The missing iPhone 5

I love my iPhone (I wrote my book on it!) and I’ve been following the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c with some interest. As you may know the 5s is the new flagship version of the iPhone, while the 5c is the new kid on the block, a colourful version of the old 5 with a new case and a slightly lower price.

Now when the iPhone 5 was launched last year, Apple did as they usually do, which is to keep the lowest-spec version of the previous model on as the bargain-basement offering, and so the old 4S lived on in this role. When the new phones were launched, you might have expected the iPhone 5 to take its place.

But it didn’t. The 4S is still the bargain-basement offering. The iPhone 5 has simply disappeared.

Of course, in some sense, it lives on inside the 5c’s new colourful plastic case. And so to maintain the gap between the current models and the budget version, the 4S has had to continue in service.

The interesting question is what will happen next year. Will there be two new versions of the iPhone 6, a 6s and a 6c, or will there only be a 6 flagship, with the 5c continuing in the role of the bargain phone? If the former, then the 5 may reappear as the budget phone, but if the latter, then we won’t see the 5 again. It will be the only iPhone that did not suffer the indignity of being relegated to the bargain bin.
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