The iPhone 5C is not a low cost smartphone, that's for sure.
Apple has posted up the price for the new unlocked iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S models on its store websites in eight of its nine launch markets. (Only Japan was left out). While the 5S and 5C will be much cheaper than the posted prices for people signing up for two year contracts, it's worth taking a look at how much the phones cost without a contract. By that measure, the 5C is still within the top end of the smartphone range.
Let's compare to some other "scaled-down" versions of flagship smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini costs $410 in the US at Newegg.com, and can be had for around the £340 mark in the UK. The unlocked HTC One mini is selling for $470 in the US at Negri Electronics, and can be bought for around £380 in the UK.
So here's a table of the iPhone 5C's (and 5S) price in various local currencies, with the converted price in US dollars on the right for a comparison of how relatively expensive the handset is.
Europe doesn't fare well there. One very important point to note here is that there's a huge growth in smartphones under $300 (£190) right now, especially in China. Xiaomi, which just hired away Android designer Hugo Barra, does most of its business in the $180-$300 (£110 to £190) range, according to the New York Times.
That has helped Xiaomi, and other lesser-known Chinese phone makers like Coolpad, outpace Apple in the Chinese smartphone market. With its $728 (£460) "cheap" iPhone 5C, Apple is taking a big gamble that it's the kind of brand that global consumers will save up for. We discuss the 5C price situation in China further in this article.
If you didn't have a contract, would you find iPhone prices to be competitive? Is the device superior enough to warrant the extra dosh? Let us know in the comments section below.
For more on the new iPhone 5C, see our article entitled iPhone 5C: An overly safe smartphone that won't challenge Samsung, and for the iPhone 5S, be sure to check out our recent spec comparisons: The Apple iPhone 5S vs Samsung Galaxy S4, and Apple iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5.