Apple (AAPL) is usually quick to gloat about its iPhone pre-orders. But pre-orders for the 5c began five days ago and the company has stayed quiet.
That could mean nothing, or it could mean early sales are bad for the first time in years.
The 5c was positioned to be an iPhone for mass consumption. The colorful device is cheaper than the iPhone 5s and it has a plastic shell. But critics stay the price point at $99 isn’t cheap enough.
Apple’s silence may be the driving force behind its slipping stock. On September 13, the day 5c pre-orders began, Apple’s stock was $475 per share. Today it’s hanging just below $460, a 3% drop.
How unusual is Apple’s silence?
In 2010, Apple announced that the iPhone 4 had seen 600,000 pre-orders in 24 hours — the most the company had ever received in a single day. Things only grew from there. The iPhone 4S surpassed one million pre-orders in 24 hours, with the iPhone 5 doubling that success one year ago. Last year, Apple’s update came on the Monday after pre-orders began, but the company’s PR team has been mum today.
Update: It’s worth noting that Apple’s other phone, the 5s, hasn’t gone on sale yet. That may account for Apple’s silence around 5c sales. Apple may not feel the need to share early sales figures before the entire line is out.
iPhone 5s sales will arguably be more important than 5c sales. The 5c is meant to resemble the 4s and appeal to emerging markets. But the 5s an actual, upgraded device with fingerprint scanning technology, a better camera and gold trim. Its sales will be comparable to the iPhone 4s. The iPhone 5c is a much different kind of product.