Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c were most popular with previous iPhone owners upgrading from older iPhones, according to new data gathered by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Approximately 65 percent of total iPhone 5s/5c buyers in the United States previously owned an iPhone, compared to 55 percent of iPhone 5 purchasers a year ago. While 12 percent of consumers who purchased an iPhone 5 last year were upgrading from an iPhone 4s, just 6 percent of iPhone 5s/5c purchasers upgraded from an iPhone 5, with the rest of the former iPhone buyers coming from older models like the iPhone 4 and 4s or non-iPhone devices.
The lack of interest from iPhone 5 owners is likely due to the fact that the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c are somewhat minor updates that have not resulted in a change in form factor. The iPhone 5c in particular uses the same components found in the iPhone 5, and it is possible that continued iPhone 5s shortages have discouraged some iPhone 5 owners from upgrading to the latest model.
"We see a noticeable decrease in the number of iPhone buyers that seem to want the latest, most advanced phone," said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CiRP. "For the iPhone 5S/5C, 6% of buyers upgraded from the year- old iPhone 5. In contrast, at the launch of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, 12% of customers upgraded from the year-old iPhone 4S." Within the two-thirds of iPhone buyers that upgraded from an existing iPhone in September and October 2013, many fewer upgraded from the year-old iPhone 5, relative to the 55% of iPhone 5 buyers in September and October 2012 that upgraded from the year-old iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 5s and 5c also saw higher adoption numbers from former Android users, though adoption by former basic phone users and BlackBerry users declined, likely due to a loss of overall market share in those groups.
CIRP's data is based on a survey of 400 U.S. iPhone buyers that activated a phone after the September 20 launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c.