Tim Cook: iPhone 4S is the low-cost option and not iPhone 5C

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During yesterday’s earnings call, Tim Cook revealed that Apple never looked at the iPhone 5C as a low-cost iPhone, but the iPhone 4S was the entry model.

Tim Cook revealed that it was “never our intent, obviously,” to project or make iPhone 5C as an affordable option. “Our entry iPhone was the iPhone 4s.”

This is in stark contrast to what has was being said before the launch of the iPhone 5C as well as after it was put on sale. Various reports and rumours indicated that Apple will be launching a low-cost iPhone to cater to those emerging markets where people are not in a position to afford Cupertino’s flagship handset by shelling out hundreds of dollars.

The $99 price tag on iPhone 5C did create an impression that it was indeed a low-cost option, but it turns out that the smartphone was a mere replacement to the previous iPhone 5 and a way for Apple to foray into the colourful smartphone market beyond the standard white and black colours.

The launch of iPhone 5C and its subsequent pricing in various parts of the world did raise questions as to whether the fruity company knew the literal meaning of ‘low-cost’ or not? Considering the example of China, India and quite a few other Asian markets, the iPhone 5C is being sold at a cost which is over $180 higher than the prices in the US. This obviously doesn’t make the iPhone 5C a budget-friendly or a low-cost smartphone.

Tim Cook revealed that Apple experimented with different price options for the iPhone 4 and it did saw movement of large volumes of the handset. Tim Cook said Apple is now “hoping and thinking” over the option of continuing the iPhone 4S. According to the CEO, iPhone 4S provides users with access to Apple’s ecosystem at an outlay which is considerable lower than iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. Cook said that Apple knows and understands that “there is elasticity in the market, and we’ll move accordingly.”

Gearing the attention towards iPhone 5S and its demands, Cook said that there is still a huge backlog and Apple will cater to the demands and that he was confident “of our ability to keep ramping.”

Tim Cook also acknowledged a shortage in Retina display panels for the iPad Mini 2 and said that it wasn’t clear if they have enough panels for the current quarter. “We know how many we will have, but you really don’t know the demand until after you start shipping, so we’ll see how that goes”, said Cook.

On the revenue and sales side, Apple has managed to sell over 33 million iPhones in Q4, over 14million iPads, and 4.6 million Macs.