The Apple iPhone has been one of the most, if not the most, iconic smartphones to ever exist. Being the first “real” smartphone on the market back in 2007, the iPhone has certainly had its influence on the market over the past 7 years. Even after 7 years, the iPhone is still one of the most popular phones to own, despite the fact that other brands and platforms are now forcing the spotlight to be shared. Because of this, the iPhone is no longer the only dominant smartphone on the market. Apple now has to come up with new strategies to win consumers over.
For the most part, iPhone releases have been predictable. Although the first iPhones were announced in June, lately the phone has been released sometime in the fall, typically around September or November. Other than that, after the iPhone 3G and 3GS followed by the iPhone 4 and 4S, one could probably assume that the iPhone 5 would simply be followed by the 5s. It was, but with a little extra thrown in - the iPhone 5c.
The iPhone 5c seemed to be the star rumor of the year: What the specs would be like, what it would look like, and most importantly, what it would cost were blowing up the rumor mill for quite some time. Many assumed (or perhaps hoped) that the ‘c’ stood for ‘cheap’. The iPhone 5c was cheaper by $100 than the 5s, but most would agree that the full price of the phone still didn’t exactly qualify the phone as being “cheap”, especially with phones like the Nexus 5 and the Moto G on the market, which cost only a fraction of the iPhone 5c even at full retail price. However, when a two-year contract is thrown in, an introductory $99 price tag for a new iPhone that was recently announced probably seemed like a steal of a deal. Generally speaking, you would have to wait a whole year before seeing that price on an iPhone, after the newer model was released and the previous years’ model dropped in price. And, well, technically that’s all the iPhone 5c was anyway - a repurposed iPhone 5 with newer, brighter colors and a couple of improved tweaks.
Still, despite the disappointment from many that the iPhone 5c wasn’t truly a “cheap” iPhone, the idea still served Apple well. In 2013, it was reported that 69 percent of iPhone 5c users were new to the iPhone completely, and 60 percent of those users switched from Android. The even lower priced iPhone 4s, which is still on the market, sparked even greater percentages than that: 85 percent were new to the iPhone, 62 percent switched from Android. On top of that, the iPhone 5c still managed to be the second most popular holiday smartphone, only behind Apple’s own iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5c might not have been a unanimously accepted decision, but it didn’t completely flop.
Which is why I’m starting to wonder whether we will see an iPhone 6c refresh this year. With the “iPhone 6” being the expected device to show up this fall, I wonder whether Apple will release a 6c refresh, or if they’ll primarily try and focus on the one new model. After all, typically after the “S” version shows up, the next model changes in number, and when there’s a change in number Apple also changes the design.
To be quite honest, I don’t know what to expect from Apple this year. For the first time in a long time, I only have half an idea of what I expect to see come September. Last year I was surprised to see the iPhone 5c at all. How long had it been rumored that Apple would release a second, cheaper option? It seemed like a long time, but it never happened. But since the iPhone 5c accompanied the iPhone 5s, I have to wonder whether the “c” line will end up being a yearly or biyearly refresh, or even if we’ll see another “c” launch at all.
Readers, what are your thoughts on the iPhone 5c and an eventual iPhone 6c? Do you hope to see an eventual refresh, or do you think Apple should give up the “c” line entirely? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!