Sales Gap Between iPhone 5s and 5c Narrowing Over Time

Monday October 21, 2013 7:14 AM PDT by Eric Slivka
Following the initial launch weekend for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last month, analytics firm Localytics reported that it was seeing about 3.5 times as many iPhone 5s units showing up as iPhone 5c units, highlighting a strong preference for the higher-priced models by early adopters. At the time, we noted that the gap was likely to narrow over time and a report last week from a separate research firm indicated that the margin had indeed fallen to two-to-one.

Localytics has now published a new report that provides a more complete look at the data over the past month, revealing how the iPhone 5c has been steadily gaining traction both in the U.S. and abroad, with the iPhone 5s-to-iPhone 5c ratio falling to 1.9 in the U.S. and 2.3 globally. Localytics' numbers are cumulative since launch, indicating that the current sales ratios are even closer.

localytics_iphone_5s_5c_ratio_oct
The iPhone 5s remains in very short supply, with carriers such as Verizon indicating that they could have sold even more units of the device had supplies been readily available. The iPhone 5c, in contrast, has seen good supplies throughout Apple's distribution channels, allowing the company to meet demand. As a result, the ratios at which the devices are being seen are not exactly reflective of true demand, but it seems clear that demand is evening out a bit following the initial surge from early adopters focused on the iPhone 5s. As more mainstream customers look to upgrade when their current contracts run out, demand for the two lines may end up being in significantly closer balance.

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Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 13 months ago
Both the 5S and 5C are selling extremely well around the world.

People who have described the 5C as a flop are wrong.

Wildly. Wrong.
Rating: 18 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
Turns out that early adopters buy high end, cutting edge products. Turns out that price sensitive, wait and see consumers wait and then buy the cheaper one.
Rating: 15 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
oh gee its not like anyone predicted this or anything.
Rating: 11 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

#1 - The gap is now narrowing probably because the phones are available to more and more people as time after launch continues.

#2 - I love how if it's an Apple product, things are spun as "The 5c is still in great supply" as opposed to reality where "The 5c is not selling like hotcakes like the 5s is." I'm a huge apple fan and just think it's funny.


I guess you missed all the Apple is doomed spin last week because the 5C production was apparently cut.

Also, the fact that the phones are available in more locations has no bearing on the sales gap closing. If you're implying that emerging markets are impacting it, notice how the gap is wider outside the US.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
No kidding. 5C is the long tail play not necessarily for early adopters. But lets not put this on the front page as the main story because rumored 5C production cuts get more clicks.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

No kidding. 5C is the long tail play not necessarily for early adopters. But lets not put this on the front page as the main story because rumored 5C production cuts get more clicks.


Once people realize this it'll be good. Bad things is they will now spin it a different way. Why? Because for some reason the Apple. "Fans" don't think a plastic phone can have quality. Well I'm sorry, but the 5c is a quality device. Just as the iPhone 5 is a quality device. I understand that some people prefer aluminum over plastic. So be it... There's just no sense in hating on a product. It's your opinion

My opinion is that I do NOT like the design of the 5/5s. I had a launch day 5 and returned it to stay on my 4s. The only reason I'm not on the 4s now was because of LTE. That said the sales gap between the 5 s and 5c will only get more narrow now. Early adopters have mostly gotten there...

Here's an instance. At my local Best Buy:

Customer: do you have the 5s in Gold ?
Employee: no, we have it in gray or silver.
Customer: I don't want those colors.
Employee: we do have most colors of the 5c.
Customer: isn't it plastic?
Employee: oh, I don't think you can consider this normal plastic.

Guess what happened ? They walked out with a white and pink 5c. Was it because it was pushed on them? Maybe, but it sold.

The 5s is in stock in my city everywhere just not Gold.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

Once people realize this it'll be good. Bad things is they will now spin it a different way. Why? Because for some reason the Apple. "Fans" don't think a plastic phone can have quality. Well I'm sorry, but the 5c is a quality device. Just as the iPhone 5 is a quality device. I understand that some people prefer aluminum over plastic. So be it... There's just no sense in hating on a product. It's your opinion.


Things made of Aluminium:

A can of 30c soda,
A $2 can of deodorant,
A 99c roll of kitchen foil,
The iPhone 5s


Things made of Plastic:

The interior trim and dashboard of a $100,000 Mercedes S Class.
The interior of Emirates First Class A380 Suites.
Everything made with a 3D printer.
the iPhone 5C.

I agree with you. People are stupid. Aluminium adds no more value or functionality than plastic. It's the application and design that add value.

Functionally, the 5C does exactly everything the 5 does.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
Here's hoping we'll see some clear sales figures at the event tomorrow, rather than these cryptic ratios that don't seem to really tell us anything.
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

5C is not the success people claim it will be...


Huh? It's already a success. No one has to claim anything. Already happened.

Past that, my green 5C is the first cellular device that actually catches a signal from upstairs in my house. Two or three bars. Plenty good enough to check weather, news, get my mail and refresh data in favored apps. I'm not likely to be browsing much in cell mode since I have to hold the thing up to a window, but I'm THRILLED that I can actually use it on other than my WiFi in this dead zone.

OK so maybe the 5S could catch a cell tower too, who knows. But for me, the 5C is a grand slam home run. A runaway success.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
Go figure, people who are buying basically a year-old phone already aren't in a hurry to get it, so the sales aren't going to be nearly as front-loaded. Still a great phone. Still selling very well.

----------

I'm sorry you fell it love with crap. I'm sorry you fell in love with last years hardware wrapped in plastic.

I'm sorry you're so blinded by your need to be a tool that a great phone that happens to be a year old (internally) is "crap" to you.

God forbid someone just not care to spend as much on a phone. Because it's a phone.
Rating: 4 Votes

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