Has Apple iPhone 5C Proved Steve Jobs Right?

On 20 Sept 2013, we saw Apple Inc. launch two successors of the iPhone 5 – the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. This is the first time that iPhone has opted to roll out colored palette, even though this move invited some mocking from Nokia, who drew comparisons between the 5C and its fluorescent Lumia range.


For all those who thought both phones offer different features and functionality are in for a total surprise. The iPhone 5C isn’t really a new phone. It’s essentially the iPhone 5 with an array of colorful polycarbonate shells with the same internals.

Apple has managed to keep the cost of the 5C down slightly by ditching the glass and aluminium body we have seen on every handset since the iPhone 4 and with the use of polycarbonate.

iPhone 5C & iPhone 5S Vs iPhone 5

The iPhone 5C uses much of the same hardware as the iPhone 5, lacking the new features from the 5S. It uses the previous A6 chip from the iPhone 5 instead of the A7. It doesn’t feature fingerprint recognition, and lacks the Burst iSight camera and slow-motion video recording modes.

It uses a polycarbonate casing instead of the metal used by the 5 and 5S. The iPhone 5C marks a new era in Apple’s mobile onslaught, as the company finally breaks rank from premium design and price by offering up a mid-range priced cell phone. The iPhone 5C is not a cheap, budget device – it’s a slightly cheaper offering in comparison to the premium, metal-clad iPhone 5S.

Apple iPhone 5C: An Inside Look

Unlike the typical, fragile plastic, which most phones use, iPhone 5c has a steel-reinforced frame that also acts as an antenna. It’s attached to the outer shell in individual pieces, and then laser-welded together to achieve a precise fit. This structural integrity makes iPhone 5c pleasingly solid to touch — unlike any plastic phone you’ve ever held.


Apple has also designed custom-made cases for these phones. Soft microfibre lines the inside. Precisely drilled holes align perfectly with the speakers on iPhone 5C. And the circle pattern draws focus to the colour underneath, creating 30 fun combinations. Even when viewed from the front, the edge of the case is designed not to cover the rim of the phone, but runs perfectly parallel to it, allowing both colours to be visible.

While the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 are made of glass, causing users to be wary at all times about the safety of their priced possession, the iPhone 5C can be used roughly to an extent, without worrying about being scratched.


The iPhone 5C comes with iOS 7, released on September 20, 2013.  Jonathan Ive, the designer of iOS 7’s new elements, described the update as “bringing order to complexity,” highlighting features such as refined typography, new icons, translucency, layering, physics, and gyroscope-driven parallaxing as some of the major changes to the design.

Starting at the lockscreen, you’ll immediately realise the iPhone 5C is running a new version of iOS, with the famous slide-to-unlocked bar replaced with a simple text prompt, which is a far more understated approach.

The iPhone 5S has a faster processor than the 5C. The 5S sports an Apple A7 processor, while at the heart of the 5C is a 1 Ghz Apple A6 processor. The A7 is a newer, more powerful model than the A6, particularly because it’s a 64-bit chip. And because of the 64-bit chip, the A7 can process twice as much data in the same time as the 32-bit A6.

Processor speed isn’t as big a factor in smartphones as it is in computers, but the A7 in the iPhone 5S will make that model faster than the 5C.

If you have a pin set up, there’s no Touch ID fingerprint scan on the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, features the same built into its Home button. This scanner lets you tie in the security of your iPhone to your unique, personal fingerprint, which means that unless it’s you unlocking the screen, your phone is very secure. This amazing feature isn’t available in the iPhone 5C!

Both the iPhone 5S and 5C feature 4-inch displays with native resolutions of 1136×640. That’s unchanged from the iPhone 5. With the iPhone 5C being pretty much a carbon copy of the iPhone 5, you won’t be surprised to learn that it sports the same 8 MP iSight camera on its rear, complete with single LED flash.

At the top of the screen, there are three toggles for the flash, HDR mode, and switching between front and rear cameras. The iPhone 5C is far better suited to shooting photos when held in portrait, with icons easier to reach and the volume keys doubling up as shutter buttons placed perfectly within reach.

The bigger issue in the iPhone 5C camera is the fact that your stray fingers get in the way of the camera lens. If the camera would have been centralised, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

The 1.2 MP front-facing snapper has been given an upgrade. It’s capable of HD (720p) recording. But it’s the rear camera that needs it the most, not the front camera.

Verdict: Does Premium Work Over Plastic?

The iPhone 5C is priced at INR 41,900 for the 16 GB model and INR 53,500 for the 32 GB model. This isn’t as cheap as we had thought. With Steve Jobs around, pricing wasn’t an issue for Apple products. Jobs delivered quality iPhones and people were prepared to pay a premium for these generally excellent devices, which were thoughtfully put together and cleverly engineered.

With a small price difference of INR 10,000 between the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S, it’s difficult to fathom why the iPhone 5C even exists. The iPhone 5C surely won’t help Apple penetrate into any new markets, and its only selling point seems to the number of colours it’s available in.

Someone sporting the iPhone 5 will not upgrade to the iPhone 5C, and only a handful will make the leap to the iPhone 5S after just a year of ownership. What’s more is that the sales of iPhone 5 have been discontinued. This move could have been avoided as, despite being costlier than the iPhone 5C, would have still sold more than its colourful successor. Premium should have been the way to go.

Apple hasn’t pushed the boundaries the way Steve Jobs would have, with the iPhone 5C. So there’s no real incentive for consumers to make the leap. Though iPhone 5C is a great phone, it’s unfortunate that it’s seemingly just a phone of the last year wrapped in a less appealing and shiny plastic body and slapped with a still-premium price tag. Steve Jobs would never have liked this.

The DNetWorks Team