Apple today unveiled what many had hoped would be a cheap iPhone. We’re now realizing that such an animal doesn’t existing. The iPhone 5c as it’s called, really does stand for ‘colorful’. Underneath the hood are specs that are not much different from the now-jettisoned iPhone 5.

iPhone 5c

Both the now old iPhone 5 and new iPhone 5c are powered by Apple’s A6 processor. A 4-inch retina display, also a fixture on both models with a resolution of 136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. Both have an 8MP iSight camera with panorama, f/2.4 aperture, LED flash and a backside illumination sensor. The front-facing FaceTime Camera, also the same, with a 1.2MP shooter that can shoot 720p HD video recording. Both support LTE and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz). Going through the list, which is just as impressive today as it was last September, these are carbon copies of each other.

Differences Between iPhone 5c and iPhone 5

There are some slight differences in talk time, with the iPhone 5c edging out the 5, with an additional 2 hours of talk time and 25 hours of standby time. It’s not clear if these are related to savings from iOS 7. The front-facing camera on the iPhone 5c also benefits from backside illumination sensors, so you’ll enjoy better low-light photos. Digging deeper, the only difference here is in the polycarbonate casing. The iPhone 5c weighs 132g as compared to the 112g of the iPhone 5, which benefits from the aluminum body. Neither could be considered heavy.

Bidding Farewell to 5

The iPhone 5 is gone, EOL. If you browse the iPhone section of Apple’s website, it is literally no where to be found. I suspect you’ll see deep discounts for those remaining at retailers.

Why iPhone 5c?

Apple doesn’t do cheap. When a new model is released, the older model was offered at a discounted price. Between the $99 and free iPhones, Apple saw significant sales numbers, despite no real marketing on their part. With the iPhone 5c, they get to flex their marketing muscles, while selling an extremely capable iPhone. It costs Apple less to manufacture and sell the iPhone 5c, than it would to sell the iPhone 5 at a reduced cost. They are effectively selling the same iPhone, but it has been repackaged so that it’s a better deal for them and customers will be happy about getting this year’s model. It also provides differentiation on product shelves. Outside of the new home button and colors, the iPhone 5s doesn’t look much different from the iPhone 5. When you enter a wireless carrier, you will not mistake the 5c for the 5s. For the first time, Apple’s world class retail stores will be able to offer customers a low-cost alternative to their flagship model. As for a cheap iPhone, Apple’s older iPhone 4S is the new cheap iPhone. When it comes to iPhone, there are a number of great choices, which is good for Apple and consumers.