Apple Reportedly Cutting iPhone 5c Production as Chinese Gray Market Prices Drop

iphone_5c_store_heroApple is reportedly cutting iPhone 5c production in half from 300,000 units to 150,000 units per day, according to claims by C Technology [Google Translate], which leaked a number of photos of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c ahead of their launches last month. As highlighted by Unwired View, gray market pricing for iPhone 5c units has also been falling as availability has remained solid.

The official price of iPhone 5c in China is 4448 Yuan ($726). But there is a thriving grey market over there, with iPhones bought in the U.S, Europe and Hong-Kong, illegally smuggled into the country. With real people taking real risks with their real money, this market is very sensitive to the real demand for any gadget, and very quick to adjust prices accordingly.

Care to guess the current price of unofficial iPhone 5c in China? 3000 to 3300 Yuan ($489-539), according to checks done multiple by local tech sites, and a quick review of offers on China’s main online marketplace – Taobao. That’s a drop of 30% below the official price. And, according to some sources, you can now sometimes find iPhone 5c as cheaply as 2600 Yuan.

The iPhone 5c has been available in much greater supplies than the iPhone 5s, which continues to be difficult to find and for which gray market prices in China remain high. There has, however, been some dispute about how much of the plentiful iPhone 5c supplies might be due to weak demand and how much is a result of Apple simply having been able to ramp up production sufficiently to meet early demand.

While a decrease in iPhone 5c production would be a signal that Apple has plentiful supplies in its distribution channels, it is not necessarily an indication that the company significantly overestimated demand for the device, which retails for just $100 less than than the iPhone 5s. Apple no doubt ramped up production leading up to the iPhone 5c launch in order to meet pre-order and launch-day demand while also shipping a significant number of units into its distribution channels to stock retail locations for sales in the following weeks. Apple was unable to make a similar production ramp for the iPhone 5s, reportedly due to fingerprint sensor shortages, leading to very tight supplies that continue to be an issue three weeks after launch.

Apple will certainly be adjusting its iPhone 5c production orders to meet customer demand as it did by immediately boosting gold iPhone 5s production, but it is unclear whether the currently alleged iPhone 5c production changes have been part of Apple's strategy all along or if they are a response to weaker than expected demand.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Jimrod Avatar
137 months ago
Make a black one and double your sales by targeting guys as well as teen girls...
Score: 65 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cptdavep Avatar
137 months ago
I don't know who in their right mind would by a 5C when it's only $100 cheaper than a 5S. Given the difference in performance/features the 5C is really poor value.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neoelectronaut Avatar
137 months ago
The troll responses in this thread are going to reach ridiculous levels.:rolleyes:

I don't get why anyone would buy this cheap-looking expensive phone when the 5s is just $100 more. Seriously, if you can afford 5c then you can afford the 5s. 5s is sooo much better.
I'll field this one.

1) I enjoy the colored back of the phone. It brings a splash of color to a line of products that has been dull for so long.

2) The rounded polycarbonate back of the phone is more pleasant to look at and hold as compared to the cold, industrial looking and feeling 5s.

3) I saved $100 by going with the 5c. That money allowed me to purchase Applecare+ for my phone.

4) I'm not the shallow sort of individual that cares what other people think about the phone I use. I mean, really? Grow up, people. If you think my phone is "cheap-looking" I don't really care. Whatever makes you feel superior, man.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
137 months ago
And drop the price by $1-200...
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kas23 Avatar
137 months ago
This has been a rare failure by Apple. I can't see why they didn't see this coming. They need to come off their high horse.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TXCherokee Avatar
137 months ago
Make a black one and double your sales by targeting guys as well as teen girls...

Or at least grey.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
M3 iPad Feature 3

Apple Event for New iPads Still Considered 'Unlikely' Following Delays

Tuesday April 9, 2024 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is "unlikely" to hold an event to announce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, according to sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman already said Apple was not planning to hold an event for the new iPads, but he made this claim back in early March, before it was reported that the devices were postponed due to manufacturing delays. With the...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...