The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

Plastics get the blame for Apple's iPhone 5c failure

By Don Loepp | February 18, 2014 03:48 pm ET
Keywords: Design Apple Inc.

Image By: Apple Inc.Apple design chief Jony Ive stressed the high-end manufacturing that goes into the one-piece polycarbonate outer body of the iPhone 5c.

OK, I confess, it was exciting when Apple Inc. unveiled the iPhone 5c in September, and design chief Jony Ive called it "beautifully, unapologetically plastic."

But now the experts are calling the 5c a flop. And despite a host of real differences between the 5s and 5c, the blame is starting to settle on a familiar place.

It was the plastic.

Former Apple ad executive Ken Segall wrote in his Observatory blog on Friday:

"Clearly plastic was a big part of the iPhone 5c strategy. The launch ad was entitled Plastic Perfected. The launch video featured Jony Ive explaining that iPhone 5c was 'unapologetically plastic.'

"There was a strategic plan to head off the potential negative by boldly proclaiming it as a positive.

"There was some risk there, given that Samsung's plastic Galaxy phone was often criticized for not being as substantial as iPhone.

"Unfortunately for Apple, creativity can be a double-edged sword. The 'unapologetically plastic' line in the product video was so interesting and memorable, it got played back over and over in articles about the lackluster demand for iPhone 5c. Not exactly what Apple intended."

Segall leaves it to readers to decide if the iPhone 5c was a flop because it was plastic, or because Apple highlighted plastic in the advertising — of if the real problem was that it cost only $100 less than the 5s, but came with fewer advanced features.

But that's not stopping some other bloggers and business news reporters from placing the blame on the polymers. Which is too bad, because, as writers like Chris Maxcer of TechNewsWorld have pointed out: "I don't think a svelte metal casing and fashionable design is much of an issue today — heck, most iPhone 5 or 5s owners slap an ugly case on their iPhones anyway."

So maybe the 5s was more successful because buyers figured it was a better value.

But still, it may be some time before a big consumer products company like Apple decides to highlight the fact that its product is plastic.


Recent Blog Posts

From space to Earth   April 8, 2015 11:31 am ET
Plastics recyclers suffering, PN pricing in the news   April 6, 2015 11:43 am ET
Plastic gets official for March Madness   March 19, 2015 10:47 am ET
SAE may change, but auto technology marches on   March 13, 2015 12:24 pm ET
Plastics companies named manufacturing leaders   March 4, 2015 5:58 pm ET

Comments

Plastics get the blame for Apple's iPhone 5c failure

By Don Loepp

Published: February 18, 2014 3:48 pm ET
Updated: February 18, 2014 4:13 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events