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I have no doubt that apple makes great products. However, do you really think they care about their customers? How much could they care about their customers if they do things to suck money out of them?
For instance-- the first ipad had no camera. ummmm...cameras at that point had been around for so long in both computers and phones! So why didn't they put a camera in the ipad....because they planned on putting it in the ipad2, so you'd feel compelled to buy a new one. That doesn't sound like a company that cares about their customers all that much.
The problem with this whole new gen is the 5c is too expensive. They needed to make a phone that would be free on a plan. There are two groups of phone consumers: those who are willing to pay money for a new phone when they get a plan and those who aren't. The difference between $99 and $199 to someone signing up is basically non-existent - if you're willing to pay 99 bucks for a phone, in almost all cases you're willing to pay 199.
Basically the 5c is a full-fledged iPhone with a coloured back just to make sure that everyone knows that you were too cheap to buy a real iPhone. Who the hell wants to pay 500+ at retail for that? They really, really needed to come up with some way to launch a $350 retail product. Even if it was significantly inferior to the flagship model.