China Mobile and Apple are rumored to be very close to a deal, with talks going back and forth and a pre-order page even appearing prematurely on China Mobile’s site at one point. Well, according to a new report, one of the reasons that the deal may not be completely secured yet is because of iPhone 5c demand – or lack thereof. Apparently the iPhone 5c hasn’t been selling all too well, according to multiple reports, including one from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo:
While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers. As such, we estimate iPhone 5C shipments of the TD-LTE version for China Mobile at 1.0-1.5mn units in 4Q13 and under 1.0mn units in 1Q14, well below Apple’s original production plan.
We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization.
It’s no secret at this point, I don’t believe, that the iPhone 5c has not been selling all that well. Numbers have been coming out showing that it hasn’t been – if these numbers are accurate of course. We won’t know any official numbers until Apple tells us at its next earnings call, which will be happening late January if history is anything to go by (and with Apple, it is).
The low demand for the iPhone 5c is unfortunate, as it was definitely something that many were skeptical of Apple to do. The first failure of the idea was, in my opinion, not making it cheaper than it is. Everyone expected this to be the “budget” iPhone, or one aimed at emerging markets. However, come September it was obviously not that. Coming in at $549 off contract for a 16GB 5c, it is by no means cheap. Hopefully Apple can find a way to save the seemingly dying 5c.
What do you think? Have you picked up an iPhone 5c? How many have you seen in the wild? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.