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Apple shares plummet after pricey iPhone 5C fails to hit the spot in China

Apple's shares fell by over five per cent yesterday, immediately after the Tuesday launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

The company's shares closed at a month low of $467.71, representing a 5.4 per cent deficit.

The iPhone 5C has been held responsible for the dip, with investors concerned that Apple has missed a big opportunity in the mid-range market. According to a number of analysts and consumers alike, the firm has failed to price the plastic 5C competitively.

In the UK, the 16GB SIM-free version will cost £469, while in China, it will come at a price of 4,488 yuan, which is more than the country's monthly urban income.

"If you look at the price, it's clearly a high-end phone, not a low- or even midrange phone," Jenny Lai, a HSBC analyst in Taipei, told the New York Times.

The Cupertino-based tech giant is not performing well in emerging markets, such as China, due to its lack of mid-range or low-end mobiles and strong competition from its rivals. The likes of Samsung, Lenovo and Xiaomi rank well above Apple in the People's Republic.

In the build-up to Tuesday's launch, the technology world was expecting the iPhone 5C to be a mid-range device – which it is - but pricing hasn't reflected that. Much of the gossip revolved around how a cheap iPhone would help the company gain some much-needed ground in the biggest market in the world, though that now seems unlikely.

The handset's reception has so far been cold to lukewarm, with Sebastian Anthony noting, "it's actually hard to find a purpose for the iPhone 5C."

"The pricing on the iPhone 5C is simply not low enough to adequately address the significant global growth opportunity that we believe exists with unsubsidized prepaid customers that have not yet bought a smartphone," said BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk.

"We believe Apple is foregoing a valuable and relatively easy way to return to earnings growth."

We managed to get our hands on the iPhone 5C, so follow the link to check out our first impressions.