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Apple's iPhone 5s remains best selling smartphone in US as handset market softens, shifts

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
Consumers continued to choose Apple's flagship iPhone 5s more than any other smartphone in March thanks in part to strong brand loyalty, and one analyst believes that Apple's sales could increase even further as buyers begin to upgrade their handsets more frequently.




The iPhone 5s was number one at each of the big four carriers while Samsung's Galaxy S4 maintained its runner-up position at AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile and HTC's new HTC One M8 took the number two slot at Verizon. The numbers were revealed in a Thursday morning note to investors, obtained by AppleInsider, from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley.

Walkley believes that Apple's position may be in peril, as many Android buyers are thought to have been waiting for the release of the HTC One M8 and Samsung's new Galaxy S5 before upgrading. Those launches could knock Apple out of the top spot next month, he argues, though the company would likely win back its crown with the launch of the so-called iPhone 6.

"We believe Apple will win back meaningful high-end market share during H2/C2014 based on our belief new iPhones with larger screen sizes could create a strong upgrade cycle among Apple's loyal base," Walkley wrote.

Also working in Apple's favor is the increasing number of consumers who are choosing new service plans with early-upgrade options, rather than traditional two-year contracts with large handset subsidies, he argued. This could help to augment Apple's growth in mature markets where the majority of target customers already own recent-model iPhones.

"With our surveys indicating strong customer loyalty for the iPhone, we believe Apple could strongly benefit from a broader adoption of these early upgrade plans," the note reads. "Further, with these plans facilitating annual upgrades to new smartphones, we believe these plans in the coming years could in fact boost iPhone replacement sales and help Apple grow sales in the more saturated and mature developed countries that sell a greater mix of high-end smartphones."

Walkley maintained the bank's "buy" rating for Apple stock and kept its share price target locked on $600. Those estimates do not include, he noted, the potential for Apple to enter new product categories -- such as wearables and mobile payment services -- this year, moves which he predicts are likely to happen.
post #2 of 64
This is an interesting counterpoint to the argument that "the US smart phone market is saturated."
post #3 of 64
1) It's amazing that the iPhone 5S can not only remain at the top for this long but also remain at the top of all the carrier for all months for this long.

2) Now that the iPhone 5C has placed in the top 3 at all this year and HTV and LG have recently take a number 2 and number 3 slot, respectively, I think it's fine to make arguments that the 5C sales are dropping.

3) Say what you want about Samsung but the S4 is clearly a popular device in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

This is an interesting counterpoint to the argument that "the US smart phone market is saturated."

I don't think it speaks against it unless we're talking comparative values, not just rankings. Even in a saturated market that has zero growth or even a drop there are still older smartphones being replaced by new smartphones which could result in a graph that looks just like this.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 64
What happened to December? 5c?
post #5 of 64

Yup! That 5c is selling like hotcakes!

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post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


2) Now that the iPhone 5C has placed in the top 3 at all this year and HTV and LG have recently take a number 2 and number 3 slot, respectively, I think it's fine to make arguments that the 5C sales are dropping.
 

 

Marketshare does not reflect unit numbers and in no way indicates sales are dropping, it just means more people are buying other phones as they are released. Having said that, it is more than likely that sales have dropped somewhat simply because it's no longer "new". iPhone 5s sales have probably dropped as well - the likelihood they're selling as many now as they did when it was new, is slim.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #7 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Marketshare does not reflect unit numbers and in no way indicates sales are dropping, it just means more people are buying other phones as they are released. Having said that, it is more than likely that sales have dropped somewhat simply because it's no longer "new". iPhone 5s sales have probably dropped as well - the likelihood they're selling as many now as they did when it was new, is slim.

You are correct. I cannot extrapolate unit sales from that chart. I made an assumption based on the iPhone 5S's projected sales this quarter but that still doesn't mean the 5C is selling less than previous quarters, only that the results show it's not selling as many units as the others listed for that carriers in those months.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 64

Oh wow.  The 5C is such a 'failure'.

 

Its just blasted the GalaxyS4, Note3, and every other phone in the universe not named 5S.

