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The iPhone 5C is a mistake, a failure, a disaster, a flop, a dud

John Cox | March 20, 2014
Here's a hit list of iPhone 5C hysteria, from the iOSphere. We post the headline, the claim, and the reality.

What Went Wrong With the iPhone 5c? 

Chris Maxcer, TechNewsWorld

The claim: "One thing is clear: Had the iPhone 5c had gangbuster sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook or CFO Peter Oppenheimer would have had very nice things to say about it on their conference call with investors this week. Apple pretty much always touts excellent performance in some form or another, but the iPhone 5c? What did we really hear? Crickets...."

The reality: Maxcer's argument is an argument from silence: If Apple doesn't tout excellent performance for 5c sales, then it follows that the 5c went wrong. In fact, Tim Cook clearly stated during the call "...if you looked at our sell-throughs not the sell-in but the sell-through of what I will just call our entry phone or mid-phone and our top part of the 5s. [You'll see that] All of those grew year-over-year versus the phones that were in those categories previously." That is clear.

RIP, iPhone 5c: You're A Flop Chart 

John Brownlee, CultOfMac

The claim: "If you love the iPhone 5c, here's a painful chart, courtesy of analytics platform Mixpanel: growth of the iPhone 5c is pretty much stagnant at just around 6% (roughly where it's been since Christmas), even as the iPhone 5s has achieved a 20% share of the iPhone market, overtaking the iPhone 4 and approaching the iPhone 4s in popularity. It seems pretty obvious at this point that Apple will kill the C' line when the iPhone 6 launches, but what will take its place?"

The reality: Brownlee seems to think the chart represents "share of the market." It doesn't. (The chart is still live at the Mixpanel website.) Mixpanel tracks in-app actions, dubbed "records," generated by end users interacting with a server or cloud. "What that means is that we record in-app actions/behavior from all our customers' customers," says Mixpanel founder Suhail Doshi, in an email. "So, for example, if someone uploads a photo on a photo sharing app, that would be an action. If someone watches a video, that would be another action." In this case, what the chart says is that about 6 percent of all iOS in-app actions over the past four weeks were done using an iPhone 5c. Whatever that ultimately means, it doesn't mean what Brownlee thinks it means.

Opinion: Will Apple abandon the low-cost' iPhone concept after apparent failure of 5c?

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The claim: "Apple doesn't break down its iPhone sales figures, so we don't know for sure that the iPhone 5c sold poorly, but certainly everything we do know seems to point in that direction from early sales estimates through analytics and consumer surveys to Apple switching production from the 5c to the 5s. Apple's reasoning was this: There are those who will always buy the latest model. There are those who want to pay less and are happy with last year's tech. But there may be other categories: potential customers who weren't going to buy either an iPhone 5s or an iPhone 5 but could be persuaded to spend iPhone 5 money on something recognizably new."


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