Being on a tour of several major cities in China's south-east at the moment, I can make some observations that some here will probably troll on later...
The first thing I've noticed, that in cities where Apple has direct presence with a genuine Apple store, such as Shanghai where they have three MASSIVE stores, the iPhone is EVERYWHERE! Apple dish out huge amounts of cash on the iPhone marketing in that city, most notably more attention being given the 5c than 5s. You can see huge billboard ads from China Unicom for the 5c/s, and even Apple direct billboards on almost all transit bus stops, metro hubs, on LED building signs, and the marketing effort is definitely paying off... When I walked around Pudong, The Bund, and People's Square districts, almost every person had either a 4S or 5 in their hands. I've only seen a handful of 5c's, and almost no 5s'. When I spoke to people at the Apple stores, they do claim stock of the 5c has been better, but they've also experienced sell-outs of the 5c in all colours. The 5s is basically the lost treasure, as there's almost never any stock, and when it comes in, it's sold INSTANTLY. Reps at the cellular outlets also concur that 5c traffic is brisk, and 5s is like a tornado.
When you begin moving to other cities with no Apple Store presence, the landscape changes dramatically. The only iPhone ads you continue to see are the China Unicom billboards, and the Apple direct ads for the 5c. Notice a theme in my post? Apple is spending significantly more advertising dollars on the 5c in China than the 5S. The issue though, is like elsewhere in the world, China Unicom barely has any stock of either model, and they are exceedingly difficult to come by. In the mainland, the primary brands you see on the streets are Lenovo, Huawei, Coolpad, and Samsung. Another strong showing are the Samsung knock-off brands, they are everywhere in the mainland areas.
Also, in cities such as Wuxi, where the mean income is higher and the living standard is better, once again the iPhone makes a significant showing. When I asked at a few outlets of China Unicom and China Mobile, they both claim demand for the iPhone outstrips supply, and in many areas there are waiting lists for both. Some people resort to purchasing the devices on the grey / black market, but often get taken for the price.
Another major factor holding iPhone adoption back is the lack of TD-LTE support on China Mobile, as Unicom has CRAP coverage, and a large percentage of people who own iPhone's here are forced to use it at EDGE speeds on CM's network. As I'm touring remote areas, I too went with China Mobile, and can attest to the horrid speeds on my 5S; it essentially nullifies all performance benefits of the A7 when on the web.
Based on my talks with sales associates in the mainland cities, if there was sufficient inventory, or more genuine Apple stores, the ratio of 5S to 5C sales would be 6:4. When Apple finalizes the agreement with China Mobile to release a TD-LTE compatible 5c/s, OMG just watch the floodgates open!
What they also must do IMHO is start rapidly expanding their retail presence, and I mean NOW! People here buy the iPhone from the genuine locations far more than from carriers for the same reason as they do in the US; service. The service offered by the Apple stores destroys that provided by the carriers. If they open at least 2-3 stores in each major metropolitan area, the iPhone would take the market by storm here, as the appetite for it exists.
Articles that demonize the 5c sales make me laugh, and anyone I meet who believes it I try to explain the reality to them and stop them from believing this FUD. We all need to wait until Apple releases the next quarter numbers (and hopefully model breakdowns), before we jump to conclusions.
Also, we need to stop listening to Wall Scum anal-ysts and their uneducated FUD.