Apple drops orders of iPhone 5c as iPhone 5s triumphs

17 Oct 2013

The iPhone 5c

It seems that the launch of a lower-priced smartphone has done little to dent Apple’s status as a premium brand, and the Californian phonemaker has reportedly scaled back orders for the iPhone 5c and increased requests for the flagship 5s.

Hailed as ‘beautifully, unapologetically plastic’ at a press event last month, the iPhone 5c hit stores in 11 countries on 20 September, the same time as the higher-spec and higher-cost iPhone 5s.

Taken together, 9m new iPhones were snapped up in the first weekend of sales, and Apple confirmed that demand for the iPhone 5s had exceeded initial supply – indicating, perhaps, for the first time that the premium device had the stronger performance.

Sources from Apple’s supply chain have since indicated that the company is scaling back production of the 5c in the face of lesser demand. According to Reuters, Pegatron Corp’s iPhone 5c orders have dropped by less than 20pc. Another of Apple’s assembly contractors, Hon Hai Precision Industry, has seen 5c orders drop by one-third, while 5c orders have increased, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It appears that fears a low-cost iPhone would eat into Apple’s premium sales were unfounded, and Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley reckons there are 2.5 iPhone 5s sales to every one 5c sold.

That said, there’s still the upcoming holiday buying season and the affect this may have on the market. Later this month, both devices will be released in 28 additional countries, including Ireland and key emerging markets like Russia and India, where a lower price could prove most popular.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.