Apple has unveiled its new line of phones, with the notable inclusion of the iPhone 5C, a cheaper model targeted specifically at Chinese consumers and those in ‘developing markets.’ The 5C, however, will still cost 4488 yuan—not exactly a steal—and will shed Apple’s luxurious brushed metal for goofy colored plastic.
Apple’s market-share in China has been steadily declining for some time, and the local competition is getting fierce. Last month, Chinese cell phone producers Xiaomi sold 100,000 models of their budget “Hongmi” model (which retails for around 800 RMB) in ninety seconds flat. Apple’s new 5C looks uncomfortably like the colorful plastic-shelled Android phones turned out by companies like Xiaomi, yet it costs more than five time as much. The Xiaomi Hongmi phone is not pushover, either; it has a larger screen than the iPhone, and the same camera resolution.
Sina Weibo has, predictably, had a lot of fun with the new Apple news, as Tech In Asia reports:
And indeed, China’s Apple fans don’t seem to be too excited about the 5C. ‘The C stands for costly’ is a joke that several people have made, but the deepest impression the 5C seems to have left on Sina Weibo at the moment is that it’s pretty expensive for something that looks like a potato peeler. (The latter joke is actually about the plastic cases Apple has designed for the phones, but it has been one of the most widely-repeated messages about the iPhones this evening).
Well, Apple may have not delivered on those rumors about a cheap iPhone, but they’ve certainly made waves in the luxury potato peeler industry.