Carrier activation figures confirm that Apple iPhone 5s trounced the Apple iPhone 5c over the launch weekend
Using extremely complex algebra (just kidding) we were able to compute that 6.75 million iPhone 5s units were sold compared to 2.25 million iPhone 5c handsets. That is based on the premise that the more expensive model did indeed outsell the lower priced version by 3 to 1. And there actually is an analytical firm that can back up that ratio.
A company called Localytics computed carrier activation data from Friday's early morning launch through 8pm EDT on Sunday. By that time, the Apple iPhone 5s and Apple iPhone 5c had accounted for 1.36% of iPhone models used in the U.S. Breaking down that figure resulted in the iPhone 5s representing 1.05% of stateside activated Apple smartphones, with .35% accounted for by the iPhone 5c. That ratio, 3.4 to 1 in favor of the more expensive model, seems to be pretty much on target. In some countries, like Japan, the ratio is 5 to 1.
Checking out the data for U.S. carriers, AT&T customers have taken to the new iPhone models the most, followed by Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Interestingly, Sprint users have been a much higher percentage buyer of the Apple iPhone 5c than other operators with about 35-40% of new Sprint iPhone sales coming from the lower priced version. One major irony can be found in the international stats. Remember when the rumor was that the "C" in the Apple iPhone 5c stood for China? So far, Chinese buyers, like most international buyers, have stayed away from the polycarbonate shelled model.
Apple iPhone 5s vs. Apple iPhone 5c
source: Localytics via TheRegister
1. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
The iPhone 5c isn't selling because it's a marginally small price difference.
Price it with the true affordable phones in the market, and it would fly off the shelves. The problem is, the iPhone 5s would stop flying off the shelves.
15. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5610; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Buyers aren't exactly stoooopid. They know the 5Cheap is the same specs as the 5 (without the C) and the 5 looks like the 5S for the same price ($99).
Too bad the sales of the 5 (without the C) weren't tracked. I suspect those managed to outsell the 5Cheap edition as well.
19. promise7 (Posts: 354; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Yeah, exactly, and that's also the reason why Apple discontinued the 5. Would love to see iPhone 5 sales since the launch of the new models or even a week or two before the launch as retailers were running promos looking to dump their remaining inventory.
21. Zero0 (Posts: 583; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Very true -- definitely would like to see if many people bought the 5 knowing that they won't be able to do so in a short while.
39. guest (Posts: 91; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)
The only reason the 5s Gold sold out was because it was the only new iPhone that was unique from the previous generation without screaming cheap. Unlike previous generations if you got the previous model year phone no one can tell the difference. This year you got the 5c which lets people know you couldn't throw down the extra $100. The other 2 colors of the 5s don't really stand out. "If it looks the same how will people know I upgraded?" couldn't ring truer. The gold 5s was the only phone that let people know you got the latest iPhone.
17. darkkjedii (Posts: 10536; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I'm wondering how they would've done, if the gold version wasn't in short supply
25. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2999; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
You know, the way phones sales are dealt with in the US or any other country who's carrier gives out phones in subsidized prices are different from the rest.
And i don't give a damn about the way it's analyzed. Because anyone, i mean anyone with a steady income can get an iPhone or any other phone because it's not that hard. All you have to do is choose a plan that's right for you and you're good to go...that's not necessarily bad, it's a boon for Americans.
But try analyizing the statistics of the sales of any phone in the US which people buy off contract...or for now, say between iPhone 5C or the iPhone 5S. I'm sure the result will be upside down... I find this kind of comparison very skeptical.
30. blingblingthing (Posts: 424; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
They're in short supply yet you break all previous records? Seems legit I guess.
3. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Completely called it; Apple's strategy of putting out the 5c in order to make the people want the 5s is working.
8. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3325; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
This comment reeks of ridiculousness. The point of the 5C was to offer a low cost version for people who didn't want to pay $200 for the flagship model.
10. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Oh, you mean like the iPhone 5, which was already in production and, if Apple followed its normal pattern, would have dropped to the EXACT SAME PRICE as the 5c? You mean that "low cost version?"
Please, tell me more about how the customers benefited from having to buy the 5c instead of the 5.
13. E.N. (Posts: 2239; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Customers can now have their preferred operating system on a device with some color. I think a lot of you guys don't realize that there are some stores STILL selling the iPhone 5 with a $99 price tag and yet people are STILL choosing the 5C over the 5.
With 2-3 million 5C sales in opening weekend, Apple once again has another best seller.
Do you not think the iPhone 5S would have done well regardless? The iPhone 4S did exceptionally well and there was no iPhone 4C.
14. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Eh, not really.
We only sold a few 5c's, and we're pretty much out of 5's.
And the 4S did well because 1) it had Siri, which had people excited and 2) Apple cut the iPhone 4's memory in half.
You're talking to the guy who's talking to the customers and getting their feedback here. I have yet to meet someone genuinely excited about the 5c. The most positive reaction I've gotten about the phones is "Huh, it's not as cheap or bad looking as the pictures made it look."
18. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5610; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
"...it's not as cheap..."
