Cheap iPhone? Hardly. Apple’s price range is still just as narrow

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Apple just announced the release of two new iPhones: the high-end 5S and stripped-down 5C.

Many expected the 5C would be Apple’s attempt to broaden its reach into lower-end markets, but the so-called “cheap iPhone” isn’t actually cheap. Its price without a wireless contract (that is, unsubsidized) starts at $549 in the United States, which is what the iPhone 4S used to cost. And nobody called the 4S cheap.

The range of prices at which you can buy a new iPhone in the US remains unchanged from before the announcement, and it has actually been broader in the past. The same is more-or-less true in China, one market where the 5C was supposed to make a big splash. It may still do so, but not by being inexpensive.