This is not the first time we’ve heard the iPhone 5C could replace an iPhone currently on sale. In late June the first claim that the Apple would stop selling the iPhone 5 when the iPhone 5S release arrives landed, which was too sketchy to believe on its own.
Last week another well-known analyst claimed the iPhone 5C would replace the iPhone 4S in Apple’s lineup, joining the iPhone 5, but arriving without Siri. This report also pegged the iPhone 5C price at $300.
As the week kicks off and we enter the home stretch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C rumors, we hear another possible iPhone 5C price and a claim that the iPhone 5C will push the iPhone 5 out of the picture.
In an Apple Insider report, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities claims the iPhone 5C will take the place of the iPhone 5, and will arrive with an off contract price of $400 to $500. In addition to this cheaper off contract price, Kuo claims the iPhone 4S will be available for as low as $300 off contract. This could deliver an iPhone lineup as follows;
- iPhone 5S – $649 and Up off contract
- iPhone 5C – $400 off contract
- iPhone 4S – $300 off contract
The iPhone 4S is currently $99 on contract and $549 off contract while the iPhone 4 is free on contract and $449 off contract. If Kuo is correct this means a big drop in off contract pricing which could make a Straight Talk iPhone and other pre-paid iPhone options much more attractive.
Apple is reportedly trying to go after the lower price levels without delivering a typical budget phone. An iPhone 5C is expected to arrive with a 4-inch Retina Display, Lightning connection and iOS 7 on board, though it may not get the same set of software features as the iPhone 5S.
While it is possible that Apple is planning to replace the iPhone 5 with the iPhone 5C, it would not solve all the same problems as replacing the iPhone 4S. If the iPhone 5C replaces the iPhone 4S, all on-sale iPhones would come with a 4-inch Retina Display and Lightning connection, standardizing important features.
Even though the iPhone 5 is less than a year old, there is precedent for Apple removing a product from the lineup this fast. The iPad 3 was only on sale for 7 months before the iPad 4 completely replaced it.
iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 5, Behind The Decision
If Apple chooses to replace the iPhone 5, the decision is likely based on the iPhone 5S, not the plastic budget iPhone.
The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 will reportedly look the same, and will come with many of the same features. An earlier report from Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple is trying hard to differentiate the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 with a Gold color option and up to 128GB of storage.
These new features would help set the two apart, in addition to a rumored fingerprint sensor and improved camera experience, but if Apple is really planning to pull the iPhone 5 from store shelves, the company may not think it is enough on its own to get shoppers to buy the premium iPhone.
By putting a plastic iPhone 5C in between the iPhone 5S and iPhone 4S, Apple would offer immediately recognizable differences in design and price.
Until the rumored September 10th iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C announcement arrives, it’s hard to know which way Apple will definitively position the iPhone 5C in the iPhone lineup, but with significant chatter it is looking more plausible that it could replace an iPhone, and not exist outside of Apple’s trio of iPhone models on sale.