We really liked the iPhone 5c, with its bright colours and funky fresh styling. But it won’t be around on Apple Store shelves forever. The iPhone 5c is going away in the middle of 2015, but Apple may well choose to exit that low end of the smartphone race to focus on the iPhone 6 and future premium models.
Macrumours reports a statement from the Industrial and Commercial Times in Taiwan that says Apple is planning to wind down and discontinue production of the iPhone 5c in the middle of next year. That would mean the 5c would disappear off its current spot at the extreme low end of Apple’s iPhone lineup, where it’s only available as an 8GB model for $529.
If you think about it rationally, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since the iPhone 5c was announced in September of 2013. On Apple’s semi-regular yearly iPhone release cycle, we’ve seen iPhones disappear after they’ve been twice superseded, and that would mean the 5c’s discontinuation would roughly line up with the announcement of the iPhone 7 — whatever its name — as its second descendant. (The 5c was itself an aberrance in that refresh cycle, though, so that’s noteworthy in itself.)
The big question is whether the iPhone 5c will disappear only to be replaced at the bottom of Apple’s iPhone lineup with a similarly entry-level specced iPhone 6c, 7c, or whatever it might be called. Merely a month after the 5c’s launch, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had cut production orders due to slow demand, and it may turn out that people just aren’t interested in a low-end iPhone.
With the 5c gone, there will be a different iPhone at the bottom of the pile, but we think it’s likely to be the iPhone 6 — still at its premium price, and still with premium features like TouchID — absolutely crucial to Apple’s wildly successful but still nascent foray into Apple Pay. [Macrumours]