Apple’s new polycarbonate iPhone 5c seen helping crack subsidy-shy Europe

“While the cheaper of Apple Inc.’s new iPhones has disappointed critics who say it’s not priced low enough, in Europe it may still help carriers achieve what’s become rare in a region where wireless devices outnumber people: finding new customers,” Amy Thomson and Marie Mawad report for Bloomberg News.

“The iPhones introduced this week are also finally compatible with more of Europe’s high-speed, fourth-generation networks, addressing one of the big let-downs of the last model, whose 4G capability was only supported by a few carriers,” Thomson and Mawad report. “Making iPhones — the second most-popular smartphone in Europe after Samsung Electronics Co.’s devices — more accessible may attract customers so far deterred by the sticker shock. Many European carriers don’t subsidize the price of devices, so customers aren’t used to getting prices slashed in exchange for signing onto service contracts.”

Thomson and Mawad report, “The iPhone 5C will sell for as little as 599 euros ($800) in Germany, Apple said this week. That’s 80 euros less than the previous iteration, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and 100 euros less than the low-end of the fancier iPhone 5S, which also debuted this week. And it brings Apple even with Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which is priced at about 600 euros in Germany.”

“The new iPhone will also support the frequencies that most European carriers use to deliver 4G service. The iPhone 5, which was 4G compatible, worked on the 1,800 MHz band that’s popular in the U.S. It was another story in Europe, where EE in the U.K. and Deutsche Telekom AG’s German network were among the only carriers that could sell the device with the high-speed service,” Thomson and Mawad report. “Expanding the frequency range to include 4G bands in the 800 MHz wavelength means Vodafone Group Plc, France’s Orange SA, Telefonica and others that are deploying 4G networks this year will be compatible.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Doug Kass: Apple is making a strategic mistake with iPhone 5c ‘dud’ – September 11, 2013
Apple opts for profit over market share with not-so-cheap iPhone 5c – September 11, 2013
The true objective of Apple’s new iPhone 5c – September 10, 2013
Why would anyone buy an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s? – September 10, 2013
Apple reveals flagship iPhone 5s with Touch ID, the world’s first and only 64-bit smartphone – September 10, 2013
Apple unveils iPhone 5C; pre-order September 13th, on sale September 20th – September 10, 2013
Apple to release iOS 7 with completely redesigned user interface on September 18 – September 10, 2013


  1. All very well, but people in Europe are not stupid. The 5C is simply way over priced for what is now old tech. It was already old tech when it first came out and unless you have been living on a different planet, you cant help but have noticed that larger screened phones are the biggest sellers in Europe. Not 4 inch screens, so good luck with this Apple….oh and just so you know, the finger print reader on the 5S, well evidently even Apple is now admitting that it isnt likely to be very accurate. As taken from an article on Benzinga:

    Apple Says Fingerprint Technology Not Perfect

    Apple went into more detail about Touch ID, its new fingerprint technology, Wednesday. It said that it does not store fingerprint images on the phone but rather, fingerprint data is placed in a secure area of the A7 SoC.

    It also said that the Touch ID system isn’t perfect. If the finger is moist or damaged because of an injury or surgery, the sensor may not be able to read the fingerprint. Using another finger is the quick-fix for the problem but makes the system more cumbersome.

    Finally, it said that third-party apps will not have access to fingerprint data.

    1. You can use multiple fingers to unlock your iPhone, so no issue there. Yes the 5c is ‘old tech’, but the 5S is supposed to be the flagship device – the 5C is another option for the discerning buyer. A good move, but perhaps not having a black 5C is a little annoying.
      It will be a while before Apple really knows how well fingerprint tech is appreciated and used, if it becomes a runaway hit then I suspect that Apple will after a year or so of testing will implement use for 3rd parties. Apple doesn’t rush things.

    2. I guess you’re not the shining example of European people not being stupid as everything you said on the first paragraph is wrong -or maybe you aren’t European?

      The fact is mobile makers like Samsung and HTC have created “Mini” versions of their monster mobiles precisely to meet the European market, where there is a strong dislike for huge screened mobiles.

      As to it being old tech that’s just bollocks. The LTE baseband is completely new, as you can read from this article.

      1. Old tech? The 5C is not cutting edge tech, but it’s not old. And get this into your head: Not very many people actually buy large screen phones. They’re shown on commercials, talked about in blogs (paid by Samsung, no doubt), etc., but very few actually sell.

        The 5C is exactly what Apple needs: a true world iPhone. More rugged than the other iPhones, and more flexible for the various carriers.

