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Did iPhone 5C Pre-Orders Flop At Apple.com?

By Louis Bedigian, Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer, Benzinga:

On Friday, September 13, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) began taking pre-orders for its lower-cost iPhone.

Officially known as the iPhone 5C, the device comes in five colors (white, yellow, blue, green and pink) and is essentially the same as the one-year-old iPhone 5.

Apple did not say why it chose to take pre-orders of the iPhone 5C but not the iPhone 5S, though the reasons are easy to guess. As an all-new device, the iPhone 5S is likely to be a much more popular item when it is released on September 20. It offers several enhancements over the previous iteration, including a new camera and two new processors.

The hugely anticipated fingerprint scanner will also accompany the iPhone 5S and allow users to unlock the phone without having to enter a password. They will also be able to authenticate iTunes and App Store purchases using the fingerprint scanner.

Despite these new features, Apple has currently given the spotlight to the plastic-covered iPhone 5C.

Instead of touting the iPhone 5S as the primary device on Apple.com, visitors are immediately greeted by an image of the iPhone 5C. They will have to stay on the main page for a few seconds or click to the next image in order to see a large picture of the iPhone 5S.

Related: T-Mobile Drops iPhone 5C Price Before September 20 Release

Last year, it did not take Apple more than a couple of hours to announce that iPhone 5 pre-orders were gone in 60 minutes. This year, Apple has been suspiciously quiet about how the iPhone 5C is performing.

Benzinga is not the only publication that wonders about Apple's silence. CNET's Josh Lowensohn is particularly puzzled, noting that Apple typically brags about first-day pre-sale numbers.

Apple may have chosen to remain quiet because either A) pre-sale numbers are very low or B) they're simply not high enough to break a previous record. In either case, this information could do more harm than good.

That being the case, Apple is likely waiting to see how the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S perform after they are released. If either device breaks a sales record, Apple will brag loudly and immediately. If a new record is set by the simultaneous sales of both iPhones, Apple will still have the chance to brag.

In the event that Apple fails to set a new record (the company sold five million iPhone 5 units in one weekend last year), the company may continue to remain silent until it has something to brag about.

By Louis Bedigian, Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

No one at the Senate subcommittee hearings in May accused Apple of violating US tax laws. They merely exposed how Apple is dodging income taxes by doing what multinationals do: taking advantage of loopholes that Congress hands them. Alas, much of the discussion was based on a fairytale. Read.... Revealed: Apple’s “Offshore” Cash Isn’t Even Offshore

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