Analytics firm shows lackluster uptake of iPhone 5c and why Apple won’t do an iPhone 6c

“A day before the announcement of the new iPhones, analytics company Localytics has provided a picture of the iPhone market today,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “It shows that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus between them account for a full 40% of all iPhones in use, with the iPhone 5s trailing behind at 23.7%.”

“The same data also backs our report that the iPhone 5c is being discontinued, showing that it accounts for just 8.5% of active iPhones, putting it below the iPhone 4S,” Lovejoy reports. “The poor showing of the 5c casts further doubt onto its rumored replacement, the 6c.”

“While sources confirm that Apple has been working on a new 4-inch device, we’re not expecting to see it tomorrow. Some rumors suggested Apple was planning a later launch, in November, while KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo has said we probably won’t see it until next year,” Lovejoy reports. “Given the apparent lack of interest in the 5c, you have to wonder whether launching a 6c makes sense at all – this year or next.”

Read more and check out the concept images of an “iPhone 6c” depicted as simply a smaller version of the 6S in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in July:

If they’re going to make a 4-inch iPhone, it should be on par (as much as possible) with the flagship iPhones – same processor, same amount of RAM, same storage options, very similar camera capabilities, etc. In other words, a high-margin premium device designed specifically for premium customers who are looking for a world-class 4-inch smartphone. Still:

“In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. After iPhone 5s and 5c go the way of the dodo, the 4.7-inch display should, and likely will, be Apple’s smallest iPhone display going forward.” — MacDailyNews Take, December 5, 2014

That said, there certainly are times now, with Apple Watches on our wrists, where we’d appreciate a smaller iPhone that we could just tuck away in a pocket and forget — at least while Watch is so dependent on iPhone. But, watch OS 2, coming soon, will begin to lessen the dependence, so whatever desire we had developed over the past months months for a small iPhone to support Apple Watch has diminished since watchOS 2 was unveiled. It’s likely Apple is thinking this way, too. Even with Apple Watch and watch OS 1.0, we almost always want a larger iPhone* for the times when we actually use the iPhone anyway. So, we’re back to thinking the 4.7-inch display is the smallest iPhone Apple should make.

*The one major exception would be toting around an iPhone on a run for GPS mapping, but, even then, the iPhone 6 is plenty small and light enough to suffice.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

20 Comments

    1. You’re using too many negatives there. I want a 4″ iPhone because my shirts have pockets that are too small to hold larger iPhones.

      A small, but fully featured iPhone would be absolutely perfect for my needs and when a larger screen is desirable, I would use my cellular iPad, which is often nearby, but never in my pocket.

    2. You are taking about me. I live in a Florida beach town. Every week the temperature is in the 70s. Most of the time people are in shorts or jeans that the pockets are to small for a 6 and unthinkable for a 6plus. Down here you have to be paid to where a jacket, even then you take it off when possible. I don’t get the shirtless thing because the few shirts that do have pockets are to small for a 5. The people I know with 6plus size phones need something to carry them in like a: purse, bag, or briefcase. Florida is not normal, in a lot of ways ( stop sending us the crazy people in your family ); however we now have the third largest population. A lot of people pay a lot of money to live in places with little clothing.

        1. No, like many of us here in places that are getting weirder, he is posting on as many sites as he can in a desperate plea to stop sending your oddballs. I second his emotion, send them to kansas, they need more of that there…..

          1. Yes. I want the world to know that most of the stupid stuff they hear about people from Florida are not real Floridians. I want them to understand that their crazy, embarrassing relative would be a lot happier in Kansas.

        2. No. I was insulted. I would like people to understand that some some of us have very good, logical reasons to want Apple to keep a smaller phone. Down here we don’t judge people by the clothes they wear. Some of the worst dressed people are very successful; now they don’t have to wear that monkey suit they did up north.

          I have traveled a lot and love to experience different cultures. I understand people’s needs in other places are different from mine.

    3. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don’t think you have to be too poor to own a shirt to not want to be the kind of calculator-suckling dork who puts electronic gear in his pocket.

      I want a 3.5″ phone. 4″ is okay, but I still have to hold it a little funny to hit the Back button. I like to hold my phone with my little finger under the bottom, so I don’t drop it. And I sure as hell don’t want to have to use two hands to use a telephone. What is this, the 1890’s?

      Apple, give us a little phone. I’m seriously considering just replacing my 5S with another 5S (because various parts are going bad, the front camera is moldy, and Siri hasn’t worked in a year).

  1. I have seen a lot of people with the 5c, on the West Coast. So I am a little puzzled by this.

    The problem may not be the “c” but that it’s the 5c and three year old technology. If Apple kept it the iPhone 5, would it be just as popular?

    I see a problem with current expectations, because the 4/4s was an amazing phone. It had remained popular in second and third markets, much longer, just for that reason.

    If making the 5c was compelled by the cost of producing the iPhone 5, for second and third markets, wouldn’t it stand true that the 6 has the same kind of problem?

    1. Forbes says in mid-June of 2014 that the iPhone 5C sold over 24 million units in just eight months on the market. That is a success in any phone other than the iPhone flagship 5s, which sold more. It was NOT a flop. The 5C sold more units in its first month than Samsung’s new flagship did in its first month on the market. Again, proof it was not a “lackluster uptake.”

      This is just one more FUD Season FUD article in advance of tomorrow’s Apple event.

  2. so, how about a “connection/storage unit” that can connect to the LTE network, and stores settings and data for access on the watch, including security for Apple Pay, but does not need a screen or NFC or wifi or… well,,,, it also would need a much smaller battery than an iPhone, so the thing would be like a pack of gum. Call it an Apple Watch Pro

  3. As I’ve said before, iPhones are pretty tough already but people clearly want even more robustness than the current iPhone case provides. The Apple design team needs to address this. Maybe the “unapologetically plastic” iPhone is the way of the future, with an extra mailable case able to absorb very high-G impacts.

    But for this to work to its fullest effect the innards of the iPhone will also need solid electronics packaging that could withstand 10,000+ G peak impacts. The military does this with gun-hardened electronics. Apple certainly could do this too. Maybe Apple will figure out how to 3D-print iPhones – solid on the outside and solid on the inside. It would be an extremely robust and damage resistant piece of kit.

    Of course, iFixit would hate this design because you couldn’t swap out anything if something were to go wrong. The whole iPhone would have to be replaced.

  4. I have an iPhone 6+ due to the better camera compared to the 6, but I’ll never buy one that big again. It’s too big to carry easily and it’s too hard to get out of a pocket. More isn’t necessarily better.

  5. “you have to wonder whether launching a 6c makes sense at all – this year or next”

    ??? – The news that Apple isn’t coming out with a 6c is a year old! If they were coming out with one, it would, at this point, be a 6cs.
    Yes, they are not coming out with a successor to the 5c, but we knew that a year ago.

  6. Who would ever have wanted a cheap small version of the 6? We want a full blown fast durable small version.

    T-shirts generally don’t have pockets. Jeans already have keys and wallet, and even the 4s is too big for jeans pockets. So a belt holster is the only way. Who wants a giant 6 on their hip?

    I have to ask AGAIN what MDNers wear. ??

    If you have to wear a shirt with a pocket, pants with huge baggy pockets or a coat, it is only because you haven’t made enough money to not care about dressing for someone else. And what Apple devotee gives a shit what convention demands?

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