        It is priced as an upper level smartphone, but not premium. It competes well with top phones from Samsung on price, which is not something prior iPhones did.

    3. Is anyone surprised that the iPhone 5s Touch ID functionality may not be able to read the fingerprint of a digit “damaged because of an injury or surgery?” I would say that using another finger in that type of situation is par for the course. You might have to change the way you brush your teeth, too. As far as the impact of moisture on the finger, I’ll wait to see the public reaction to the iPhone 5s after millions of people have the opportunity to wring it out.

      Are large display phones actually the biggest sellers in Europe, as you state? I doubt that all of the Android phones sold by Samsung and others in Europe are large format. Even if they are predominantly large format, is that because they are larger or because they are cheaper, or for some other reason or a combination thereof?

      Your statement regarding third party access is ambiguous. Certainly, third party apps won’t “have access to fingerprint data.” Apple has explicitly stated that. However, that is not the same thing as third party software lacking access to the Touch ID functionality for use in authentication. I have not heard Apple comment on that possibility, but I would expect the Touch ID authentication to eventually become ubiquitous for iOS devices including the iPhone. Anything else would be illogical. The iPhone 5s is the test case for Apple’s (Authentec) advanced Touch ID functionality.

      S J, you are one of a proliferating number of anonymous naysayers on this forum. I am fine with criticism of Apple and Apple products as long as the criticism is logical and reasonable and based on fact or evidence. But, far too often, that is not the case. And, to make matters worse, the same FUD is posted repeatedly and across many articles, as if the act of repetition creates fact/truth.

      Hard nosed criticism is fine. Expressing opinions is generally fine, too. But boorish, annoying, trollish behavior is not. Don’t become one of those people.

      1. It makes little sense to me for Apple to add Touch ID but limit it to Apple’s apps only. I fully understand third party apps not being allowed to access the fingerprint data itself, but using Touch ID authentication should be allowed. If not, Apple’s severely limiting the usefulness of Touch ID.

        Frankly I’ll be happy not to have to type in my Apple IDs all the time, particularly since I had to change my password to include capitals, numbers, etc. I use Find My iPhone quite a bit to see where my kids/wife are, and that gets old.

    1. Early estimates said it was $20 billion in losses, which is a bit more than usual. All the times that Tim Cook has opened his mouth must easily be equal to $100 billion in shareholder losses. I’m begging him not to speak anymore because it’s costing shareholders too much. Whenever Reed Hastings, Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk speak, their respective companies share prices rise up. Tim Cook has the opposite effect on Apple stock. Tim Cook has to be one of the most hated CEOs by Wall Street on the planet. At first I thought maybe it was his sexual preferences that put him on the outs but I’m not really sure about that. Maybe it’s just his speaking manner or the inane things he has to say.

      Either way, Apple stock is totally screwed and it may take some really dynamic CEO to set things straight. Sometimes, you gotta have someone to say the right things to convince investors you’re doing things properly. Tim Cook doesn’t seem the type of CEO to exude investor confidence. Of course, I’m looking at this in hindsight and I’m always trying to fit some pattern why Apple keeps getting totally borked. It may have nothing to do with Tim Cook at all. Apple seems to be run completely opposite of how most companies are run, so that could be the problem with the stock, or not. Most companies pursue market share but Apple pursues profits.

      1. You guys are morons. Wall Street knows full well that the money to be made on Apple is not from buying, holding and selling when the stock shoots up (what you’re hoping for). Those days are long gone.

        Wall Street makes money by betting on whether Apple will go up or down, and then helping it along in that direction. Wall Street bet Apple would go down (as is usual for an event), and then drove it further with stories about how disappointed they were (all while laughing their way to Goldman Sachs).

        Stop your whining and wise up.

      2. “There are now multiple lower-priced tablet devices just as good as Apple’s iPad [and phones]. Apple will begin to lose serious market share in the tablet [and phone] market, a market that is already getting fairly saturated.” – Doug Kass, 9/11/2013

        This is why Kass (and the rest of the market) has been consistently and spectacularly wrong about Apple for a decade now. How anyone can invest huge sums of money, both their own and other people’s, and be so incredibly dense and out of touch, and stay in business is beyond me. Kass thinks non-Apple products are “just as good” as Apple products, when Apple products are head and shoulders better than the knock-off competition. Kass thinks market share is the primary goal to be sought after, when it is present and future PROFITS that count. If you can’t see beyond Kass’ (and the rest of the market’s) myopic opinions you are doomed to failure as an investor. Of course, that’s fine with Kass because he makes his money by taking a position and then talking you into taking it too, but at a higher (if buying), or lower (if selling) price. How does it feel to be used?

