones, the iPhone 5C costs $550 — only $100 less than the iPhone 5S. That is far higher than the $300 to $400 range that many analysts expected.”

Much more in the full article here.

68 Comments

        1. Its $550 unsubsidized

          Though keep in mind, it is an iPhone 5 in a plastic case (not a 4), so you can easily say it is substantially better phone than the gimmicky samsung galaxy 4 (even with out taking OS into consideration) which runs $650 (unsubsidized)

          If you factor the OS in (of course apple haters would argue this point) iOS is years ahead of android in virtually every way and doesn’t have the fragmentation and looming malware problems.

          $100 less for a significantly better phone is a slam dunk.

    1. The reaction is “muted” because of all the endless leaks.

      Let’s face it… Apple’s scale of production is SO large now, that it is impossible to keep the unreleased products a secret. If there were no leaks, people may have guessed about the iPhone 5S based on “history,” but the iPhone 5C would have been a nice surprise. This is the FIRST time Apple has release two new iPhone models at the same time. And the security touch sensor and 64-bit processor on the 5S would have been technical surprises. And the overall reaction would have been much better.

      I basically knew everything already and the only real surprise for me was the continuation of the iPhone 4S as the “free” choice. That’s why people feel like it was a letdown, when it really was not. Fortunately, 99% of customers are not Apple geeks like the folks who read MDN and tech media journos, and they will be excited AND surprised about these new iPhones.

      1. Apple’s engineers are clearly using their fingers in innovative ways, pushing the boundaries of the possible, instead of using them to plug all the leaks in the dike. The element of surprise may have dwindled, but the delight continues to birth. Except maybe in some of these dark alleys of twisted despair 🙂

      2. There is an old Wall $treet mantra: “Buy on the rumor. Sell on the news.” That is what happened today. And it’s been like this for a number of Apple product launches. But wait a few weeks as Wall $treet, investors in general, the pundits and the public try out the new iPhones. My hunch is that Apple stock will continue its march upward in the coming months as the public grasp the performance of the new phones, and developers take advantage of the 64-bit capabilities of the A7 CPU and iOS7.

        There are always stories like the one above. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. Let the initial news cycle pass and I have a hunch we’ll see a different conclusion emerge.

        1. I am so tired of new products coming out and the market just dumps the stock. What is the reasoning behind this, some one please explain? The specs look fantastic compared to the “Don’t touch your phone for only some actions, hold the coffee table to your head for a phone call and wear cargo pants if you want to pocket the thing” phone, the “It’s a camera first” phone, or whom ever else throws something into the ring. And Apple still beats the street, every stinking time. Yet the stock tanks. Hard to fathom…

    2. Well, I’ll be buying the new phone to upgrade from my 4S. However, it does feel a little deflating to be buying something new that already looks and feels so familiar. Apple should really make hardware changes to the design every year so all the under the hood stuff has a new chassis to go with it. Even small changes, like making it a little thinner or lighter, would add incentives to upgrade. Most people will see a “new” iPhone as the same thing their friends bought last year and pass. Apple is leaving a lot of money on the table going the route they do every two years.

          1. A friend of mine had an Atrix with the Fingerprint feature configured to her print. I could start it up every time with any of my fingers. Rub it back and forth three times and your in. Junk.

  1. I don’t see how anyone could think the 5c was made for poorer countries…. If you can afford to spend that much money on a phone then a $100 difference doesn’t do anything. Now if the phone was starting at $200 no contract then that would raise some eyebrows. They can always go for the 4s

  2. Tim takes another few steps toward the exit door after today’s embarrassment of failing AGAIN to produce any “great new products” from that mythical pipeline of his. Not a bad day at all.

      1. all the innovation went into the 5S. The 5C is a snoozer for yuppie kids. It’s only the 4S that is going to sell in any great numbers in emerging markets … assuming, of course, that Apple gets off its increasingly wide slow ass and forges more outlets in those countries.

        The handset design is only half the story. Apple has to get it in peoples’ hands. Nokia and Blackberry each have better distribution channels for “aspirational” customers than Apple does. Sure, these venerable companies each had a huge head start on Apple, but what is taking Apple so long to get its act together?

      2. Well MattC, just tell what kind of innovation you would expect on the new Iphone 5s… A phone who freezes when you blink your eyes? A phone who shit pancakes when you are hungry?

  3. I really don’t see iPhone C as a cheaper phone, is possible that apple wasn’t thinking on a cheaper phone? I mean, is cheaper than the iPhone 5S but is not a “cheap” or better said “inexpensive” smartphone. 🙁

      1. “Less expensive” is the term you should use. Here’s the difference……”Cheap” is what your “Life Partner” is. Judging by the resentment in your post, it obviously doesn’t take much to keep “Him” happy…

  4. Everybody whines if Apple doesen’t reinvent the wheel, launch a rocket to Mars and cure cancer at least twice a week. Grow up! In a world of hype, learn to ignore the idiots!

