What’s the one big complaint about Apple products? They’re too expensive. Of course, Apple wouldn’t be as profitable if products were sold at lower prices, so Apple is required to provide more visible sizzle with each product upgrade, and never is this more clear than with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
Apple is taking a page, but only a page, from the company’s success with the iPod which quickly became the market leader for portable media players prior to the iPhone. The iPod’s pricing and product structure made it difficult for competitors to take marketshare.
Look at the iPod line today. It starts with the iPod shuffle at $49, jumps to the iPod nano for $149, to the iPod touch which starts at $229.
That’s product migration at its best, but Apple wasn’t able to do the same spread to the iPhone’s product line. With the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S Apple is segregating the two lines by features and price– but the feature differences are nominal, and the price difference is nominal.
In the U.S., which isn’t representative of the rest of the world, the low end is marked by the aging iPhone 4S, which is free with a two-year contract, and is only an 8GB model.
Stepping up the product line is the new iPhone 5C with a polycarbonate shell, an A6 CPU and resembles the iPhone 5 in everything but case and colors (five new colors, and a new line of cases).
$100 more gets you the top-of-the-class iPhone 5S model, sans plastic shell, in silver, gold, and gray, but is further differentiated by using a much faster 64-bit A7 CPU, the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, and a new camera with image stabilization, slow motion video, and a dual LED flash.
The iPhone 5S is slightly smaller than the plastic brother, and weighs less. It also includes a new M7 motion co-processor not found in the less expensive iPhone 5C.
Are those features worth $100?
Otherwise, there are more similarities between the plastic iPhone 5C and the aluminum-cased iPhone 5S than it would seem. The screen is the same size. The iSight camera appears to be the same but the iPhone 5S has larger pixels, True Tone flash (dual LEDs), a burst mode, and slow motion.
Along with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the iPhone’s camera is becoming a key point of differentiation between models. In true Apple fashion, the iPhone 5C sizzles low price but really isn’t. Obviously, Apple wants customers to upgrade and is giving more choices, but the company recognizes that Android smartphone customers need something to upgrade to as well, hence the lower priced iPhone 5C is still higher than most Android devices.
Apple has always been about sizzle, and the new iPhone line means the company is staying close to its roots.