Analysts react to iPhone launches

Analysts from Ovum, ABI Research and Informa Telecoms and Media react to Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
 
Ovum principle device analyst Tony Cripps
 
Even post-Jobs Apple still does great theatre, even if most of what was announced was unusually well-heralded in the blogosphere. Clearly there’s little need for gimmicks in the flagship 5S, in a launch replete with significant spec upgrades over and beyond the usual screen improvements. Apple, is certainly offering meaningful innovation here.
 
Moving to a 64-bit architecture means Apple can genuinely claim to have brought something new to the smartphone party. It should certainly help the company further cement its lead as a mobile gaming platform and will give the Android fraternity something to think about in a space whose significance is sometimes downplayed beyond the gaming world...
 
Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves. The day that happens is the day the company signals that it has run out of headroom for expansion. It’s far from ready to concede that yet as it’s greater interest in Japan and China show, although the mooted tie up with China Mobile wasn’t announced as this comment was written.
 
ABI Research senior analyst Michael Morgan
 
Apple announced two devices [yesterday], the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 5C is essentially the iPhone 5 with a plastic shell that follows Apple’s historic pricing paradigm of taking $100 off the price of the latest model. The iPhone 5S is the classic step improvement of better processor, better camera and a new marquis feature (this time it is finger print scanning).
 
What troubles me most is what I did not hear from Apple. There is no new low cost model. There was no mention of a deal with China Mobile. I believe that these two things, low cost devices and a new mega deal would have done the most for driving growth in iPhone shipments. Furthermore Apple did not show a willingness to deliver a Phablet sized device and opted to offer color options instead. In the end it appears that Apple is playing it safe, perhaps too safe.
 
 
Informa principal analyst Malik Saadi
 
Note: This comment was distributed before the unveiling, but many of the details had circulated as credible rumors prior to the event.

The timing of this launch is crucial as the industry is getting close to the end of the third financial quarter and the iPhone’s performance during this period has been largely below expectations, particularly in China where the growth rate is falling rapidly.

It is becoming obvious that Apple can no longer afford to address the whole world as a single market for its iPhone...Launching a cheaper smartphone will definitely help the company to reach new audiences, certainly in emerging markets where device subsidy is not a common practice and affordability is key...

However, the company may face a number of challenges here... Offering a cheaper version of iPhone at lower cost while the device looks very similar to its old brother in terms of functionality and experience means that it will undoubtedly be a success for Apple but this success will come at the expense of its flagship product.

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