Why the iPhone 5C deserves to die

Why the iPhone 5C deserves to die
Your time has come, iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5C was hardly a surprise unveiling. Apple's growth into world's premier smartphone manufacturer means it's now virtually unable to keep a secret. There are too many people involved in the production line and every tech website wants that exclusive.

But as soon as we started seeing coloured cases that was it, the scrawl was on the wall. And what a mess it was.

Playing with a 5C is like watching X Factor when you're hungover. It makes you want to put your foot through your television.

Rotten Apple

Sorry Apple, but the fact is this: it seems people don't really want an iPhone 5C. Don't just take my word for that, look around you - how many users have you seen in the last month carrying a device that looks like it's covered in crayon vomit? Exactly.

I was recently in line at the Apple store in Cambridge on the day the new Apple babes were born. The line had hundreds of people in it but the scene was comical as the doors opened and the iPhone 5S sold-out announcement came.

There was this collective sigh and only about ten people remained in line to get their hands on the cheaper version. The demand just wasn't there on launch day, and it just isn't there now.

Why? Well, better to turn that question around. Rather than ask why nobody wants one, how about why would anybody want one?

It's just last year's model whacked with the ugly stick to make it look like a more affordable, fun version. But in the end, the iPhone 5C lacks the premium feel an Apple device would tend to muster. What's fun about an old phone in a toy case that costs you an arm and a leg?

Mutton dressed as lamb

And price is part of the problem here. The inferior product normally comes with a significant rebate, but the 5C still costs a bomb. That's where Apple's dropped a huge clanger.

If people can afford a 5C, it's not that much extra to get the 5S which will hold its value more and has that feeling of being a newer and better device.

It's not the first time Apple has done this. Take an old product, stick the components in a new shell and tell the world to sit down. Relax. There's a new kid on the block. Yep, I'm talking about YOU, iPad Mini - you're just an iPad 2 in a smaller frame.

What a great way of clearing out the inventory. Of course, Steve Jobs always talked about there being no need for smaller tablets. But he also derided the idea of a cheaper iPhone.

Then again, he's not running the show now, Tim Cook is. And despite Jobs telling him to run Apple how he felt it should be run, not how he thought Jobs would have done, the fact is there has been a change of strategy.

Apple is eyeing up a slice of the budget market. Trouble is, Apple's customers don't tend to be the budget types.

The iPhone 5C deserves to fail. Why? Because Apple has launched it so half-heartedly. It hasn't given it a killer feature, nor is it piling them up and selling them cheap. There's pretty much nil incentive here to own one.

Cupertino has arrogantly assumed that those on a budget will find the cash to pay just that bit more for a 5C. It's a lesson Tim Cook's going to have to learn fast if he wants to keep profitable and stay in a job.