iPhone 5c unit sales begin catching up to iPhone 5s

“When it was first released, Apple’s flashy flagship iPhone 5S outsold the cheaper plastic-bodied iPhone 5C by as much as 500 percent as early adopters rushed to get the latest and greatest,” John Koetsier reports for VentureBeat. “Now, that margin is down to just under 200 percent.”

“‘About one month since the initial launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C, the 5C is steadily gaining traction as the ratio of active 5S’s to 5Cs in the U.S. is down by a factor of 1.9X,’ a Localytics representative told me via e-mail this morning,” Koetsier reports. “Localytics’ new numbers… show 5C sales steadily increasing as a proportion of 5S sales every single week since launch.”

Koetsier reports, “Localytics highlights this is currently a U.S.-only trend. Which means, of course, that the pundits — to date, at least — are right, and that the 5C is not cheap enough to attract significant numbers of new iPhone owners in developing markets. Because globally, the ratio is still higher than in the wealthy United States.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last Thursday:

Again, a major target for iPhone 5c are the disillusioned Fragmandroid settlers as they come off contract (God knows they’d never pay a cent to get out of their mistake early). iPhone 5c is not a phone for which anybody lines up at launch. iPhone 5c will have consistently good sales over time. iPhone 5c is already selling better vs. iPhone 5s than iPhone 4s did vs. iPhone 5.

Also, with its pricing, it’s likely very effective in upselling iPhone 5s.

32 Comments

    1. I agree with the 5s inventory restraints. Whatever model iPhone Apple sells, it’s good for Apple.

      The analysts are really going overboard about this sell ratio stuff. I mean, if you take a company like Samsung which sells a dozen smartphones at different price points, do you honestly think the analysts are going to break out all the different models and start arguing about smartphone model sell ratios? I don’t think so. I’m sure not all models Samsung puts out have equally high sales. Some must sit in inventory forever considering all the Android smartphones there are for sale at any one time. Usually they just say that Samsung has sold a bunch of smartphones. I’ve really never heard about a product model sell ratio being bandied about so much.

      1. With low-margin providers it’s not as important to know those sell ratios. With frequent product turnover strategies it’s not as important to know those sell ratios. With Apple, both a high-margin and only annual product turnover strategy, it’s very important because it points to the overall profitability of the company. Betting on a product for a year is far more risky than betting on a product for 3 months.

    2. Not sure about that.
      I think people are more likely to wait for the phone they want, rather than settle for the phone they don’t – especially in this price range.
      The 5s will attract high-end buyers and early-adopters.
      The folk who will buy the 5c will wait for while.

      1. I agree with you. Its two different customers.. The high end one isn’t going to buy the 5c unless its for their kids. And those in a certain income bracket probably can’t afford the 5s or maybe not even want that one.

        1. If you can afford the 5C, you can just as well afford the 5S. Only the 5C 16gb model costs $100 less then the 5S. The 5C 32gb model costs the same as the 5S 16gb model which has a superior CPU, a co-cpu, better camera and finger print sensor but 16gb less storage then the 5C 32gb.

          It’s not a question of income bracket, rather knowing what a bad deal is which is what the 5C is compared to the 5S.

          1. If you’re only looking at the device & price side, sure. But these are being sold to people, and people vary rather widely in what’s important to them, and what tradeoffs they’re making. My son, a college student, bought a 5c so he can save the $100 difference to apply to a PS4. It’s instructive to actually ask 5c owners what their equation was rather than theorizing about it.

    1. “loosers”?

      The 5s is supply-constrained. The 5c has at least two huge retailers offering $50 discounts in order to move slow-selling inventory.

      — 5s: huge success by any measure
      — 5c: missed the mark in style or in price, or both.

      It’s easier to get a clear picture of the world when you take off the fanboy glasses once in a while. Expect product changes and/or sales for the 5c early in 2014. Shouldn’t be that hard to mold some different colored plastic next spring, Cook.

      1. Wrong. 5S has the latest, greatest hardware features, thus the rabid iPhone users would naturally want it.

        More casual users can wait. Users upgrading from 3S, 4 or 4S still get new hardware features with the 5C but don’t have to spend as much.