  2. The “little” difference is, the Galaxy S 4 is the high end device of Samsung and in the meantime you get it for 499,- Euros, the iPhone 5C 16GB for 599,- Euros is in fact the base model and the entrance into the world of iOS because the iPhone 4S doesn’t really count anymore with obsolete screensize and interfaces.
    If you compare Samsung Highend to Apple Highend you have to pay 899,- Euros for the iPhone 5S which is about 1186,- dollars !!!
    Apple should learn to calculate the correct exchange rate from $ to € because even if you consider the taxes, European have to pay much more than American.
    For “as little as 599,- Euros” is much to much for a modern competitive base model and if APPLE don’t do a quick change, their market share in Europe will fall onto a single digit level.

    1. The thing is that many thing are more expensive in Europe because companies need to transport products further and store them somewhere when land values are high so the price is increased to cover those costs

    2. Prices in Europe are quoted with the VAT included. US prices never include the sales tax. Most places in Texas, a $600 phone will cost $651. If we had the same 20% rate as most of Europe, it would be $720. That is still $80 less than the European price, but in line with the higher European costs for almost everything (largely due to higher labor costs).

    3. “The ‘little’ difference is, the Galaxy S 4 is the high end device of Samsung and in the meantime you get it for 499,- Euros, the iPhone 5C 16GB for 599,- Euros is in fact the base model and the entrance into the world of iOS…”

      And the Galaxy S4, as the “high end” Samsung device is a knock-off of the iPhone 5C, not quite as good, and as you admit, not running iOS. So the 5C is exactly the item the Galaxy S4 should be compared to. The S4 can in no way be compared to the 5S. Samsung hasn’t had a chance to make a cheap, crippled copy of the 5S yet.

  3. This is the 5c, most people see the us pricing and think they didn’t drop the price. They kept the US price the same because increased margins and the smartphone market is already developed here with apple; while, apple can aggressively price the 5c in other countries

    1. Yes, Apple have “very aggressive” prices in other countries, they make it even more expensive.

      Innovative iPhone 5C equation for Europe:
      Look much cheaper than iPhone 5 but is more expensive (compared to last years mid tier model)

  4. I still think analysts should at least wait until sales start before condemning the pricing of a product. Microsoft’s share price wasn’t penalized ahead of time for offering a high-priced Surface RT although it turned out to be a sales nightmare. Judging sales success or failure based on an announcement isn’t quite fair. That’s just an opinion call. In other words, merely a guess.

    This is what I don’t like about Wall Street analysts. There’s far too much guesswork and not enough hard facts. Downgrade a company if sales are actually poor. Don’t downgrade a company because you think sales MIGHT be poor. Apple is always looked at pessimistically and that’s just an unfair bias. No one can tell the future for certain.

  5. Without tax, the 5C costs €503 in Germany, which equals US$669 now. That includes a bit more warranty than in the US, but even when you add Apple Care ($79, as far as I know) to the US price of $549, it’s much more expensive in Europe.

    1. Again, Value Added Tax is paid by the seller (and is therefore included in the price), while US sales tax is paid by the buyer (and is therefore added to the price). A $549 phone in a US state with a 20% sales tax (a typical VAT rate) would cost the buyer $658, which is only $11 less than the German price.

      1. wake up.
        A $549 phone in a US state with a 19% sales tax (German VAT rate)
        would cost the buyer $653.
        But I have to pay €599 = $797.

        A difference of $144 including tax difference. But taxes are different and Apple can’t help that. Therefore I compared tax-free prices:

        tax-free in US: $549, thats what Apple gets from US customer.
        tax-free in EU: $669, thats what Apple gets from EU customer.

  6. UK phone pricing is not that complicated to work out. Contract phones are prices such that they combine the phone cost spread over 12/18/24 months + the data plan per month.
    A 4S is £350 – over 24 months thats about 15 per month. So you can expect the contract pricing to be a minimum of £30. Currently the 4S also includes an up-front additional payment of £70.
    The 5C is £469 or about £20 per month over 24 months + the data plan costs. This will also probably have an up-front price of £99.
    The alternative is to pay the £350 or £469 up front and use a PAYG sim – which usually has very expensive per minute costs. However recently ‘3 network’ introduced a PAYG plan that charges 3p per min for calls, 2p per txt and 1p per MB for data – known as the 321 plan. For low usage users like me its a godsend.
    When the phone companies announce their contract deals we will see what premium they want

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