FRED WILSON: Apple Is 'Clueless'

Influential venture capitalist Fred Wilson is
not happy about Apple’s iPhone 5C.

In a post he writes, “The C in 5C does not mean ‘cheap’ as I had hoped. It means clueless, as in clueless about how the vast majority of new smartphone users are paying for their phones.”

For the past few months, Wilson has been saying Apple should release a low-cost iPhone to slow the ascent of Google’s Android operating system.

Android is now powering 80% of smartphones on the planet, and Wilson isn’t comfortable with one company having such a dominating influence over a key technology like mobile phones.

There were a lot of rumours that Apple was preparing to go for market share with a cheaper phone. Obviously, that didn’t happen. It didn’t change anything about its pricing plans.

The iPhone 5C is $US99 with a two-year contract, or $US549 without a contract in the U.S. In China, where the smartphone market is booming (and Apple is getting whooped) the iPhone 5C will cost over $US700.

“The reality of much of the world is that people don’t sign two year contracts like we do here in the US,” says Wilson. “They buy pre-paid sim cards and stick them into unsubsidized phones. And on that basis, the 5C is a big disappointment.”

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