The Washington Post

The iPhone 5C is officially a flop. But don’t read too much into it.

(Stephen Lam / Reuters)

It's a testament to Apple's prowess that we now deem the company's products a bust if consumers don't instantly snatch them from store shelves. But it's a reality the world's richest tech company has to deal with. The iPhone 5C's price has been slashed in retail stores worldwide — from Target to Best Buy to Wal-Mart and even in China — setting off speculation that the 5C just isn't selling like its more expensive sibling, the 5S.

Now there's more evidence Apple stumbled with the 5C: It's reportedly asking its suppliers to stop making so many of the things, possibly indicating an overabundance of supply. One industry analyst suggests a healthy number of 5Cs may be getting sold even if inventory remains high. But whatever the reality, the public's lukewarm perception of the 5C is quickly taking over.

Company deathwatchers might say this offers proof that Apple can't make good decisions in the post-Steve Jobs era. But even Jobs had his share of mistakes. From the beginning with MobileMe, Apple has consistently failed to deliver an effective cloud computing solution. Going even further back, the Power Mac G4 Cube was discontinued a year after Jobs unveiled it.

In fact, with yet another Apple event coming next week, chances are the 5C's woes will soon be overshadowed by new updates to the MacBook Pro, the iPad and iPad Mini.

Yes, the iPhone 5C seems to be struggling. But it's just a product launch. No big deal.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.



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