How would you change Apple's iPhone 5c?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| February 18, 2014

One of the most common rumors of 2013 was a cheap iPhone. To be fair to 2013, though, it’s not like that’s the first time we had ever heard of such a device, floating around within the Cupertino offices, just waiting to be released. But, right from the start of last year, there seemed to be something different about the rumors. They seemed to actually point to something real. Something that might actually see the light of day. It didn’t take long before we started seeing “iPhone 5C” making the rounds across the ‘net, and then eventually some leaked images before the final design was revealed to us, courtesy of Apple’s iPhone event late last year.

The iPhone 5c came to fruition, but it’s certainly not a “cheap iPhone.” As you can imagine, that “c” was supposed to represent “cheap,” for whatever reason (that still just doesn’t make any sense. Cheap isn’t a good word.) Instead, though, that particular letter stands for “color.” The iPhone 5c comes in a wide range of colors – a very different approach to the iPhone lineup than we’ve seen in the past.

The iPhone 5c was a big change-up for Apple. In years prior you would have seen the iPhone model being replaced just drop a price bracket, lose a model variant, and take the place of the iPhone from the year before that. It was a cycle, and honestly it was a cycle that made sense. But, you can’t fault Apple for wanting to try something different. Unfortunately, with all that talk of a cheap iPhone, when the final result finally happened, and it didn’t turn out to be cheap at all, expectations probably doomed the device right out of the gate.

Recently, an Apple earnings call (indirectly) revealed that the iPhone 5c might not be doing as well as Apple thought it would. In response, we all started to see reports that suggested the iPhone 5c might be scrapped this year, and instead replaced with several different models. A 4-, 4.7/4.8-, and a 5.x-inch variant. This, too, would be quite the change for Apple, but considering how many people want a bigger iPhone, this could very well be the year we see that happen.

Or, it might not be. In which case, the iPhone 5c family will live to see another day.

I see a lot of iPhones every day, ranging in model numbers. What I don’t see a lot of are iPhone 5c’s. I’ve honestly only seen maybe three out in the wild. It was so far after the release date when I saw my first one, I actually got excited. It was kind of like seeing a BlackBerry Z10. The adoption of the iPhone 5c may not have been going to plan for Apple, but I can honestly say that I hope they don’t change the color scheme idea. The colorful iPhones are just another way to stand out, even if you do get people crying “copy!” and pointing to Nokia-branded devices.

So, I’m curious. I’ve asked in the past what you would change about the iPhone 5s, Apple’s high-end model with a bunch of new features tucked inside, but I’ve left the “other model” alone up until now. I want to know what you think Apple could have done differently to make the iPhone 5c work for the consumer, so that the adoption rate would have been better for the company. Do you think it didn’t do so well just because it didn’t turn out to be a cheap device? Or should it be running Android? Let me know what you think.

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