updated 09:58 pm EST, Fri March 7, 2014
Report confirms speculation that 5s outselling 5c by 3:1
A new report from mobile ad analysis firm Mixpanel has reinforced some speculation about the iPhone 5s, even as it has dispelled other rumors about the iPhone 5c. In its latest report, the company says that the iPhone 5s is set to top the popular iPhone 4s in user share, with the newer model currently accounting for about 19 percent of all active iPhones.
Contrary to a number of puzzling media reports that the iPhone 5c has failed to catch on, the chart below shows it steadily gaining in sales, having risen to about 6.34 percent of the iPhone userbase since September. While the iPhone 5s is unsurprisingly more popular, being a more advanced model, the previous "mid-price" model -- the iPhone 4S, which became the "middle child" when the iPhone 5 debuted -- is declining in active users rapidly, as the iPhone 5 and 4 as users upgrade.
Counting both together, the three currently-available models -- the 5s, 5c and 4S -- make up about half of all of the iPhone userbase, precisely as one might expect. The iPhone 5 is also declining in users, but more slowly -- which suggests owners of that model have largely opted to hold out for the next iPhone revision (expected in the fall) rather than upgrade, again exactly as one would expect given the two-year cycle of most smartphone contracts.
Whether the iPhone 5c is performing to Apple's expectations is hard to determine, but reports of it being a "flop" have been directly contradicted by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has pointed out that the iPhone 5c is outselling the iPhone 4S at the same point in its "middle-child" position last year. The company continues to offer the iPhone 4S as an "entry level" smartphone, and is said to have resumed production of the iPhone 4 for certain developing markets. Currently, the two have 23.94 percent and 16.43 percent share, respectively.
The iPhone 5, which was taken off the market by Apple and replaced with the iPhone 5c, continues to hold the lion's share at 32.65 percent of the current active userbase. The iPhone 5s and 5c are the only models that are growing in share, with the decline of the 4S roughly matching the rise of the 5c in terms of recent rates of change. The iPhone 5s averages a rise of about 0.5 percent per week, at least since the end of the year, while the 5c grows at about 0.15 percent, again roughly one-third the rate of iPhone 5s adoption.
The Mixpanel results, according to the company, were drawn from 194.3 billion app and mobile ad interactions referred to as "sessions" between September 9 of last year and March 3. According to the averages, the iPhone 5s is likely to eclipse the 4S in share sometime next month.