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Apple observes ask, Is iPhone 5C a hit or a miss?

  |   Oct. 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM
CUPERTINO, Calif., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. technology giant Apple is remaining silent on sales data on its September launch of two phones, but Apple observers have proved less discrete.

Localytics, a marketing firm that studies mobile device applications, said the upgraded 5S iPhone is outselling the cheaper 5C version by a margin of 3-to-1 in the United States and 5-to-1 worldwide, CNN reported Saturday.

Looked at from a different angle, C Tech, a Web site in China, said that sources claimed production of the 5C had already been cut in half down to 300,000 unit per day less than a month after the phone was released.

One industry analyst, Sarah Rotman Epps at Forrester Research, said the bottom line is that Apple "needs new customers to keep growing, and the 5C was supposed to appeal to a new, more price-conscious consumer."

"Turns out that acquisition [of new customers] is a lot harder than retention," she said.

And from yet another point of view, NPD reported Friday that production of the iPhone 5S, which includes the upgraded camera and the new fingerprint security system, is soon to be increased 75 percent, while production of the iPhone 5C is to be decreased 35 percent.

Others find retail store prices tell the same story. Within a month, Radio Shack, Best Buy and Walmart were all changing prices to reflect slow demand, CNN said.

The last official word from Apple was that the company had broken its record for the first weekend of a launch, selling 9 million of the cheaper and more expensive versions of the iPhone 5 combined.

"Apple has more work to do to attract the next generation of iPhone customers. The 5C isn't resonating as Apple hoped it would," Epps said.

On the other hand, CNN pointed out, things could be a lot worse than having the more expensive version of a product outsell the cheaper version.

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