Some still don’t understand the iPhone 5C

Lisa Eadicicco, writing for Business Insider, on why Apple may have scrapped ideas of an iPhone 6C:

"I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well," [Cowen and Company analyst Timothy] Arcuri said. "And they said, 'Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we would essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.'"

Arcuri has said in the past that believes the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will continue to sell well even after Apple releases its new iPhones — especially if Apple reduces the phones' price.

I can understand where Arcuri is coming from. That was Apple’s way of doing things for many years. But apparently Arcuri forgot what Apple did in 2013. When the iPhone 5S was announced, they didn’t simply reduce the price of the iPhone 5. They completely replaced it with the iPhone 5C. And while some have called it a failure, many didn’t understand its purpose.

For some time before the iPhone 5C was announced, many were saying that Apple was going to create a lower cost iPhone for emerging markets. Instead, Apple created an iPhone that was still more expensive than most competing Android devices.

Tim Cook summed it up best:

“We’re not in the junk business.”

To Apple, the iPhone 5C was not a cheap device. It was still a premium device. But instead of simply giving customers the option of buying the latest model and a year old model in the same shell, Apple was giving people a new choice: last year’s hardware specs but in a new and visually appealing design. The iPhone 5C didn’t cannibalize sales of the iPhone 5; it completely replaced it.

As for what this iPhone 6C might be like:

This isn't the first time we've heard talk of a 4-inch metal iPhone. The analysts at Jeffries wrote at the end of June that Apple could be creating a low-cost metal iPhone with a 4-inch screen that would be called the iPhone 6C to be released in 2016. The note from Jefferies, however, didn't mention whether or not the phone would have the same components and design as the iPhone 6. Arcuri has also mentioned that Apple could be working on a new 4-inch iPhone in a previous note to clients from December.

Personally, I’d love to see a new 4-inch iPhone. For many years, Apple stuck to a screen size that eventually was dwarfed by larger and larger devices by their competitors. But Apple always had the advantage in one area: one-handed usability. Even during their iPhone 5 announcement, Apple touted this as a major reason for the design. The iPhone 6 is close to usable with one-hand, but a device the size of the iPhone 5S is much better suited for the task. While I’d prefer an iPhone of this size to have the same high specs as the iPhone 6s, even having iPhone 6 specs would make it a great phone. And we already know how well such a device could operate.

Would an iPhone 6C be bad for Apple? Not at all. It would still be a compelling upgrade for users of older iPhone models, including the iPhone 5C. And I think it could give some refreshing options to switchers from other platforms who don’t need the latest and greatest specs. If there is any group that such a phone would cannibalize, it’s the competition.