With no word from Apple on the breakdown of its record-breaking iPhone sales between 5s and 5c (and no word expected during the company’s earnings call either), everyone is posting their estimates.

First to the punch was Localytics, who used iPhone connections to mobile and web apps to come up with an estimate of three to one in favor of the 5s. KGI’s Mingchi Kuo disagreed, using supply chain analysis to put the figures closer to 50/50, and suggesting that, if anything, sales of the 5c might be slightly higher. Now we have Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllThingsD) using consumer surveys to suggest that the 5s is outselling the 5c two-to-one … 

According to CIRP’s survey of consumers who purchased Apple’s latest iPhones during the last days of September, the 5s accounted for 64 percent of total iPhone sales following its launch that month. Meanwhile, the the 5c accounted for 27 percent, with the legacy iPhone 4S making up the remaining 9 percent.

So not only is the 5s outselling the 5c, it’s outselling it more than two to one.

The truth, of course, is that no-one but Apple knows, and it isn’t saying. CIRP does, however, acknowledge the point I made when the 3-to-1 number was suggested – that the pattern is unlikely to be maintained in the longer-term as the higher-end device was always going to attract more of the type of people who have to have it now.

“The relative performance of all three iPhones is generally in line with the performance of the similarly priced phones following the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012,” CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz told AllThingsD. “Over time, the lower-priced phones have tended to gain share versus the flagship phone, after the initial rush of dedicated upgraders to the newest device. So we expect that the 5c will account for a higher percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the coming months, but the design changes may alter that dynamic. The iPhone 5c may appeal to different buyers than the legacy 4S did last year, or the new 5s will this year.”

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11 Responses to “Twice as many people buying iPhone 5s as iPhone 5c (latest claim)”

  1. tgilles1 says:

    Basically, sales are great, 5c performing 4% better than it’s 4S counterpart from last year. Apple is DOOMED! lol


  2. PMZanetti says:

    Great for Apple. They probably couldn’t be more pleased. They made a move to ensure: A) their flagship phone would be another record setter, and B) their tier-2 phone would perform equal to or better than last year’s tier-2. If they had kept the iPhone 5, they would have run the risk of fewer overall sales as 5 would not have been nearly as attractive with the 5S available. The 5C completely turned the tables on this, offering a very compelling NEW phone…even though it is still mostly last year’s phone. Brilliant.

    Good job Apple.


    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      Yep, the 5C was a clever move, turning last year’s phone into this year’s fashion accessory


      • Jim Phong says:

        A clever move the iPhone 5C plastic crap Tim Cook phone ?
        Tim Cook and his gang must be fired! No one is buying the millions of iPhone 5C he forced into production. He focused all Apple efforts and marketing on his own 5C fraud and he slowed down production of the true iPhone 5S that everyone wants to buy!


      • PMZanetti says:

        Jim, why do you keep it up? Your comments are delusional at best. There are a million good reasons why there were more 5C at launch than 5S, and none of them are spelled out in your ramblings.


  3. RP says:

    I’d like the see the sales breakdown between the iterative 4 and the 4s and 5 and 5c.


  4. fanfoot says:

    As you say, we won’t know the real ratio for some time, given that early adopters won’t be buying 5S’s. Until the iPhone 5s backlog goes away, and all the early adopters are done buying, we can’t even begin to guess, other than the current ratio is LOWER than it will be in the long run. Maybe in January if you look at the ratio and extrapolate that number over the remainder of a year (e.g. include the iPhone’s sold to that point, then add another 9 months of sales at the new ratio). Maybe then.


  5. Dear CIRP,
    Are the columns really right?


  6. s92543 says:

    Actually if you examine the figures these sales reflect the translated sales performance that a ‘year old’ device would sell for.

    The 5C while it may have replaced he 5 as a device, the 5C also took the place in the market of the 4S that now replaces the 4.

    If you look at the 4S (8Gb model) it now has sales that directly reflect the same sales as the iPhone 4 (8Gb model).

    While you look at the 5C that is now the equivalent of the 5 and sold in its place, it actually performs a little better than the 4S did.

    It is really the 5S that is not performing as well as the 5 did. The 5C has stolen a little of the wind out of the 5S sales.

    You cannot compare the 5C as if it a new model! It may be a newer design than the iPhone 5 but its placement in the market is not that of a new phone, it is placed in the market and priced as if it is a year old iPhone 5.

    So from the table displayed about the 5C is outperforming the 4S in the same marketing position by 4%. The 5S on the other hand is underperforming against its predecessor the 5 by 4%.

    So there isn’t really a case of the 5C being outsold 2 to one, it is performing better than expected while the 5S is not performing as good. It’s all relative.

    Meanwhile, the rumoured reduction is order for the 5C is only to be expected when production is ramped up and all colours are produced equally production is slowed greatly for those that are not great sellers while the better selling colors remain in production. They may even stop production of those models that lousy sellers completely to allow that overstock to reduce and then may let them go out of stock permanently. They are merely adjusting supply for demand of the colours that really are selling and those colours that are not selling don’t need equal numbers sold.

    Initial ordering assumes that all colours will sell equally well! As sales numbers come in it enables them to reduce the production or increase production of particular color versions.

    Similarly for Apple, they didn’t have to focus advertising on the iPhone 5S because sales are almost guaranteed from return customers and those that always want to have the latest model of iPhone. The 5C was the bigger gamble of the two.

    The sales table above shows that the advertising for the 5C swayed 4% of customers to purchase that model over the newer model.


  7. With the 5c upfront pricing down to $45 (or even $0), how are they moving and 4s models?