But the fact is that the C edition has registered as the Cheap version of the 5. Is your store completely out of non-Cheap iP5 phones? If not, are customers preferring the non-Cheap 5 to the 5Cheap?
22. E.N. (Posts: 2239; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
The people genuinely excited about the 5C pre-ordered the phone as soon as it became available. I understand you get direct feedback, but it still doesn't change the fact that 2-3 million people chose the iPhone 5C over the 5.
27. quakan (Posts: 1158; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
Unfortunately Sniggly, you talking to a small number of customers is not credible enough to scoff at the notion that some people were generally excited to get a 5C. I knew of some people who were and Apple knew of some 2-3 million people who bought one during the launch weekend that wanted one.
28. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
You're right, maybe I am in some weird time warp of an area where people aren't excited to be given a cheap ass option where before there existed a relatively premium option.
All I know is that out of literally dozens of iPhone 5c's, we moved only a handful this weekend.
32. Mr.Verizon (Posts: 23; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
No, i can second sniggly on that. I manage a verizon wireless store and out of all of the iphones we have sold, i can only recall 2-3 people ask if we had the 5c instock first, and not after asking about the 5s. Also, i believe they are counting iconic orders and such as phones "sold". My company is one of the big 6 verizon retailers and there were only 1300 iphone 5s's over 480 stores which was a terrible amount. Couple that with the production delays and I can't possibly see how apple did over 7 million iphone 5s's when they can't even produce as many as they did iphone 5's. I watched the gold 5s's in a matter of hours go from shipping in early october to middle of november for verizon.
38. quakan (Posts: 1158; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
Once again, your experience does not represent the bigger picture. Those sales numbers aren't fabricated lies.
40. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Nobody here is saying the sales are fabricated or lies. Just because a phone sold doesn't mean that people were all super excited for it. I'm sure that there were some who were like "cool, colors." But so far the buzz around my store has not reflected that kind of excitement.
Also, my original question wasn't whether the phone sold, but how customers really benefited from being forced to buy the 5c instead of the 5 for a midgrade option.
20. promise7 (Posts: 354; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)
Wanted to point out Verizon still offers the iPhone 5 for $99 w/ 2 year contract on their website. Given the choice I don't see why anyone would choose a 5C over a 5 unless they were a pre-teen wanting pretty colors.
23. E.N. (Posts: 2239; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Best Buy, T-Mobile, and Sprint are also selling the iPhone 5 for cheap.
I don't get it either really, but hey to each their own. As long as they're happy with it. The good thing in all of this is that people who still want the iPhone 5 at $99 can still pick one up in the next couple weeks (or maybe months) while supplies last.
24. Sniggly (Posts: 6802; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
It'll be a matter of weeks. We're already out of most of our 5's. We have a few Sprint ones and some Verizon ones left. (Verizon has a weak customer presence in our immediate vicinity.)
35. tedkord (Posts: 4507; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Yes, because you couldn't slap a colored thin case on it.
26. quakan (Posts: 1158; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company isn’t interested in producing a cheap iPhone so it can compete against rivals in what he calls the “junk” part of the smartphone market.
“There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business,” Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek published today. “There’s a segment of the market that really wants a product that does a lot for them, and I want to compete like crazy for those customers. I’m not going to lose sleep over that other market, because it’s just not who we are. Fortunately, both of these markets are so big, and there’s so many people that care and want a great experience from their phone or their tablet, that Apple can have a really good business.”
5C always meant color for Apple, not cheap. The internet made that rumor up about Apple making a low-cost iPhone.
31. Mr.Verizon (Posts: 23; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
Not exactly correct, the real reason apple doesn't produce a brand new phone that is well built and still cheap (under $100) is profit margin. Since they don't own any of their own factories or chip foundry's they have to buy everything from everybody unlike say samsung who can produce little more than half the parts for a smartphone. Its not worth it to apple to lose the profit margin since thats the only thing they truly care about and of course their stock price. Which ironically is still a few hundred dollars short of its high i believe.
4. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)
Well obviously, who wants to buy a rebadged plastic iPhone 5 for $550?
34. taikucing (unregistered)
5. nctx77 (Posts: 456; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)
Well folks, when you consider that the 5c pretty much matched the samsung galaxy S4 opening weekends sales, it actually did a great job. I think the S4 sold somewhere around 2.5 million.
6. ckoch125 (Posts: 191; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Not surprising. People aren't going to buy the cheaper version if they really want a cheaper iphone they will get the 4s. Plus everyone who is going to get the new iphone is going to not get a cheaper plastic one.
7. k1ng617 (Posts: 242; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
What happened to Apple not being able to produce iPhone 5's in quantity? What a bad call!
11. stealthd (Posts: 932; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
This makes sense for the launch. The people that are going to buy phones when they're new are typically looking at the higher end. The 5c will probably sell more over time, when the average phone buyer has an upgrade or their old phone breaks. A lot of people would prefer to save the $100, but they aren't the ones waiting in line on launch day.
33. nodnarb (Posts: 29; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
If I was to get an iphone with budget in mind i would definitely get the 5c, its essentially the 5 specwise. Since apple drops the price every year of the old model, it is the same price that the 5 would be had they not discontinued it. In addition the 5c has a bigger battery which I would appreciate.