Friday, September 13, 2013

First iPhone 5C variant sells out: The yellow, unlocked, 16GB version

And, we have a winner in the "Which iPhone 5C will sell out first" sweepstakes, which took place on Friday, Sept. 20. It appears that the 16GB unlocked yellow iPhone 5C is the first to sell out, with the device now showing "Available to ship by 9/25" at Apple's online store.

There was no concern that the iPhone 5S, Apple's 2013 flagship device, would slip into the sellout category. The reason wasn't because Apple had ensured it had enough supply. Instead it was because Apple chose not to presell the iPhone 5S.

The iPhone 5C had been expected to be a lower-cost phone or a budget phone. Analysts and pundits were off the mark with that prediction, as instead Apple chose to release the iPhone 5C as a replacement for the iPhone 5, which in the past the company would have continued to sell at a $99 price point on contract. This gives Apple two distinct models, both the 5C and 5S.

In reality, the 5C is little more than the 5S in a colorful plastic shell. It's priced at the same price as the year-old model has always been, $99 on contract and $549 off-contract.

Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line iPhone 5S is set to hit retail on Sept. 20, on the same date that the 5C shows up in brick-and-mortar stores. As there is no pre-order for the 5S, it's possible that the already long lines for a new Apple iDevice will be worse than normal, and that Apple -- and partners such as Best Buy, Walmart, and others -- will sell out in their retail stores on that date.

While the 5C is merely a 5 in sheep's clothing, the 5S is changed, but minimally. Externally, aside from the new champagne gold color, the biggest change would be the home button, which now serves as a fingerprint reader and has a metal band surrounding it, and no square icon inside of it. The device also has improved camera features and a faster, 64-bit, A7 processor.

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