CIRP: Apple’s iPhone 5c has boosted sales of flagship iPhone 5s

“A new study suggests that the iPhone 5c is grabbing less share of the iPhone market than Apple’s iPhone 4s did a year ago when it was the mid-range option,” Ina Fried reports for Re/code. “The iPhone 5s, by contrast, has grabbed a larger share of the market than the iPhone 5 did in its first full quarter on the market.”

“The iPhone 5s accounted for 59 percent of October through December U.S. sales, according to a study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners,” Fried reports. “That compares to the iPhone 5′s 50 percent of sales when it was the high-end model a year ago.”

“The iPhone 5c, meanwhile, represented 27 percent of sales, less than the 32 percent that the iPhone 4s had a year ago when it was the mid-range model,” Fried reports. “‘If the old iPhone 5 had been the mid-priced phone, we expect that it would have sold a higher percentage of iPhones than the 5c did, as previous mid-priced legacy iPhones have,’ CIRP analyst Josh Lowitz said. ‘The 5c seems to have been designed to force certain buyers to the 5s.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You heard it on MacDailyNews first (on the very day the iPhone 5c and 5s were unveiled, no less):

Why the hell would anyone buy an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s?

It seems to me that Apple is using the iPhone 5c as a tool to push buyers to the 5s (well, at least those buyers who can grasp a simple value equation).

Once Apple gets the customer to the websites or into the stores and the prospective buyer can see and/or hold both phones and learn that they’re only separated by a mere $100, my guess is that Apple figures they’ll have plenty of upsales occurring. Upsales that will boost Apple’s iPhone margins nicely.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, September 10, 2013


  1. And where are they getting this data from? Apple’s earnings call will give color on iPhone sales. Everything else is noise. It’s completely ridiculous to think that Apple would go to the trouble of building and marketing a new product for the sole purpose of getting you to buy a different product. If that was Apple’s MO then why is the iPad mini just a smaller version of the iPad Air? Why didn’t they make the iPad mini colored plastic so people would buy the Air instead?

      1. I agree with you. I don’t think Apple designed the 5c fail (which depends upon what you mean by “fail.” It may be selling less that the 5s, and if that’s your metric, then it has) and there’s no evidence that that’s the case.

        Then again, that’s a particularly unrealistic metric.

        The 5c is as close as Apple is going to get to an entry-level phone (other than older models sold at a discount) so if it prevents someone from purchasing an Android of Windows phone, it has done it’s job.

        That being said, it may be working out that way. The thing is, if a person decides to buy a 5s (instead of the 5c) they are still purchasing an Apple product (and a higher margin one at that).

  2. Apple wouldn’t design a product to push buyers to another product. I think people are forgetting about teens (and nowadays children). Hand both options to that demographic and you’ll see a different picture.

    The iPhone 5s is definitely a “mature” design. The average teenage boy wants a red car, stick shift, exhaust and rims. You probably want a Mercedes.

    Apple makes certain products for certain people. It’s more like they designed the iPhone 5c for those transitioning from an iPod to an iPhone.

  3. IMHO The metal and glass body that started with the 4 was hard for Apple to produce. There has always been a shortage with them. The plastic body made it easier for them to produce in mass. People have believed that the sellout of 5s’s and not 5c’s has been a sign that more people are buying 5s’s. It could be there are more 5c’s on the market and easier to replace stock. As great as selling out sounds it hurts long term sales. Most people buy cell phones at brick and mortar stores. Sales people do not want them walking out without a new phone. If there is no iPhone then they will buy an Android. The 5c is for late adaptors and Apple wants to make sure there is a phone in the store when they are ready to buy.

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