Opening weekend iPhone 5s, 5c sales may have been split 50-50, insider says

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014

Limited supply of the iPhone 5s during launch weekend may have led to a relatively even split of sales between Apple's new flagship model and the more affordable iPhone 5c, one well-connected analyst has said.



 


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Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said this week that of the 9 million iPhones Apple sold last weekend, he estimates between 3.5 million and 4.5 million were of the high-end iPhone 5s. That means between 4.5 million and 5.5 million would have been of the polycarbonate-backed iPhone 5c.



Apple does not break down sales figures of individual iPhone models, citing competitive reasons. But the company is more forthcoming about smartphone sales than rivals such as Samsung.



Launching two new iPhone models this year, Apple blew away its previous record of 5 million iPhone 5 units sold on that device's opening weekend in 2012.



Kuo's estimates are very different from data published by Localytics on Monday, which claimed that the iPhone 5s was 3.4 times more popular than the iPhone 5c after three days of availability. That firm's data was based on figures from over 20 million unique iPhones tracked through applications and customers.



Kuo specifically mentioned the Localytics data in his research note, and explained that their figures were based on activation, while his own are rooted in production.



"From Apple's viewpoint, production, sell-in, sell-through and activation are different things," he explained. "Since iPhone 5s is in shortage now, numbers of production, sell-in, sell-through and activation should be very close."

 





While the iPhone 5s was constrained at launch — particularly of the new gold model — Kuo said supply is improving. He expects the flagship smartphone to be the "main contributor" to total iPhone shipments in Apple's upcoming holiday quarter.



But he's also bullish on the iPhone 5c, which he admitted beat his expectations for sales while also carrying high margins.



While many expected the iPhone 4S would be discontinued, Kuo was the first to accurately reveal in August that Apple's new handset lineup for the fall of 2013 would be the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 4S. Kuo also pegged opening weekend iPhone sales around 8 million, an estimate that proved much closer than other market watchers.



And while most observers expected Apple to price the iPhone 5c aggressively to compete with low-end smartphones in emerging markets like China, Kuo was forecasting a more traditional price for the plastic iPhone back in July, with a range between $450 and $550. In that note, he predicted the iPhone 5c would have "decent profitability, but at the cost of volume."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I believe it. Still waiting to buy a silver and a gold. Apple can't make them fast enough! The 4th quarter report is going to be amazing.
  • Reply 2 of 105
    In Germany, the 5s is the shining star
  • Reply 3 of 105
    irelandireland Posts: 17,095member
    Ming-Chi Kuo might be able to predict new products, though he got the new MacBook Pro in June wrong, but is there any previous history to suggest he can predict specific iPhone model opening weekend sales?

    If the in-app analytics are anything to go by the 5s sold worldwide at least 3X what the c sold, and I'd believe it. Especially considering the early adopters usually want the most forward looking model. A lot even opt for the 64GB model - something normal people are not known to do. I'd say it's a safe bet to assume the 5c will lag less behind the s as the months roll on. Though, given the slight price difference the s will probably keep in the lead.
  • Reply 4 of 105
    irelandireland Posts: 17,095member
    sog35 wrote: »
    This Kuo guy has been pretty right lately.

    5C sales will only get stronger by year end.  It will be the #1 Christmas gift for kids. 

    His most recent prediction on a new thinner Retina MacBook Pro model in June was incorrect. He needs to be held accountable for his misses too:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/02/apple-to-debut-slimmer-retina-macbook-pro-with-upgraded-camera-at-wwdc-analyst-says
  • Reply 5 of 105
    mauszmausz Posts: 242member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    This Kuo guy has been pretty right lately.

     

    5C sales will only get stronger by year end.  It will be the #1 Christmas gift for kids. 


     

    Yeah, I always give my kids 600 euro gifts for christmas.... not... ;)

     

    If you do, you got your priorities wrong in my opinion.

  • Reply 6 of 105
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member

    I had and I still predict 5C sales will be very strong. I am not surprised and this time anal guys may even guess something right. For a change. However, it doesn't releave them from a hook.

  • Reply 7 of 105
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacHarry de View Post



    In Germany, the 5s is the shining star

     

    Yep. It shins brightly among flood of Android phones :D

  • Reply 8 of 105
    irelandireland Posts: 17,095member
    poksi wrote: »
    Yep. It shins brightly among flood of Android phones :D

    Do we have to keep mentioning Android (or Samsung)? Please stop.
  • Reply 9 of 105

    5C Bah! Gold is best my friend!

  • Reply 10 of 105
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,180member
    mausz wrote: »
    Yeah, I always give my kids 600 euro gifts for christmas.... not... ;)

    If you do, you got your priorities wrong in my opinion.