 

FU wall street and your BS.

 

5C is the 2nd best selling phone in the entire world from Dec-Feb2014

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2014/04/03/apples-iphone-5s-still-the-top-selling-smartphone-worldwide/?partner=yahootix

post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post
 

 

Marketshare does not reflect unit numbers and in no way indicates sales are dropping, it just means more people are buying other phones as they are released. Having said that, it is more than likely that sales have dropped somewhat simply because it's no longer "new". iPhone 5s sales have probably dropped as well - the likelihood they're selling as many now as they did when it was new, is slim.

 

... and yet the S4, now a year old, is still in 2nd or 3rd place.

 

Makes that "no longer 'new'" argument seem a bit pale.

 

By the way, unless each carrier has increased sales exponentially, you can pretty much extrapolate that sales have either remained the same, increased or dropped for each individual phone, depending on its place in the sales lineup.

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post #10 of 64

The Galaxy S4 is a a much older phone than the 5s. Wasn't it released around April last year? For all the people here that continue to say large display phones don't sell in any significant quantity, the chart above seems to disagree with you. In fact nearly all the 2nd and 3rd place spots are large display phones. Once the Galaxy S5 is released soon it could move the iPhone 5s to 2nd place. The only way Apple has any hope of ever maintaining 1st place throughout the year  is to release a larger display. If the rumors of the 5.5" iPhone turn out to be true, they should release the 4.7" around the same time they have always used for new iPhones and a 5.5" around 6 months later to help maintain excitement and dampen enthusiasm for Samsung's Galaxy intro around the same time. 

post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

The Galaxy S4 is a a much older phone than the 5s. Wasn't it released around April last year?

Yup, announced last March and available to buy in April/13. The latest iPhones went on sale starting late October IIRC, about a 6 month gap between the two. I guess this is the schedule Samsung will be sticking with for awhile. Makes complete sense.
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post #12 of 64

Because everyone loves Goooooooold!

post #13 of 64
The absence of the December data, along with the previously understanding that the 5C was in the top three for that month is suspicious.
post #14 of 64
Here in the UK, I saw a lot of gift buying of the 5c at Christmas, so the absence of December data in, what could have been, a strong month for the 5c needs explaining?.....why is it absent? Error? Motive? I take it from the chart that this applies to the US only, any data on how this might look globally? Any thoughts on when we are likely to see an effect on Samsung sales post a reduction in their grotesque advertising spending?
post #15 of 64

The most amazing thing that this chart shows is that in less than a week, the new HTC One captured second place in Verizon sales.  I really hope that means HTC won't be on its way out anytime soon.  Samsung needs some strong competition in the Android space.

post #16 of 64
Where are these figures coming from? Since no one releases sales figures by model how accurate can this be?
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Yup! That 5c is selling like hotcakes!
Every phone on this list is a flagship device. No cheaper variants of the HTC One or GS4, no Moto X/G, no cheaper Lumia. Why exactly then is it a surprise that the 5C isn't on this list? If this list is in any way accurate it means that in the US, flagship devices are the best sellers.
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You are correct. I cannot extrapolate unit sales from that chart. I made an assumption based on the iPhone 5S's projected sales this quarter but that still doesn't mean the 5C is selling less than previous quarters, only that the results show it's not selling as many units as the others listed for that carriers in those months.
where is the Moto X or cheaper Lumias on this list? Seems to me this list is either just looking at flagship devices or it shows that flagship devices are the most popular in the US.
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Every phone on this list is a flagship device. No cheaper variants of the HTC One or GS4, no Moto X/G, no cheaper Lumia. Why exactly then is it a surprise that the 5C isn't on this list? If this list is in any way accurate it means that in the US, flagship devices are the best sellers.

 

... and I'm sure Apple agrees with you.

