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Former Apple Ad Executive Speaks About Why iPhone 5C Failed

Apple launched the plastic iPhone 5C in the midst of a major marketing push. However, the handset didn’t really catch on and in broad terms, it was a failure. Now Apple’s former advertisement executive Ken Segall gives his opinion as to why the handset failed.


iPhone 5C

Segall has written a rather elaborate post exploring the many different aspects of the iPhone 5C handset and how each contributed to the handset’s failure. The primary among them, naturally, is the plastic make of the smartphone. Apple was daring enough to call iPhone 5C ‘unapologetically plastic’, but that strategy pretty much backfired.

According to Segall, “The launch video featured Jony Ive explaining that iPhone 5c was ‘unapologetically plastic.’ There was a strategic plan to head off the potential negative by boldly proclaiming it as a positive… Unfortunately for Apple, creativity can be a double-edged sword. The ‘unapologetically plastic’ line in the product video was so interesting and memorable, it got played back over and over in articles about the lackluster demand for iPhone 5c. Not exactly what Apple intended.”

He also says that the rather steep price tag of iPhone 5C significantly contributed to its slow sales. Users knew that they could simply shell out as much cash and buy a far better-looking smartphone. In fact, when comparing the on-contract prices of iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, there was a difference of a mere $100 which prompted many to simply skip over the plastic brother and go for the real deal.

But the big question is, can Apple create cheaper smartphones? And if not, will the cost in terms of sales volume in emerging markets a worrisome aspect? Segalls responds to both in the negative. In his own words, “Apple is a company that doesn’t do ‘cheap.’ It makes products for people who care about design, simplicity, quality and a great experience — and are willing to pay more for these things. For Apple to compromise in any of these areas would be a violation of the Prime Directive.”

Source: Ken Segall

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