Alleged Budget iPhone Price Surfaces


As we approach the highly anticipated fall launch of the next-generation iPhones, the rumour mill is starting to get busy, spilling new whispers both about the iPhone 5S and the 5C, the lower-cost iPhone. We’ve seen lots of low- and high-res images of the latter, but this time, among a new set of high-res pictures, we’ve heard some whispers about the iPhone 5C price as well (via PhoneArena).

Image credit: Sonny Dickson
Image credit: Sonny Dickson

According to a prominent poster on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, C Technology, the iPhone 5C (or whatever the name of the lower-cost iPhone will be), is likely to be priced in China at the current price point of the iPhone 4, which is 3000 yuan for an unlocked handset. This is equivalent to approximately $490, but we don’t have information about which model the poster is talking about.

If we can believe the above price whisper, the handset will likely target higher than originally rumored. The first price rumours — from Bloomberg – hinted at something around $100 (with contract, I assume). Other analysts, Gokul Hariharan and Mark Moskowitz of J.P. Morgan, however, said that the budget iPhone will likely target the mid-end of the market, and will be priced somewhere between $300 and $350. The $490 falls a but far from any of these expectations, and seems to agree with Pegatron’s CEO, who suggested that the iPhone 5C won’t be cheap.

It remains to be seen whether Apple’s pricing strategy for the iPhone 5C will help the company’s foray in the Asian mobile market. Considering that the average monthly wage in China is less than the price of an unlocked iPhone, pricing strategy will be crucial for Apple. On the other hand, the iPhone 4 (and its price) seems to boost Apple’s presence in these markets, so from this perspective, the leaked pricing could make sense.

In addition, there will be major differentiators between the iPhone 4 and 5C — yet again this is a guess, based on rumours: the 4-inch screen, an 8 MP camera, and the polycarbonate shell.

What do you think about the $490 price? Is this something you would jump on if it comes factory unlocked?


  • Erik Kappel

    I’m at a poont where I have to upgrade, the ol’ 4 isn’t keeping up so well anymore, god knows how it’ll handle iOS7… So the deciding factor for me will be specs and camera specs. If the camera is the same between the 5S and the 5C, maybe I’ll think about the C, but if the S is better in that regard… We’re talking a phone I’ll have for 2-3 years to come, a few hundred spread over that time is a price I’m willing to pay to have a significantly better experience. Key word there is significant. If the 5C holds its own with not too many compromises, I will consider it. I actually like the leaked design, so who knows… Excuse the rambling, I’m on the verge of dosing off 😛

  • WatDah

    If that’s the case, why would you even consider 5C when you don’t mind spending extra for a fully featured 5S? IF the 5C is real, an educated guess of the specs would be, logically, lower than the 5. Otherwise, what’s the point? Most likely it would use the A5X chip, since the 5C should (again, logically) be between the 4S and the 5. It is more appealing for those that wants to upgrade but can’t really afford a 5 or 5S, and the device could still potentially support more functions from iOS 7 and beyond. At the same time, it would not anger those that bought the 5 less than a year ago.

    The real question is, why would someone (when the person has the money) buy a lesser model knowing very well that it would become obsolete quicker AND doesn’t have all the functions, than a fully featured model which will last for the time intended? Remember, that extra $200 (just a guess) not only gives you at least one more year of usage, but also ALL the functions.