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The colorful puzzles of 5c

September 13, 2013

The puzzles of 5c

Simple, yet colorful. New, yet the same from before. The 5c is the most controversial iPhone of its generation. It has generated more talks than its bigger better sibling; the 5s. Lots of people out there, including the analysts and Apple haters, are laughing at it because they failed to see how game-changing the 5c is. I’ll tell you why.

Let’s start with its letter acronym, Apple has changed the way it’s written, now it’s no longer a capital letter but a small letter. Fonts and letter are a big deal for Apple, including for those who works in the company and who love to use Apple products. I once heard a story of how Jobs didn’t like the first naming of the iPhone 3G S, so he ordered it to be simplified and the next day all of the naming on Apple web sites became 3GS.

This is a departure from Steve Jobs era, where Jobs sanctioned the use of capital “S” letter in every iPhone refreshes before the 5c. It’s a personal statement for Apple, that the whole team especially Tim Cook and Jony Ive, they’re not trying to get things done by imagining what would Jobs do in their situation. They’re doing this their way, not Jobs’, and they’re saying this in the most subtle way.

Next, it’s the colors of the 5c. It’s in colors, not just plain black or white color option Apple usually offered, now it’s available in five different colors. Jobs was known for simplifying Apple products line-up to just one or two colors offering, this is yet again another sign that Apple is getting things done not with Jobs’ way. Under Cook’s reign, Apple looks to divide the iPhone into two families: the standard (5c) and the pro (5s).

And it’s not just the physical colors, the translucent palette theme color in 5c matches with the color of its rear shell. This never happened before, this is the first time Apple allows customization of the iOS. Although it’s just a different use of wallpaper colors, still it’s a big yet subtle change for Apple.

Last of the 5c’s colors wonder is its colorful case line-ups, it’s obvious Ive has put a lot of attention to it, especially those dots are his very signature. Some may say the 5c cases are like Crocs sandals, but the dots serve as a purpose to mix-match the colors simultaneously with the 5c rear shell. The case is made not to hide the bright colors of the 5c, it’s the opposite. That’s why Apple make it, it’s to enhance the colors, it’s unique. And to think about those hollow dots, they’re making the case more expensive to produce rather than the conventional case, only Apple is crazy enough to do that.

And the 5c to Apple serves as a purpose to attract new users, especially youngsters, with its bright colorful rear shell. It has been proven as a huge success with the iPod touch, color screams all the elements of youth: fun, different, and choice. So Apple is positioning the 5c to replace the 5, the company silently killed-off the 5, not phasing it out but replacing it.

That’s not just the only reason why Apple stopped offering the 5 altogether, there are three industrial factors thrown in to reached this decision:

  1. The iPhone 5 shell body is hard to make, Apple was having difficulties to keep up with the market demand since the processes are meticulous and slow.
  2. By dividing the new 5 generations into two different materials, Apple will be able to suppress the issue above, unless of course the 5s proves to be more popular than the 5c.
  3. The plastic shell of the 5c is obviously easier to make, and costs less too.

So Apple is hitting four birds at once with the 5c: fulfill China Mobile’s demands to provide new iPhone, attract China Mobile’s customers with the colorful line-up of the 5c, while lowering down the production costs Apple will be able to meet the demands of the 5c. Ingenious! And I’m just talking about the China market (China Mobile’s subscribers in particular), imagine it yourself what if the 5c is also become popular with other China wireless subscribers, and in the US and other countries as well. It’s jackpot.

This brought us to the $549 price tag of the 5c (unlocked), same as the obselete 5’s price tag. Apple doesn’t want the 5c to be viewed as cheap just because it uses plastic rear shell, and certainly Apple doesn’t care about market share, so Apple does what Apple does best. Keep what’s best, lower the costs, and make it better. Mind you, Apple is neither lowering or increasing its price point, it simply maintaining the profit margin Apple is comfortable with.

So for those who’s saying the 5c is a big mistake for Apple, think again. It’s not a blunder, it’s not even a sign if Apple can’t innovate, in fact Apple just disrupt the smartphone market, again. The 5c is a genius move, and Tim Cook is the uncelebrated star behind it.

Oh, and more thing. I can’t help but to think how coincidence it is Ive made the iOS 7 right when the 5c is about to be introduced, the matching colors of iOS 7 translucent palette theme compliment the 5c rear shell colors perfectly. It’s as if the iOS 7 is made for the 5c in mind.

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