The Macalope: The reason that dare not speak its name


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It turns out that Apple did not make a super-cheap phone in a grab for market share. Why would the company not?

No one knows.

Writing for The Times of India, Ravi Sharma says the “Moto G is what iPhone 5C should have been.”

You mean unprofitable? Because that’s what Motorola has been and a large reason why Google finally sold the company off. Is there a reason Apple’s supposed to jump off the same bridge? Parents go through a lot of trouble to convince their kids not to succumb to peer pressure to sell devices at a loss and The Times of India just tries to undo all of that.

… why are we talking about the price of iPhone 5C? It’s because iPhone 5C was supposed to be the common man’s iPhone from Apple’s stable.

Was it? Says who?

Let’s make one thing clear: Apple never hinted, suggested or promised that iPhone 5C would be cheap. But the market and analysts expected this nonetheless.

At the same time analysts are screaming about Apple’s slowing profit growth, they’re also chastising the company for not selling phones at a loss. Boy, it’s going to be tough to thread that needle.

It is not as if Apple has not done this before, the case in point being the first-generation iPad mini.

Apple, obviously, did not follow the same strategy with iPhone 5C, thus limiting unit sales and losing a chance to put an iPhone in everyone’s hands.

Ah, there’s that tacit assumption. Why, exactly, is Apple supposed to follow a bad business practice and sell a phone at a loss? Market share! Market share cures all things. It’s a magic elixir that both acts as a calmative and invigorates the bodily humors!

Why is Apple supposed to care about market share? Sharma never says. It’s not like its ecosystem is exactly hurting. Developers still by and large ship for iOS first or iOS only. And they still ship for iOS better.

Google’s advertising-based business model relies on having its services in front of as many faces as possible. Apple doesn’t do business that way. This is apparently impossible to understand.

While Moto G is not a true rival of iPhone 5C in several respects; it cannot match the camera performance and, well, the Apple brand value. But considering the stark price difference, many buyers could be willing to overlook a few shortcomings.

So, they’re not really comparable. But you just burned about 800 words comparing them.

Hang on, the Macalope’s trying to find a table he can flip.

Sharma only mentions the iPhone 4s once because, although it’s cheaper than the 5c, it only comes in two colors.

Apple could have had a great shot at increasing its unit sales, but its top brass chose not to do so.

Why would they have done that?! It’s a mystery.

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