The release date for Apple’s new iPhone 5S and its ‘cheap’ iPhone 5C is Friday, with around-the-world sales of the double debut gadgets beginning in Australia, then moving through Asia, Europe, and North America.
The iPhone 5S is a slick new top-end model with a speedier chip and fingerprint sensor, which starts at $199 in the United States.
The iPhone 5C is a polycarbonate version aimed at budget-conscious smartphone customers, starting at $99 in the U.S., and is Apple’s answer to cheaper, Android-powered models led by Samsung.
However, disappointment in the relatively high price of the pared-down iPhone 5C and the company’s failure to make headway in China could mute the fanfare that normally accompanies its launches, say analysts.
Apple did pen a new deal with Docomo, Japan’s biggest mobile carrier, but is without a new alliance in the vast Chinese market.
But its price is $700 in China, which is expected to be too high for most consumers in the world’s largest mobile phone market.
Many domestically-made smartphones in China are priced as low as $100, notes Beijing-based analyst Wang Ying with iResearch.
Wang also says Apple missed out by not reaching a deal with China Mobile and its 700 million subscribers.
Apple does have contracts with China Unicom and China Telecom.
In Japan, however, today’s launch looks much brighter. Apple’s new deal with Docomo has opened up a wider cross-section of rich, gadget-loving Japanese consumers. Image/Tapscape.com