It seems churlish to be talking about an Apple flop just weeks after it posted a record-breaking opening weekend for its new iPhones.
But that was before figures from NPD DisplaySearch revealed that Apple has slashed production of its colourful iPhone 5C by a massive 25%.
News of the production cut comes just days after separate reports from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported that Pegatron and Hon Hai were told to curb iPhone 5C production in the last few months of 2013.
Now, before assessing whether the iPhone 5C has failed to catch on, it should be noted that the iPhone 5S is doing a roaring trade.
The same NPD report says that Apple has boosted production of the pricier model by 75%, as demand continues unabated in the run-up to Christmas.
With iPhone 5S said to be outselling the iPhone 5C by two to one, that’s no surprise. NPD reckons the 5C’s failure is down to Apple not offering it cheap enough.
If that was the case, though, why are so many people set on paying more for an iPhone 5S?
Apple will release its quarterly earnings figures on October 28th, and doubtless the iPhone will have done brisk business.
It is pretty clear though that the iPhone 5C just hasn’t caught on. The reason for that could be down to the price, sure.
The iPhone 4S is apparently doing well as the new entry level model.
But the fact is that no matter how much Apple watchers wanted it and how much rumour-mongers talked about it, there was no way Apple was going to sell the iPhone 5c on the cheap.
It’s using year-old tech, is hardly average and Apple doesn’t sell stuff at a cut price. It doesn’t make money that way.
Perhaps the 5C hasn’t captured the imagination because for only a few quid more a month, you can get a sturdier, sexier phone in the iPhone 5S.
It has TouchID and a better camera, not to mention a completely rejigged interior.
Users are savvy and know that they’re getting a better deal with the top-end phone.
Of course, this is all relative. Apple will still sell millions of the iPhone 5C, just not as many as planned.
But it’s clear that this is an experiment that hasn’t quite come off.
When it comes to next year’s iPhone launch, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the iPhone 5S sold as the second model down, with the iPhone 6 being the only new device launched.
It was a neat idea, but the iPhone 5C’s lack of tech nous compared to its swankier sibling appears to have done for it.