Apple has announced the release of its new iPhone 5C with an eye to the international budget market.
We’re in a time when Android has 80% of worldwide smartphone marketshare while Apple has just 12%. The remaining 8% is split up among Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and others.
Yet Apple has a fantastic ecosystem. My wife and kids use Apple. I, on the other hand, use Android. But my Android crashes at least once a day with a sudden blank screen and spontaneous self-directed reboot. Still though, I love the difference in the price points between Apple and Android!
That’s where the 5C comes in. (Some tech writers are dismissively saying the C stands for China or cheap.) China happens to be the biggest cell phone market in the world. There are more customers on cellphones over there at any time of day than the entire population of the United States! But Apple had previously priced itself out the Chinese market with its expensive hardware.
Here in the US, you may see the iPhone 5C advertised for only $99…but that comes with a rip-off contract. The future of the cell business is non-contract. The non-contract price is what will matter. So buying the 5C non-contract at whatever price point it settles at is the way to go if you want to remain in the Apple ecosystem and are price sensitive.
Of course, Android has changed the equation with $99 non-contract phones. As far as data plans, Walmart Family Mobile is the best deal at this time, with 2.5 GB of data and unlimited everything else for under $40.
So Apple is addressing its international marketshare problem by coming out with the 5C. Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T will continue to experiment with discount no-contract brands. For example, AT&T has Aio Wireless, which is their off-brand that offers the same AT&T service for less money.
And remember, when your contract is up, avoid the temptation of what appears to be a really cheap phone that just comes with another 24-month handcuff called a contract!