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post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
 

The Galaxy S4 is a a much older phone than the 5s. Wasn't it released around April last year? For all the people here that continue to say large display phones don't sell in any significant quantity, the chart above seems to disagree with you. In fact nearly all the 2nd and 3rd place spots are large display phones. Once the Galaxy S5 is released soon it could move the iPhone 5s to 2nd place. The only way Apple has any hope of ever maintaining 1st place throughout the year  is to release a larger display. If the rumors of the 5.5" iPhone turn out to be true, they should release the 4.7" around the same time they have always used for new iPhones and a 5.5" around 6 months later to help maintain excitement and dampen enthusiasm for Samsung's Galaxy intro around the same time. 


HTC One M8 was released on March 25.  How does it take second place at Verizon?  So the numbers are shipped not actual sales?  Further, it easily trumped Samsung in March.  Does it mean Verizon did not order too much Samsung S4 and did not order any S5?

post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
 

The Galaxy S4 is a a much older phone than the 5s. Wasn't it released around April last year? For all the people here that continue to say large display phones don't sell in any significant quantity, the chart above seems to disagree with you. In fact nearly all the 2nd and 3rd place spots are large display phones. Once the Galaxy S5 is released soon it could move the iPhone 5s to 2nd place. The only way Apple has any hope of ever maintaining 1st place throughout the year  is to release a larger display. If the rumors of the 5.5" iPhone turn out to be true, they should release the 4.7" around the same time they have always used for new iPhones and a 5.5" around 6 months later to help maintain excitement and dampen enthusiasm for Samsung's Galaxy intro around the same time. 

 

Yet the plastic 5C outsold every single BIG phone in Dec-Feb. 

 

Totally crushed it.  Below are worldwide sales not just US. 

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2014/04/03/apples-iphone-5s-still-the-top-selling-smartphone-worldwide/?partner=yahootix

post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post
 


HTC One M8 was released on March 25.  How does it take second place at Verizon?  So the numbers are shipped not actual sales?  Further, it easily trumped Samsung in March.  Does it mean Verizon did not order too much Samsung S4 and did not order any S5?

I guess you have never heard of preorders. You do realize pre-orders for the 5s and 5c were counted for the month of their release as well right? I pre-ordered my gold 5s within minutes of being able to on the very first night but did nor receive my gold 5s for close to 7 weeks later. I was certainly charged for it as soon as I placed my order though. I paid for a phone that I did not receive for nearly 2 months. The only consolation is that my upgrade date started on the date I place my order. 

post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

Yup! That 5c is selling like hotcakes!

 

#2 Worldwide in sales from Feb.

 

Eat your words.  You 5C hater.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2014/04/03/apples-iphone-5s-still-the-top-selling-smartphone-worldwide/?partner=yahootix

post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Yet the plastic 5C outsold every single BIG phone in Dec-Feb. 

Totally crushed it.  Below are worldwide sales not just US. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2014/04/03/apples-iphone-5s-still-the-top-selling-smartphone-worldwide/?partner=yahootix

You apparently think Counterpoint is a reliable source? I can't find what their methodology is. Do you happen to know?
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post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I guess you have never heard of preorders. You do realize pre-orders for the 5s and 5c were counted for that month right? 

I'm under the impression that the announcement and release happened then same day.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #26 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

... and I'm sure Apple agrees with you.
so you think the iPhone 5C should be beating out flagship devices like the One (M8)?
post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


You apparently think Counterpoint is a reliable source? I can't find what their methodology is. Do you happen to know?

 

They use statistical sampling from survey's.  IMO this is much more accurate than what IDC pushes out since this is units that were ACTUALLY SOLD to end users instead of shipped.  This is also worldwide unlike just a US survey. 

 

Secondary evidence is Apple profits (80% of the industry) and web usage (80%). 

 

I have seen ZERO secondary evidence that Samdung phones are outselling or even close to either the 5S or 5C.

 

original research:

http://www.counterpointresearch.com/top-10-smartphones-in-february-2014


Edited by sog35 - 4/3/14 at 10:27am
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


so you think the iPhone 5C should be beating out flagship devices like the One (M8)?


Yes. And it does.

