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Foxconn allegedly shutting down iPhone 5c output at Zhengzhou plant

updated 10:28 am EST, Mon November 18, 2013

May be supported by recent claims of production scaling

Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, is halting production of the iPhone 5c at its Zhengzhou factory and shifting the labor towards the iPhone 5s, sources tell Digitimes. While Digitimes has a mixed track record, the claim is consistent with recent reports of cutbacks in 5c production. Foxconn in particular is said to be churning out just 8,000 to 9,000 units a day; the core 5c manufacturer, Pegatron, has allegedly scaled back from 320,000 phones per day in October to just 80,000.

The 5s has proven to be a popular product, but sales of the 5c appear to have lagged behind. Several major US retailers recently slashed prices for the device, which was already normally $99 on contract. The phone's sales are likely being impacted by price-to-performance ratios; the 5c is essentially just an iPhone 5 with a plastic back, and no cheaper than the 5 would be if it were still on sale. Prior to its launch, analysts had been hoping for a device that would be relatively cheap off-contract. Instead, an unlocked 5c starts at $549.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    The iPhone 5c is a nice phone, especially when it comes down to the whole haptic experience - way nicer to hold than the 4/4S/5/5s. Sadly, most customers never get that far (= to hold one in their own hands) and despise it because of price ("I thought the 'c' stands for 'cheap'!") and lacklustre specs. Sure, it's still a fast enough phone, but most people decide to cough up the remaining 100 bucks and spring for the 5s.

    This is one of the times when Apple got the market completely and utterly wrong.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    I'm glad the market rejected the iPhone 5c.

    The iPhone 5S - has a fast processor, and yes, developers will write apps to use that processing power.
    And when that happens - your iPhone 5C will seem sluggish.

    So why go for a 5C when you save only a trivial amount of money?

    Now Apple undoubtedly called this wrong because of the human condition where we predict the future by observing the present.

    During the reign of the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4S continued to sell well. But it had a distinguishing factor - it was the best and greatest iOS phone that still had a 3.5" screen.

    To give the iPhone 5 something to distinguish it, so that it could sell well when it entered life as a previous generation phone - they came up with the iPhone 5C. But the iPhone 4S's selling point was the 3.5" screen - that can' be substituted with any old selling point, like color choices.

    The 5C's color choices are a selling point that - doesn't sell. The market rejected that concept and I say - good!

    That was an insult to the market's intelligence.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    There's still time for Apple to save the iPhone 5c.

    All they need do is treat it as their smallest iPad. They sell iPads unlocked, without any contract requirements, and with the ability to sign up with any of several cellular companies. If they do the same with the iPhone 5c, they'll attract those who want a good smartphone but hate two-year contracts.

    That 'smallest iPad' spot is the only market niche that the iPhone 5c can fill.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    One more remark. Selling the iPhone 5c as the smallest iPad transforms its greatest liability into its greatest asset. Instead of contrasting poorly with the iPhone 5s, it will contrast marvelously with the iPad mini. It becomes an iPad with a cell phone. And no, Apple need not say that in their ads. All they need to do is sell it like the cellular-equipped iPads sell. Customers will pick up on that greater freedom quickly enough.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Oh Really??

    If the Apple 5c carried a Samsung or LG logo on it, the members on this board would call it a plastic POS. Why not now??

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Oh wrenchy. Because the 5 was not a plastic POS. The 5C has minor tweaks, and yes, a colorful plastic exterior. It's still "basically" an iPhone 5.

    I think your loosing your touch, wrench. ;)

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Originally Posted by Flying MeatView Post

    Because the 5 was not a plastic POS.

    The 5 was not plastic? - True.
    The 5 was not a POS? - Well that's a personal opinion.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Touché. :)

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    The market hasn't "rejected" the iPhone 5c at all -- available *sales* evidence suggests that it is outselling the iPhone 5 when it was at this same point in its cycle:

    Obviously the iPhone 5s is selling better -- and why not? -- but the iPhone 5c isn't doing badly. The evidence indicates that the two models are, together, doing about *double* the sales of the iPhone 5 alone at the same point in its life-cycle.

    Inkling may be right that a change of marketing approach might be warranted to even those numbers up a bit (the iPhone 5s is selling three units for every one 5c, it looks like), but I don't think this is different than Apple's plan at all. I would be very surprised if they honestly thought the iPhone 5c was going to ever outsell the iPhone 5s.

    Nor do I think the "cutbacks" are a) as big as has been speculated and b) abnormal. The factories have already made all the iPhone 5c units they are going to sell this xmas, so they are starting to cut back (or change suppliers, another possibility). The iPhone 5s is, unsurprisingly to anyone, doing better and thus needs more production attention. I should also think that the while quality is important to both models, its even more crucial on the 5s since its the "premium" model. I'm looking forward to getting my own, but I have to admit I was surprised at how much I liked the iPhone 5c when I finally got to play with one.

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