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Op-Ed: Was Releasing An 8GB iPhone 5c A Good Move For Apple?

Op-Ed: Was Releasing An 8GB iPhone 5c A Good Move For Apple?

March 18, 2014
I’ll admit it, we’re spoiled here in the United States. We’re always the first to receive the new iPhone or iPad; always the first to get our hands on new services like iTunes Radio. That being said, we sometimes forget that Apple is a global brand, and one that must make regional decisions. Earlier today, Cupertino unveiled an 8GB iPhone 5c “internationally.” At the same time, the company relaunched the fourth generation iPad with Retina display worldwide. Initially, both of these decisions left me scratching my American head. Then I thought about each, and realized both moves made a lot of sense, though for different reasons.

The 8GB iPhone 5c

During most of 2013, the tech world had anticipated that Apple would finally launch a low-cost handset. Instead, Apple unveiled a mid-priced 16GB and 32GB iPhone 5c, both of which are priced only slightly less than the technically superior iPhone 5s. The result? Most have concluded that the iPhone 5c has been a bitter disappointment for Apple. The introduction of the 8GB iPhone 5c somewhat corrects this wrong. The new model isn’t cheap (£429 unlocked), but its release is definitely a step in the right direction. At the minimum, it should help pick up a few more sales in the low-cost phone arena. Apple was also wise to limit the model’s initial release to five locations: the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and China. For the time being, the 8GB iPhone 5c won’t be sold in the U.S., where the iPhone remains the top selling smartphone on the market.

The iPad with Retina display

Apple really made a mistake when it retired the fourth-generation iPad last fall to make way for the iPad Air. Making matters worse, Cupertino kept the iPad 2 around, a model which first launched in March 2011. With the $399 16GB iPad with Retina display back, Apple’s tablet lineup is now as it should be. It includes two models first released in 2012, and two from 2013. Perfect, really.

One final point

The moves made by Apple today were the correct ones. Still, they could have been better. The iPhone 4s remains on sale, even in the countries where the 8GB iPhone 5c is now available. This doesn't make a lot of sense. Most likely, Apple has a lot of iPhone 4s units sitting around and plans on selling them between now and this fall when the 2014 iPhone models are released. Overall, however, Apple made some good moves today.

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