 

5C is #2 worldwide in Jan and FEb

5S is #1 in Sept,Oct,Nov,Dec,Jan, and Feb

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2014/04/03/apples-iphone-5s-still-the-top-selling-smartphone-worldwide/?partner=yahootix

 

http://www.counterpointresearch.com/top-10-smartphones-in-february-2014


Edited by sog35 - 4/3/14 at 10:28am
post #29 of 64
Where are these numbers coming from?
post #30 of 64

Why should anyone be surprised that the 5S and 5C are the #1 and #2 phones?

 

Apple sold about 150,000,000 iPhones last year and Samdung sold less than 100,000,000 galaxy phones.

 

Historically the 2nd tier iPhone sells about 35%-40% of the total iPhones so about 60,000,000 phones.

Tim Cook said the 5C sold better than the 4S did a year earlier so we could easily estimate about 60,000,000 5C's sold in a calander year or about $5,000,000 a month.  That would easily destroy any other smartphone not named 5S in Jan and Feb.


Edited by sog35 - 4/3/14 at 11:12am
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

They use statistical sampling from survey's.  IMO this is much more accurate than what IDC pushes out since this is units that were ACTUALLY SOLD to end users instead of shipped.  This is also worldwide unlike just a US survey. 

Secondary evidence is Apple profits (80% of the industry) and web usage (80%). 

I have seen ZERO secondary evidence that Samdung phones are outselling or even close to either the 5S or 5C.

original research:
http://www.counterpointresearch.com/top-10-smartphones-in-february-2014
When did Apple release sales figures for the 5C? And do you really believe Samsung is shipping phones that they ever sell? Eventually that would show up in financials, like Microsoft's Surface write down, no?
post #32 of 64
With all the talk about larger iPhone 6 models I think it's very important to ask whether the 5s is #1 because it's an iPhone or because it's a good size for a lot of customers. It can be argued the the market has chosen large phones because small Android phones are never more than a blip on the sales radar, but most small Android phones are horribly crippled devices. Apple is the only company making a flagship quality 4" phone.

What happens if Apple drops 4" in favour of 4.7" and Samsung (as you know they will) jumps into the hole with a flagship 4"-4.2" phone? Might Apple lose as many customers as it gains?

Probably not, but every thread about phone size attracts people who claim that most current phones are too big and some who even think the iPhone 5 is.
post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


When did Apple release sales figures for the 5C? And do you really believe Samsung is shipping phones that they ever sell? Eventually that would show up in financials, like Microsoft's Surface write down, no?

 

You do know the CEO of Samsung is a two time felon?  EAsy to hide numbers.

 

Again its simple math:

 

Apple sold 150,000,000 iPhones in 2013

The 2nd tier sells about 35-40% of total phones

Tim Cook said the 5C was selling at a faster rate than the 4S (35-40%)

That means the 5C is selling about 60,000,000 phones a year or 5,000,000 a month

Thats way more than the Galaxy $4  or Note in Jan/Feb

post #34 of 64
island hermit: "... and yet the S4, now a year old, is still in 2nd or 3rd place. Makes that "no longer 'new'" argument seem a bit pale."

The iPhone 5s is also a 2013 model. Samsung will be coming out soon with the Galaxy S5, and shortly after that Apple will come out with the iPhone 6... but in the meantime, it is fair to compare the two 2013 model phones.
post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post



Probably not, but every thread about phone size attracts people who claim that most current phones are too big and some who even think the iPhone 5 is.

Not really. It is the same 5 or 10 people that are just prolific posters and every single story about a new larger iPhone they chime in talking about their desire for another 3.5" or to keep a 4". I wonder how many people really would prefer a 4" iPhone to a 4.7" when they are side by side. Probably not that many especially since it likely will not be much larger in the actual dimensions to a 4".  In survey after survey of iPhone owners larger sizes are preferred. Apple has shown no hesitation in the past at ending popular designs for something new. I expect the 5s will be the last flagship iPhone at 4". They may sell a iPhone 6c as a 4" but I see all premium iPhone models being the larger ones. 

post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I wonder how many people really would prefer a 4" iPhone to a 4.7" when they are side by side.

