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iPhone 5s outselling 5c by margin of over 3 to 1 in US, globally

updated 12:01 pm EDT, Mon September 23, 2013

Margin even higher in some other countries

The iPhone 5s appears to be outselling the iPhone 5c by a ratio of 3.4 to 1 in the US, according to marketing and analytics firm Localytics. About 1.05 percent of all American iPhones are said to be the 5s, while the 5c represents just 0.31 percent. "This makes sense since those who feel the need to buy a new device the very weekend it launches are most likely the power users who want the highest-end phone experience," writes Localytics marketing VP Bernd Leger.

AT&T continues to control the most iPhone activations in the country; 5s and 5c models on the carrier represent 0.67 of all US iPhones. Verizon's equivalent share is 0.51 percent, while Sprint and T-Mobile are at just 0.12 and 0.07 percent, respectively. Typically the 5s' popularity is reflected at each carrier, although Sprint is closer to maintaining an even balance.

Internationally, the US continues to be the heart of iPhone sales, vastly outdoing regions like Japan, western Europe, and China. The 5s' dominance is even more pronounced on a global scale, where the ratio is 3.7 to 1. In some individual countries the difference is even higher, an extreme example being Japan's 5:1 gap.

The 5s and 5c launched just last Friday, and the Localytics data is based on tracking of over 20 million iPhones between then and Sunday at 8PM Eastern. Apple says it has already sold over 9 million units of the new models, though it hasn't shared any deeper details.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    I doubt the lackluster sales of the iPhone 5c are because "those who feel the need to buy a new device the very weekend it launches are most likely the power users who want the highest-end phone experience."

    Apple doesn't really have an alternative to the iPhone 5s. Those who wanted something like the iPhone 5c have already bought those features as the iPhone 5. Those who didn't upgrade to the iPhone 5 have little reason, financial or otherwise, to upgrade to the iPhone 5c.

    With the iPhone 5s, users get impressively more power. With the iPhone 5c they get a blah-looking iPhone 5 with no significant cost savings. Given how high Apple has priced the iPhone 5c, it makes more sense to buy an attractive used iPhone 5 from all those upgrading to the iPhone 5s.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Not entirely sure why they developed the iPhone 5c at all. Colors are nice, I guess, but that and the "modest" improvements aren't really enough incentive for most folks to buy that model instead of the 5s, or to trade in a 5 for a 5c. Certainly priorities differ, but...

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 09-06-01

    @Inkling: I don't think most people are going to bother going on Craig's List or other websites to buy a used iPhone 5, some will but most people prefer to purchase retail. For one you're getting a new product with a warranty, vs. a used product with no warranty.

    That said, I don't see the 5C as a compelling alternative. It looks like a Fisher-Price phone with those bright colors. The price difference is hardly a compelling reason to pass up the 5S.

    I could be wrong. Many including myself thought the iPad Mini was priced too highly but it turns out Apple called that one right.

  1. rjdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-02-09

    The 5C is for budget limited consumers. I know a lot of people that purchased a previously released model that drops to the 8GB size when the new model is released. They see the space limitations after using it for a while. The 5C offers these people double the amount of space for the same price (albeit it's plastic).

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    The 5c is not, frankly, for the people reading this website.

    It is, I would guess primarily, for the people who go to the store to buy a phone and buy whatever Apple phone is available for $99 on contract. Those people now get a new model (probably with better margins for Apple) rather than last year's model.

    It is, if not primarily then secondarily, for the people who go to the store to buy a phone and see the cute, colorful phone with the Apple logo on it and the nice OS. $99 is a price they're willing to pay, so they will buy it over anything used or the colorful Android or Windows whatever sitting next to it.

    In the long term, though, it's about setting up a stable platform for a two-tier iPhone, the lower tier of which is easier and cheaper to manufacture. A year from now, when the iPhone 6 launches, there will almost certainly suddenly be a wide variety of colorful iPhone 5Cs available for free on contract, which will be a very tempting prospect indeed for customers, and probably an iPhone 6C that's internally more like the 5S and externally more like the 5C to sit at the middle price point.

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