      1. Check back at Christmas. By then we might have some pleasant surprises behind us. I wasn’t particularly moved by what I saw today but then again we already had all the leaks telling us what was coming. And we got exactly what the leaks told us. Nothing more. Everyone was really hoping for a little more. Some sort of a surprise. I think most of the angst is about the 5C pricing. It seems too high. One thing for certain, we’ll know in about a month how well the 5C has gone over. Especially if China Mobile gets it.

  5. Botvinnik, Jay Morrison, and others:

    C’mon! Tim Cook didn’t say all new products in the pipeline would be revealed today! Give him and Apple a break! I read your comments (now and in the past) and can’t believe your naive rantings!

    Apple is the most successful tech company in the world to date. No company on the horizon even comes close!

    All of us outside Apple “don’t even know what we don’t know” — I’m content to sit back and let it all unfold. Apple’s not a one-man show under Tim Cook, nor was it under SJ in the last decade.

            1. Blind people absolutely love the iPhone ! It’s accessibility out of the box is unparalleled by any other phone. If you have never tried utilizing these features, you should.
              Now, stupid people- probably go for the android/ice cream sandwich, cause it sounds good.

  6. iPhones are not subsidized anymore, at least by european carriers.
    Which leaves us with an expensive iPhone at 649, and a cheap one at 549. Very cheap indeed, and affordable. So cheap I wonder why anyone would go for the expensive one.

    Lucky you, americans, (and probably chinese, let’s see tomorrow).

  7. Investors threw the new iPhone into a black trashcan. Oh, that was the new Home Theater PC Apple is marketing as a Mac Pro- not to be confused with a REAL Mac Pro.

    No Phil, Apple seems incapable of innovating in any significant way. A plastic case in tacky colors on an iPhone 5 does not innovation make. Buying a company (Authentec) and including it in your new top line iPhone does not innovation make.

    The 5c is an attempt by Apple to maintain high margins. They replaced the machined metal case of the iPhone 5 and put on a Polycarbonate case in tacky colors for the same price Apple would have, by tradition, relegated the iPhone 5 to.

      1. You mean to you.
        But, your attitude suggests you’ve never really been passionate about Apple. Just faking it in order to add some pseudo legitimacy to your trolling.
        Go back to Thurrott Super Site or ZDNet where you belong.

          1. Look…there is NO DOUBT that Apple lost some magic when Steve died. How could it not. But I think some of the critical comments here are over the top, and certainly premature. These products may look incremental but I see the seeds of of revolution and paradigm shifts in some very lucrative businesses. I like where phones and iOS is going.

  8. Did anyone else think that the metal frame they showed in the presentation, looks nothing like the metal shielding in the leaked photos? The leaked photos looked like what a cheap model would be. However what they showed was nothing cheap. The metal frame looked a lot like what’s in the iPhone 4, heavy gauge, with a sheet metal backplate.

    Just checking to see if anyone was paying attention to this detail.

    I am thinking the leaks were of knockoff parts, even though they spoke the truth about what “C” in 5C stood for.

  9. I am a longstanding Apple investor who has owned every single iPhone thusfar . Share price drops are sort of mormal after Apple announces as initial expectations dont meet hype. The 4 S is the best example of this
    My disappointment was no NFC chip to accompany the FP security on the 5S the music to my ears was that the FP security would authorize iTunes payments
    Apple just got in the banking business with a superphone

  10. Apple is a huge company now, and producing new products without leaks is basically impossible, so yes, nothing released this fall is likely to surprise us much. That said, Apple is not Sony, or Dell, or even Samsung. It’s interested in iterating and maintaining its margins to keep the cash flowing in to make its products ever better. I found the new A7/M7 chips to be another step in that direction. I found the fingerprint sensor another step in that direction. I found the color options an iPod iteration redux.

    From here on out, we’ll start to see a whole class of iPhones, probably with some a bit larger next year after they figure out how to handle the resolution issue to not force everyone to rebuild their apps every year. We’ll also probably see some wrist devices/accessories once they decide how to differentiate them into something someone would actually want to own. We’ve seen this before with he iPods. We’re seeing the same process now with the iPhones.

    Next up, I expect to see revised/iterated iPads, following the same proven processes. Then, a revised AppleTV with enhanced gaming credentials. No idea what else, but whatever it is, it will not be a crap device designed to simply empty my wallet.

    Apple is not going to take the Samsung “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Nor is it going to take the Dell approach to mass produce crap at no margin. Nor is it going to give its products away just to gather personal info to sell to advertisers. Market share is important, but it’s not what Apple is about. People who want Apple to start downgrading quality to increase market share need to move on to another company that shares their values.

    I’m a contented Apple shareholder, and 30 year user of many of their best and worst products. When they failed it was because they were going for market share. When they succeeded, they were going for a quality user experience. That’s why I’m still a fan.

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