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A costly mistake: Report claims unsold iPhone 5c inventory is piling up fast

Published Mar 6th, 2014 10:25AM EST
iPhone 5c Deals and Price Cuts

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A new report from Taiwan indicates that stock of the unsuccessful iPhone 5c is piling up with Apple’s suppliers and retail partners, as demand for the handset is still lower than expected – previous reports have revealed that the iPhone 5s was Apple’s real winner when it comes to the 2013 iPhone models, with the iPhone 5c not attracting enough buyers.

According to Digitimes, more than 3 million iPhone 5c units are waiting for buyers, of which 2 million are stored in Pegatron’s warehouses, while 1 million units are collecting dust in carriers’ and retailers’ depots. Even so, the iPhone 5c will not get an official price cut, at least not immediately, but that may change as months pass by and newer mobile devices are launched.

“Due to their contracts with Apple and high purchasing prices, most telecom carriers and retailers are unlikely to offer significant price cuts in the short-term for the iPhone 5c,” Digitimes writes. “Currently, iPhone 5c is priced at US$99 (16GB) and US$199 (32GB) with 3G service bundle plans, and US$549 (16GB) and US$649 (32GB) for the smartphone itself, the sources noted.”

Seen as Apple’s low-cost iPhone, the iPhone 5c was never officially labeled as the cheap iOS smartphone, and its launch prices clearly proved that. However, the device may become a more interesting proposition to customers interested in buying a cheap but new iPhone and willing to wait for the price to drop once carriers and retailers are ready to clear existing stock by offering better iPhone 5c deals and price cuts.

According to the sources who spoke the publication, the “main problems” with the iPhone 5c are the “higher-than-expected price point and 4-inch display.” One analyst humorously said that the way cases look on the iPhone 5c may be the reason buyers aren’t interested in the device.

Digitimes’ sources also believe that “Apple’s miscalculation should help it adjust its smartphone strategy to release products with bigger screen sizes to satisfy user demands.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.