From a sales perspective, the iPhone 5c looks like a dud but that doesn t mean Apple is at all disappointed with it. As we ve noted in the past, one of Apple s top goals with the iPhone 5c was to make a lower-cost alternative to the iPhone 5s that would also be much cheaper to produce than the older iPhone 5. Also Read - This photo shot with iPhone X by an Indian wins iPhone Photography Awards
You see, Apple realized last year that many consumers were flocking to buy year-old iPhone models that cost $100 less on contract than the latest flagship model. What s more, Apple realized that this trend was a potential threat to its margins, which the company has vowed to keep sky-high at all costs.
The solution to this not-really-a-crisis? Stop selling the year old aluminum model and replace it with a plastic version whose materials are $20 to $30 cheaper than the older model and sell it at the exact same on-contract price.
And new research from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that this gambit has paid off for Apple. As Re/code notes, CIRP s numbers show that the iPhone 5c is grabbing less share of the iPhone market than Apple s iPhone 4s did a year ago when it was the mid-range option while the iPhone 5s, by contrast, has grabbed a larger share of the market than the iPhone 5 did in its first full quarter on the market.
In other words, not only is the iPhone 5c making more money on a per-unit basis than the iPhone 5 would have but it s also driving more people to pay up for the flagship iPhone 5s, which is only helping Apple s bottom line even more.
Of course, it s unlikely that this was Apple s exact plan for the iPhone 5c. The company plugged enough money into iPhone 5c advertisements to suggest that it really did want it to be a hit among consumers. But if the new device s brightly colored, shiny plastic cases are driving more potential customers into the arms of the iPhone 5s, Apple certainly won t complain.