First iPhone 5c Reviews: Color is a 'Breath of Fresh Air', Will 'Sell Like Hot Cakes'

During its iPhone event that took place on September 10, Apple handed out a number of iPhone 5c review units to various publications. The embargo on reviews has just been lifted, which means a slew of sites are posting reactions to Apple’s colorful new phone lineup. We’ve gathered some interesting excerpts below to highlight the general reaction to the release.

iphone5c-header
David Pogue, The New York Times

The budget model, the new iPhone 5C, comes in five colors ($100 for the 16-gigabyte model with a two-year contract, $550 without). It’s essentially identical to last year’s iPhone 5, except that its back and sides are a single piece of plastic instead of metal and glass.Actually, “plastic” isn’t quite fair. The 5C’s case is polycarbonate, lacquered like a glossy piano. Better yet, its back edges are curved for the first time since the iPhones of 2008. You can tell by touch which way it’s facing in your pocket.

It’s a terrific phone. The price is right. It will sell like hot cakes; the new iPhones go on sale Friday. But just sheathing last year’s phone in shiny plastic isn’t a stunning advance.

Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

There is absolutely no give to this phone at all. It doesn’t bend or buckle anywhere in the casing, which is what you want, obviously. It feels as solid as the 5s.

The iPhone 5c doesn’t actually feel like plastic. It’s strange when you first pick it up, but it almost feels like ceramic or a similar material that is glossy and hard. The manufacturing process that Apple used to make this phone and the metal reinforcement it used in the plastic casing certainly worked on making this phone tough.

Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

To date, Apple’s choice of materials has been one of its prime differentiating factors, at least from an aesthetics point of view, vs. the Android crop of competitors. So does dipping back into a polycarbonate shell threaten the image Apple has tried so hard to cultivate?

The answer is a resounding ‘No.’ Apple notes that the iPhone 5c is actually polycarbonate because it wanted to get the colors just right, and doing so in metal just wasn’t feasible. Further, it points out that there’s a steel frame (which doubles as an antenna) girding that polycarbonate shell, which results in a phone that feels sturdy in the hand, without the flex or perceived fragility of other plastic device designs.


Lauren Goode, AllThingsD

The iPhone 5C has the same A6 processor and the same 4-inch Retina display as the iPhone 5. Colors on the 5C’s display look warmer.

It’s just slightly thicker and heavier than the iPhone 5. And while the 5C isn’t as refined-looking as the iPhone 5 or the new 5S, it isn’t a tacky plastic phone, either. I’ve tested plastic phones before, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the new Moto X from Motorola, and this phone feels more solid in the hand.

Myriam Joire, Engadget

We’re not going to lie. The iPhone 5c is gorgeous – we’d even argue that it’s the most beautiful iPhone since the 4 and 4s. It instantly makes the iPhone 5 and 5s look staid in comparison.

Sure, we prefer materials like aluminum and glass over plastic, and we appreciate the intricate craftsmanship that goes into building the iPhone 5 and 5s, but still, we can’t help it – the 5c just triggers some reptilian part of our brains that screams, “OMG, color!”

Other reviews:

Anand Shimpi, AnandTech
Edward Baig, USA Today
Stuart Miles, Pocket-Lint
Luke Peters, T3
Scott Stein, CNET

Apple’s iPhone 5c is currently available for pre-order and will begin shipping on September 20.

Top Rated Comments

cuda12 Avatar
107 months ago
But I thought this was supposed to flop???
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paradox00 Avatar
107 months ago
no one said that.. or at least what the majority of people tried to say is that if the price was lower they would sell much more phones and actually get a larger market share (something they definitely won't do with this)
Plenty of people said it would flop. I've read that word numerous times. The marketshare argument itself is stale. Apple's business model works for them, increased market share doesn't necessarily mean increased profit share, yet Wall Street is always suggesting Apple should change its business model. Apple's model goes against convention, so they simply assume its wrong even though the evidence indicates it's not.

Edit: You're also mistaken if you think this model won't impact market share. Selling like "hot cakes" will certainly do that. Just not as much as a low margin/no profit phone would.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
107 months ago
Remember, folks, Apple NEEDS a netbook, and they NEED a $400 phone!* :)

* Which they actually have in China anyway: the iPhone 4.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvetio Avatar
107 months ago
..

But I thought this was supposed to flop???

no one said that.. or at least what the majority of people tried to say is that if the price was lower they would sell much more phones and actually get a larger market share (something they definitely won't do with this)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Taz Mangus Avatar
107 months ago
no one said that.. or at least what the majority of people tried to say is that if the price was lower they would sell much more phones and actually get a larger market share (something they definitely won't do with this)

It is far to early to start stating what the effect of the iPhone 5c will be in the marketplace. Let's see what happens instead of declaring as fact "something they definitely won't do with this".
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dakwar Avatar
107 months ago
The blue one looks particularly enticing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Planning Five New Macs for 2022, Including Entry-Level MacBook Pro Refresh

Sunday December 5, 2021 7:55 am PST by
Apple is working on five new Macs for launch in 2022, including a new version of the entry-level MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that he expects Apple to launch five new Macs in 2022, including: A high-end iMac with Apple silicon to sit above the 24-inch iMac in the lineup A significant MacBook Air...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...