China leads the pack in strong preference for iPhone 5s over 5c

“After some pretty extensive analysis of the iPhone 5s versus 5c within the first 48 hours after launch that we reported yesterday, we wanted to drill a bit further into the global distribution of the new iPhones looking at new data after 72 hours post launch,” Bernd Leger reports for Localytics.

“Perhaps surprising was that of the eight countries where the most iPhone 5s’ or 5c’s were sold, the highest ratio of preference for the 5s wasn’t in the United States or Japan; leading the pack is actually China,” Leger reports. “One possible explanation: there was a lot of hoopla around the addition of the gold-colored iPhone 5s as a very attractive addition in particular for Asian markets so this hypothesis may hold true. Keep in mind the gold-colored version is only available on the 5s, not the 5c.”

“One possible reason why more iPhone 5s’ were sold was because of the tendency of hardcore apple users wanting to buy the top of the line iPhone on the weekend it was released,” Leger reports. “It will be interesting to see if the 5c can pick up a bit of momentum in the next few weeks.”

Localytics: Ralative share of Apple iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 5c, 72 hours after release
Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Very few people, relatively, stand in line for an iPhone 5c. People stood in line for that iPhone last year. The iPhone 5c does not exist to woo early adopters. As users contracts end, along with Christmas shopping season’s arrival, the iPhone 5c sales will increase.

Related articles:
Analyst: The iPhone 5c customer is currently in an Android phone contract and will steadily move to Apple over the next year – September 23, 2013
Report: iPhone 5s out sold iPhone 5c units 3.7 to 1 globally on launch weekend – September 23, 2013
Crowds line up around the world for Apple’s iPhone 5s, not iPhone 5c – September 21, 2013
Why would anyone buy an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s? – September 10, 2013


  1. “MacDailyNews Take: Very few people, relatively, stand in line for an iPhone 5c. People stood in line for that iPhone last year. The iPhone 5c does not exist to woo early adopters. As users contracts end, along with Christmas shopping season’s arrival, the iPhone 5c sales will increase.”

    Couldn’t have been better said by any of those Apple exec’s that thought $100.00 difference was enough for consumers to go for the 5C stead of the 5S. The 5C is not another Apple Maps debacle as the 5C is a fine phone just priced way too high. The maps debacle didn’t cost Apple sells.

    Consumers whose contract has already ended chose the 5S in overwhelming numbers. Why would any one believe that months from now when other consumers contract ends, they will be somehow more prone to go for the 5C; they won’t, they go for the 5S.

    Furthermore, I’m sure a percentage of consumers who wanted a 5S purchased a 5C because they needed a phone and didn’t want to wait weeks or have $10,000 laying around to buy it from ebay. As the 5S production increases the gap between 5C and 5S sells will increase dramatically.

    The 5C will be a drag on the iPhone family if Apple does nothing but ride out the storm thinking up scenarios that they believe will increase the sells of the 5C only ending up with carrier unsold phones by the BB Z10.

    If Apple decides to eat some of their profits, they can really make a ton of money on the 5C by reducing it’s price. This will have to occur fairly soon. Otherwise it’s bath.

    1. I see these numbers as further validation of Apple’s high-end, high-margin pricing strategy.

      The relatively low number of iPhone 5c sales tells us they’re not cannibalizing sales of the superior iPhone 5s. But the 9 million combined sales tell us iPhone is most certainly stealing sales from Android.

      If the iPhone 5c was cheaper, would they have sold more than 9 million phones? Sure. But at what cost? (in lost margins, and cannibalized iPhone 5s sales).

      1. If the 5C were cheaper then its current price, its sales would have been much better then today but what is a cheap price. Certainly not the $550.00 -$650.00 Apple is selling them for at present.

        Up until September 2013, Apple was still selling their iPhone 3GS and it never cannibalized sales of the 4S or 5. The 5C is not cannibalizing sales of any Apple products because it’s not selling in the first place. It is costing Apple money in time, resources and marketing to have a product just sit on shelves.

        1. Based on these numbers the 5c makes up between 10% and 30% of the total sales. But that’s 10-30% of 9 million units. That’s a lot of sales. It’s not a waste of time.

          On the other hand, selling more phones at lower margin could very well cost Apple time, money and resources.

          As others have pointed out, the 5c will likely be a slower-burn product anyway. Who’s lining up on opening day for a phone with year-old technology? Those people will be buying iPhone 5c units at a more-or-less uniform rate throughout the year (not front-loaded on opening weekend, like the iPhone 5s).

          If we learned anything at all from the “PC wars” it’s that Apple is better off with most of the profits, than with most of the marketshare.

  2. The 5c is not targeted towards those who want the latest and greatest. It’s targeted to those who want a solid phone on a $99 budget. There are millions of such people, many of them currently in Android, because it was previously the best option for a new phone at that price level. There will be a lot of Android switchers who switch to the 5c who are used to a plastic enclosure and used to a shitty experience. The 5c will delight them because of the superior build quality and user experience it offers.

    1. About the only phone better then the 5C is the 5S. I believe right now T-mobile is the only carrier that adjusts your monthly bill down after your two year contract is up. They along with other carriers are now allowing customers to purchase the phone and pay it off over two years without a contract.

      T-Mobile and others I’m sure offer the 5C at 0 down instead of the original $99.00 and they and others still can’t move the 5C hence the low number of sales.

      Apple execs. are on this “just wait” scenario with respect to the 5C that will never materialize. If it hasn’t happen by now, it never will no how much you wish it.

      1. After 48 hours, the sky is falling. You feel assured Apple won’t sell any 5C’s. Poor Apple. I’m willing to wait till after the Christmas season to see how they are doing. Yay Apple! What’s your hurry to pronounce judgement?

  3. I didn’t bother with the new models. Got myself a 64 GB iPhone 5 for $179 last week and happy as heck with that deal. A 32 GB 5S would have been $400 with tax. Screw that. In 2 years I can sell my 5 for what I paid for it and get a 6S or whatever. Another way I think about it, I got one of those rare black iPhone 5C’s 🙂

  4. 5c is the “gift” phone. If anything it is likely to cannibalize the iPod touch. The 5c is what parents buy for their kids at Christmas, Chanukah, Birthdays, for a good report card, etc. Those 5c percentages will grow over time.

    1. It’s will only be a gift phone for children, not adults. If Apple lowers the price of the 5c by $100, AFTER they sell a tone of 5s iPhones over the holidays, that would make a lot of sense and offer them an opportunity to compete in the pre-paid mid-tier market.

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