      2. The 5C is definitely overpriced. Once the initial rush to buy is over, which is mainly due to diehard fanboys, the general public will not be so enamoured with the plastic back, high price or awful iOS 7. The public that is older than 14 years of age anyway.

        There will be severe discounting to come for the 5C, much more than the paltry $50 used to move initial stock. Already T-Mobile is discounting it by $100 (you can get one for free on contract). Pretty soon that won’t be enough. I foresee the day not too long from now, perhaps early next year, when they have to give you $100 store credit in addition to the $0 starting price to move units.

        I can’t see any value at all in the 5C at the current price point.

        1. Since you have yet to learn this trick at the $200b enterprise of which you are CEO, here’s some valuable info for you:

          Introducing a more affordable product with huge gross margins, that sells well and also causes you to lift the build numbers of your flagship product by 75%… well my friend, that is a phone which is perfectly priced.

        2. If you don’t wish to be seen as a Troll (I know its tough when you have poor education from Redneck Tech) it is probably best to think of a name that doesn’t reflect the particular hit piece you are presenting because that shows that you are just signing up to make a single derogatory post even when it accidentally includes a modicum of sense in it. There are plenty of cleverer* trolls on here who can show you how its done if you need help.

          * I am clearly talking in relative terms here.

  1. You know mike, the 5s is great phone. But some just want a stable phone on a stable operating system. It has nothing to do with product restraints some just don’t want that crappy android system. I won’t buy anything Samsung because they are copy other ideas and inventions. They sell a system that actually comes from another company that sad. Apple products are all there’s. I can afford and could get a 5s on launch,I chose the 5c. I will wait on the six. I just want a very stable experience when I use a apple cell. And I don’t like keeping up with the Jones, on every new thing that comes out. Plus I will wait on the bugs to be worked out of iOS 7 it is still new especially the finger print reader. I have some issues but no way as many as the 5s owner, google it you will see

      1. 16GB gold 5s… and no problems that would cause me to get upset or return it or even not recommend it to friends and family. It rebooted on me the other day — an experience so bizarre and infrequent that I remember it. And I don’t worry about it because: a) it reboots amazingly fast! and b) I allow diagnostic information to go back to Apple so they’ll fix whatever that issue was in an update.

  2. Because globally, the ratio is still higher than in the wealthy United States.

    Wealthy United States? With the Debt that is being racked up by President after President, how can it be called The Wealthy United States?

  3. What the pundits have failed to understand, for the last fifteen years, is that Apple doesn’t the segment the market by price, it segments the market by lifestyle.

    The iPod Shuffle was not a cheap iPod; it was an iPod for people who like to use the gym, or go running or whatever. There is a huge difference.

    If you look at the two new phones, they are not serving different price segments; they’re serving different lifestyles. In terms the pundits can understand:
    The 5s -> people who can afford it
    The 5c -> the kids with parents who can afford it.

    Sticking with the price obsession, the pundits scream that $100 is not a large enough differentiator. It’ll never sell! Folk will just spend the extra for a 5s! (Like that’s a bad thing.)

    Again, it’s about lifestyle. A hundred dollars isn’t much of a difference – unless you have to buy two or three phones, one for each of your kids.

    The ‘c’ in ‘5c’ doesn’t stand for ‘cheap’ or ‘colour’; it stands for ‘Christmas’.

  4. Very few people would be likely to upgrade a year old (or less) iPhone 5 for a 5c, there’s just no point. People would potentially upgrade to a 5S though. Of the non iPhone 5 people (android, iphone, whatever), even if it was 50/50 that would still logically mean 5s demand would be higher to start with. Once the initial pent up demand was worked through it stood to reason that things would change.

  5. It almost feels as if the conversation is turning in a positive direction. A few months ago this writer would have spun the story suggesting that 5S phone sales had dropped off to get closer to 5C sales.
    Perhaps we’re seeing a new climate.

      1. Clearly you don’t know much about Oz, they have mostly missed the terrible down turns the rest of us have suffered on both sides of the pond and are doing very nicely thank you. Their future is rosy as long as the bush fires don’t claim you, not sure about either of ours though.

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