Is Apple's new iPhone 5c a trick missed?

As expected, Apple's new iPhone 5s is simply a very souped-up version of the outgoing iPhone 5. The new S has a faster processor (an all-new A7 chip), a fresh new IOS 7 interface (available to iPhone 5 users now), a much better 8 megapixel iSight camera and the addition of clever fingerprint recognition technology that replaces the need for users to type in the current four-character security code. It also comes in three new finishes: white, black and bling. The iPhone 5S is to retail at an expectedly pricey £549. But it's not so much the 5S that has raised eyebrows here at Device Squad HQ as the announcement of a budget version called the iPhone 5c.


We're not sure how Apple managed to miss the boat but in China (the world's new retail playground), Apple' presence has fallen way behind Android. Even when broken down into individual brands, Apple trails Samsung by some margin. Currently Apple's Chinese market share is 4.8% against Samsung's 17.6%.


So, back to the iPhone 5C, which sounds intriguing. It's made of plastic, comes in lots of bright colours and has many of the features of the current iPhone 5. It sounds perfect for the Chinese market, right? Er, no. Not at £469 a pop it isn't. Even by European standards, £469 for a phone is an unattainable price band for all but the averagely well heeled. So how on Earth does Apple expect to up its market share in a country where so much of the population can hardly afford to eat, let alone splash out on a fancy phone. Unless, of course, Apple plans to sell the iPhone 5c at a special knockdown price.


Decades ago, Steve Jobs halted production of a wide range of home computers saying the company had too many products and it was confusing to the prospective buyer. It was a wise move –his simple less-is-more-philosophy ensured Apple's ascent to where it is today. But is it not time now for Apple to produce a third iPhone tier? One that costs under £200. A true Iphone for the masses.


We say this because only yesterday we were fiddling with Apple's current Nano pod. It behaves like an iPhone with apps and a side-scrolling interface and it's really, really small. So what if Apple created a mini iPhone, the iPhone Nano, that uses the body of a Nano with a phone receiver in it? Nothing over the top, just a simple phone function, a contacts list, messaging, music and a few apps to while away the time.


Now THAT would be something.

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