There have been further indications this week that Apple’s iPhone simply isn’t the shining beacon of all things desirable it used to be. Hot on the heels of the iPhone 5 arriving in China to a welcome that really wasn’t anything more than tepid, a swathe of Apple hardware including the iPhone 5 have been reduced significantly at Wal-Mart – a key third-party Apple retailer.
As of now, the usually $199 on-contract iPhone 5 is being offered for $127, representing a price drop of close to a third.
Of course, chances are that the reaction from the general population will be one of joy and rapture, as the iPhone has never been the most affordable toy on the market. On the other hand however, lower prices and discounts in such early stages of a devices life usually mean nothing more than lower-than-expected sales and reverence that is slipping by the day.
An amazing gadget the iPhone 5 certainly is, but has the brand lost some of its luster as a status symbol in its own right?
Holiday discounts are to be expected and dozens of high-end Android handsets have already fallen in price, but very few come close to the massive price-crash of the Wal-Mart iPhone 5 – none that have only been on the shelves since the fall.
Analysts are for the most part displaying general confidence in the iPhone 5 and see current performance as no cause for concern. Instead, they have cited growing levels of competition as the reason for such price reductions, rather than the prowess or otherwise of the iPhone 5 itself.
Back in the more elaborate sticks of the rumor-mill however, the lower price at such an early stage has been heralded as something of a precursor to the announcement and eventual launch of the iPhone 5S, though this is one notion that demands a much larger grain of salt than usual.