Apple iPhone 5s vs 5c on launch weekend: flagship outsells plastic by a factor of three

Research firm Localytics tracked data from 20 million unique iPhone IDs over the first weekend of availability for the new Apple crop, and it turned out that the flagship iPhone 5s is three times more popular than the cheaper iPhone 5c. This more or less jibes the results of our own poll put up before the two devices went on sale, where 80% of more than 3000 respondents said they'd get the 5s.

Together, the two fresh iPhone models are already representing 1.36% of all iPhones activated on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, with the flagship taking 1.05%, and the rest going to the iPhone 5c. AT&T, as the first exclusive iPhone carrier, still has the highest number of activations, followed by Verizon. Bernd Lerger, VP of marketing at Localytics, commented: 

Looking at the numbers outside of the US, Localytics noted that the iPhone 5s is on average 3.7x more popular than the 5c, whereas that ratio in Japan, for example, jumped up to five times. As already pointed out, the launch weekend won't be a good indicator how well the colorful plastic iPhone will sell in the long run, when the first adopters have all gotten their fix, and given the record margin that Apple likely commands on the 5c, whatever it sells will pad Cupertino's coffers nicely.

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)
iPhone 5c
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1507 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

As expected If they priced 5C right, then it would've resulted in better results.

2. Tazer2365

Posts: 52; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

It still sold well. The iPhone 5C probably sold what Nokia's phones sell in a year.

6. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

lol well what else, its True

7. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Are you sure? Nokia is still second in sales after Sammy, so 5c will beat all Nokia phones alone? Go home you are drunk...

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I doubt price is the primary factor. The 5C establishes a new segment - as in C (heap). Cheap can mean something other than lower priced. I wonder how sales of existing iP5 phones are going? VZW is selling the 16Gb iP5 for $99 with a 2 year contract. From all I have seen, the 5C and 5 are functionally exactly the same. The 5C is plastic, while the 5 looks very similar to the 5S. I wonder how many iP5 were sold during the same period? Something tells me the used market for the iP5 in excellent condition is going to be more of a sellers market than in times past.

3. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Yay, Apple loyal fans shafted again. Being strong armed into buying the higher margin product and still supporting such a company is ridiculous. How many times has it been now that they have done this crap. First withholding features from older phones that can run it with ease (wifi tethering on 3gs, siri on 4, maps on 4), now with actual hardware shafting (screw over the iPhone 5 and sell it for the same price and then release marginal upgrade that's for the same price as last years model). The vast majority of people supporting this kind of behaviour have to have some sort of psychological issue. I guess it goes to show the power of marketing and branding, being able to get people to blindly follow you to their own detriment and then being praised for it.

8. volcano321

Posts: 20; Member since: Aug 08, 2013

No, it just means that Apple designed it just right. With enough improvements to maintain the status quo. Anything more would be dumb. They're a business and this looks like great business to me.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31338; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said Volcano. +1

4. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

Daaaahhhh! I just cant get over the 64 bit about putting the cart before the horse.

5. wicpromd

Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

still cant beat Samsung......

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31338; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm glad I was able to get the 3 my family wanted. Sad we couldn't get gold though, hopefully they'll arrive during the buyers remorse period.

10. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Well if the ratio was the other way Apple would be filling their pants. Any company wants their higher priced item to sell better.

11. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

i actually prefer the 5c, probably because it looks like a Lumia....: )

13. melcruz66

Posts: 30; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Yaaay for Apple!!!

14. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

Iphone 5c is overpriced, plastic and ugly. If I want to shift to iOS I rather spend bit more and get Iphone 5s


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012


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