It all depends on what you lose for that enlarged display. AI uses the same silly side-by-side mockups that not only increases the screen size but the header, footers, bezel and every other aspect of the footprint in relation to the screen size. I don't think we'll see an iPhone that is literally built for giants. I suspect something like they did with the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5, but I think it's a reach to expect them to be able to make it both lighter and smaller than the previous model with the smaller display. I think they'll do wonders to get as close to that as possible so that the user experience isn't hindered in relation to the gain in screen real-estate. It's all about tradeoffs.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #37 of 64
Quote:
 Also working in Apple's favor is the increasing number of consumers who are choosing new service plans with early-upgrade options, rather than traditional two-year contracts with large handset subsidies, he argued. This could help to augment Apple's growth in mature markets where the majority of target customers already own recent-model iPhones.

The counterpoint to this view is the parallel trend of consumers migrating over to contract-free plans with zero subsidies on AT&T and T-Mobile. With consumers paying the full cost of the phone up front (or financing it on an installment plan), I would think that creates a disincentive to frequent upgrades. Much of the analyst speculation is that any move away from subsidized two-year plans towards a contract-free BYOD market hurts high end smartphones, which in turn disproportionately impacts Apple.

 

I'm on a BYOD prepaid plan, and paid the full $749 cost for a 32GB 5s. I certainly don't feel like making that kind of up front outlay again anytime soon. Then again, one advantage of buying a factory unlocked phone is the higher resale value, which reduces the net cost for the next round.

post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post
 

The counterpoint to this view is the parallel trend of consumers migrating over to contract-free plans with zero subsidies on AT&T and T-Mobile. With consumers paying the full cost of the phone up front (or financing it on an installment plan), I would think that creates a disincentive to frequent upgrades. Much of the analyst speculation is that any move away from subsidized two-year plans towards a contract-free BYOD market hurts high end smartphones, which in turn disproportionately impacts Apple.

 

I'm on a BYOD prepaid plan, and paid the full $749 cost for a 32GB 5s. I certainly don't feel like making that kind of up front outlay again anytime soon. Then again, one advantage of buying a factory unlocked phone is the higher resale value, which reduces the net cost for the next round.

I have a 5s I bought with subsidy that I was able to unlock very easily with a phone call to Sprint. I also unlocked my 4s and sold it on Ebay as unlocked to a guy in UAE for $370 even though I paid $199 for it. But I take your point about the changing subsidy models. Sprint Framily plans for example require you to pay full price but also allow you to pay in installments over 24 months with 0% interest. Once it is paid off your monthly plan is reduced to just the plan which can be as low as $45 a month for unlimited everything or $$25 a month for unlimited texts/voice and 1GB data. Those types of plans can appeal to a lot of people that don't mind keeping a phone 2 or 3 years. 

post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
 

The Galaxy S4 is a a much older phone than the 5s. Wasn't it released around April last year? For all the people here that continue to say large display phones don't sell in any significant quantity, the chart above seems to disagree with you. In fact nearly all the 2nd and 3rd place spots are large display phones. Once the Galaxy S5 is released soon it could move the iPhone 5s to 2nd place. The only way Apple has any hope of ever maintaining 1st place throughout the year  is to release a larger display. If the rumors of the 5.5" iPhone turn out to be true, they should release the 4.7" around the same time they have always used for new iPhones and a 5.5" around 6 months later to help maintain excitement and dampen enthusiasm for Samsung's Galaxy intro around the same time. 

Nobody knows because there isn't a true apples-to-apples comparison case out there.  All of the flagship Android phones use larger screens than the iPhone. Those Android phones that feature smaller screens are crippled with slower processors and missing features.  Someone who wants a top-of-the-line Android phone must also take the large screen. With both iOS and Android, consumers don't have true screen size choices, so nobody can authoritatively say what sales would be if a true option between comparably spec'd 4" and 4.7"+ models actually existed.

 

The only 4" top-of-the-line smartphone on the market is the iPhone 5s, which also happens to be the best selling model worldwide. Maintaining 1st place year-round is meaningless, given how front-loaded flagship model sales are in their introductory quarter. Anyone looking at historical trends can see the seasonality of iPhone sales.

post #40 of 64

well, that kills the idea that people in the US only buy cheap or free android phones.

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