Next week, Apple is expected to break its year-long product silence by unveiling not one, but two new iPhones. This will be the first time that the company has introduced two handsets simultaneously, leaving many wondering what it’ll do with its legacy smartphones.

Pundits seem fairly split on the topic, but the recent consensus seems to be that the iPhone 5C will replace both the iPhone 4 and 4S, as well as the iPhone 5—leaving Apple with just two phones in its lineup. A new report, however, suggests the 5 may be sticking around…

MacRumors points to a report from German site Flo’s Weblog, which features an internal email from Vodafone Germany. The note discusses the discontinuation of 32GB and 64GB iPhone 5 models, in both black and white, as well as black/white 16GB iPhone 4S models.

Here’s a screenshot of the email:


A rough Google Translation tells us that the message above says something to the effect of “The news of the day: Discontinued Hardware. The following items are no longer available and contract acquisition disabled,” and then it goes on to list the various iPhone models.

Additionally, the site has also posted a screenshot of what appears to be an internal Vodafone inventory page, which shows the availability status of iPhones. Note that while the 16GB iPhone remains “available for shipping,” the 32GB and 64GB models read “not available.”

vodafone 2

Today’s report follows a similar story regarding Telus. The Canadian carrier is also set to discontinue higher capacity iPhone 5 models at the end of this month, but there was no mention in that article about the future availability of the 16GB version, raising further questions.

So is Apple going to discontinue the iPhone 5 to focus on the 5S and 5C? Or is it going to keep a 16GB 5 around like year’s past? Analysts seem to be split here too: KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo says the 5C will replace the iPhone 5 line, but Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster begs to differ.

iPhone 5S vs 5C casing video

According to Munster, the iPhone 5C would replace the iPhone 4S as the entry-level handset, leaving the 16GB iPhone 5 as the intermediate option and the new iPhone 5S as the flagship. And he thinks subsidized pricing would look like it does now: $0, $99, $199 with contract.

I’d have to agree with Gene here. This strategy would give Apple a solid lineup of 3 smartphones with Lightning ports and 4-inch displays. Your guess is as good as mine though. At least we won’t have to wait long to find out—Apple’s iPhone event kicks off Tuesday at 10am PST.

Place your bets, will Apple keep the iPhone 5 around after the 5S/5C launch?

  • Boss

    iPhone 5S – $650
    iPhone 5 – $550
    iPhone 5C – $450
    and they’ll get rid of the 3.5 inch iDevices

    • Joseph

      $450 is waaaaay too much for developing countries.

      • pauleebe

        For being an off contract device, that’s an awesome price for a smartphone. “Low-cost” for Apple isn’t going to be $250.

    • Sean Cua

      IMO, iPhone 5C should be $350.

      • Boss

        The iPhone 4 is $450 right now so I’m guess it will replace that and be the same price

      • Andy

        If it was $400, that would really nail the sweet spot. Not too high or low.

    • mehrab

      5c 400-330*

    • XboxOne

      The person that downvoted is stuck with a crappy iPod Touch 4th Gen.

  • Willie

    reduced iphone 5 price is for sure. i think that the iphone 4 would be phased out soon (perhaps after ipad announcement)

    a low-possibility is that the iphone 5 would be discontinued and replaced with the iphone 5c

  • Derrick Goh

    Seriously I hope Apple won’t release the iPhone 5C like the rumors said…

    • Question

      Why? It seems pretty nice 🙂

      • Derrick Goh

        Feels like it has lower down the iPhone built quality although I know it’s to build for a cheaper price. Maybe i speak too early, have to see how the phone feels in my hand. =)

      • Kristoffer

        Pretty much the 3GS with updated hardware though.
        And the 3GS is still my favorite iPhone to date, it was more comfortable to hold IMO. So I like that apple (maybe) reintroduces the rounded edges.

  • Peter Awortwe

    we are not yet done exploring the iphone 4. pls hold on with the 5 series.

    • kadir

      yh we are

    • Joseph Thebigragu Plaza

      What’s left to explore? Buy 1 iphone 4, get one free?

  • StarViruZ

    But why are they doing this? Hope nothing changes on 5C except for that plastic shell…

    • Joseph Thebigragu Plaza

      Uhh, maybe because the phone will be more affordable? I mean it’s not like it hasn’t been talked about for a while now.

      • StarViruZ

        Hope you’re right. If true I’m going for 5C then

      • Joseph Thebigragu Plaza

        That’s the idea.

  • thetomthebomb

    I want ios 7!!!

    • blastingbigairs

      Not without an untethered JB!!!

  • benz_85

    5C $269.99 according to an email a friend sent me.

  • FOFF

    5 will be gone just like the ipad3 is gone

  • Ted Forbes

    iPhone 5 – $299.00
    iPhone 5c – $399.00
    iPhone 5s – $599.00 -gb plus

  • @dongiuj

    Add a “c” on the end of it.

  • Anonymous

    The should put iphone 5c on thier website no controcat 200

  • blastingbigairs

    The iPhone 5 is the best smartphone on earth right now, I hope they keep it in the lineup for a good long time. I have no interest in upgrading to the next gen until my 5 is dead. Long live the 5!!!

  • Joe Benning

    They’ll probably dump support for it after 7.1

  • JackGary Edwards

    IPhone 5 is no longer on the Apple UK website. It’s only says 4s 5c 5s….