So, it seems that the iPhone 5, launched just last year, was a flop: not necessarily in terms of sales, but Apple's margins.
What else explains why the device has been taken off the market so abruptly, rather than being shifted down in price to cater for hoi polloi who want an iPhone, but who are too tight or sensible to splash 700+ notes on a shiny, new iPhone 5S that will shatter like Swarovski crystal if dropped from a modest height?
Instead, the two-year-old iPhone 4S will soldier on as the entry-level iPhone.
It tends to imply that the manufacturing glitches that delayed shipments of the iPhone 5 when it was first launched haven't been ironed out.
It may also explain the polycarbonate (ie: cheap plastic) cases of the new iPhone 5C, the not-so-cheap iPhone, which will add a few crucial basis points to the device's profit margins.
An even bigger mystery, though, is the yawning gulf in price between Apple's premium-priced iPhones and the iPods that spawned them.
One online commentator justifiably asks,”The iPod Touch looks classier than the iPhone 5C. A 32 gigabyte (GB) iPod Touch can do almost everything the iPhone can do and costs £249. The 32GB iPhone 5C costs £549. My question to Apple fans is, what do you get for that extra £300 for the iPhone 5C and why is it worth it?”
That's a very good question: over to you, Apple!