Remember that time when everyone (see: Shanghaiist) was touting Apple’s iPhone 5c as the ‘cheap China iPhone,’ that would finally break into the middle-class Chinese market? Yeah, that may have been a bit over-eager.
As soon as the 5c was released, it faced stiff competition against cheaper, fancier Android devices, Apple’s own iPhone 5s, and consumers who thought “it’s pretty expensive for something that looks like a potato peeler.” Now about six months after the phone’s release, Tech In Asia has run an informal study attempting to figure out how many 5c devices were picked up by Chinese consumers, and the results aren’t encouraging:
See that depressed, flaccid green line on the bottom there? That’s what disappointment looks like. The 5c has not only been out-sold by its (significantly) more expensive 5s brother, but it’s even been beaten by the older iPhone 5. Tech In Asia notes that “the 5s has rocketed, [but[ the 5c barely took off – and now it’s struggling even to go upwards.”
That said, if we’re calling Apple a failure because it could only sell its hyper-expensive phone, and not its cheaper alternative, it still seems that they’re still on the winning side of the equation.