    We are getting our grand kids 5Cs, they already have plans with their parents so we can arrange their upgrades and just pay the minimum cost. You perhaps need to think it through before going down someone's throat with a value judgement.
  • Reply 11 of 105
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,180member
    poksi wrote: »
    Yep. It shins brightly among flood of Android phones :D

    I'm expecting this Christmas to see a flood of Android phones, those crackers have to have some cheap plastic toys in them after all.
  • Reply 12 of 105

    BTW Neil,

    Can you provide a link to Kuo's comments?

    thx

  • Reply 13 of 105
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,532member
    Stupid Kuo, what about the 3 MM stuffed in inventory!!!! /s
  • Reply 14 of 105
    >f you do, you got your priorities wrong in my opinion.

    Yes, that is your opinion. An iPhone provides a lot of useful features for a teenager. For example, I can find my kids whereabouts using the "find my friends" feature. My kids can use iMessage and of course the phone to keep in touch. Maps helps them navigate to where they need to go and I have greater confidence they won't get lost. The phone is also a camera. And my daughter uses the Internet features to do her homework and keep in touch with her teachers. It is money well spent and not extravagant at all.
  • Reply 15 of 105
    I don't think they were anywhere near evenly split. I saw people walk when the 5s ran out, rather than get a 5c. A lot of people were even upgrading from the 5, for which a 5c would've been a down grade. There is an audience for the 5c, but it isn't one that would stand in line or make a great effort towards getting the phone on the first roll out. Okay, I'm sure there was a small percentage willing to move to last years model with the price drop, but the vast majority of early adopters are knowledgeable enough about the product line, to know they wanted the 5s. And since there are no 5s' left and there are 5c's, I don't see his conclusion of a 50/50 split as a reasonable one.
  • Reply 16 of 105
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    ireland wrote: »
    Ming-Chi Kuo might be able to predict new products, though he got the new MacBook Pro in June wrong, but is there any previous history to suggest he can predict specific iPhone model opening weekend sales?

    If the in-app analytics are anything to go by the 5s sold worldwide at least 3X what the c sold, and I'd believe it. Especially considering the early adopters usually want the most forward looking model. A lot even opt for the 64GB model - something normal people are not known to do. I'd say it's a safe bet to assume the 5c will lag less behind the s as the months roll on. Though, given the slight price difference the s will probably keep in the lead.

    I agree. I can't see any way that the 5C outsold the 5S. Several reasons:

    1. The 5S is a big step up from the previous version. The 5C is largely last year's phone in a new case. While I don't doubt that a lot of people would want to buy it, I can't imagine that many people rushing out to grab one on opening weekend. People stand in line to buy the latest gadgets. They don't stand in line to buy last year's gadget.

    2. The 64 GB model has accounted for 10-25% of sales of previous phones. Lack of a 64 GB 5C puts the 5S at an advantage.

    3. The price difference is modest for people in most countries (or buying unsubsidized phones in the US).

    Kuo is projecting that 25% more of the 5C were sold? I don't buy it.

    However, the wild card is availability. A quick check this morning found few 5S phones in stock anywhere, but most stores had at least a couple of 5C models. So it's possible that the demand for the 5S really was 3 times higher than the 5C, but there just weren't enough to meet the demand. But that doesn't sound right, either. When the iPhone 5 came out, there were endless stories about the shortages, but those stories haven't appeared this time.

    In the end, I don't believe Kuo knows, but, then, neither does anyone else outside of Apple.
  • Reply 17 of 105

    LOL! If the "sales" were split down the middle then Apple really is stuffing the channel with 5c iPhones.

  • Reply 18 of 105
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    Ming-Chi Kuo might be able to predict new products, though he got the new MacBook Pro in June wrong, but is there any previous history to suggest he can predict specific iPhone model opening weekend sales?



    If the in-app analytics are anything to go by the 5s sold worldwide at least 3X what the c sold, and I'd believe it. Especially considering the early adopters usually want the most forward looking model. A lot even opt for the 64GB model - something normal people are not known to do. I'd say it's a safe bet to assume the 5c will lag less behind the s as the months roll on. Though, given the slight price difference the s will probably keep in the lead.

     

    I think MIng-Chi Kuo's prediction is based on him being tied in to the supply chain. He is likely estimating based on the amount of supplies suppliers have given to Apple. I for one believe his prediction is probably close to being accurate. It is true early adopters are likely opting for the 5S. However, there are plenty of people who were just waiting for a new phone until the new ones were released. It also makes sense that the supply chain for the 5S is constrained, while the 5C is more available.

  • Reply 19 of 105
    I"m not sure if this is an article about Ming or about Apple
  • Reply 20 of 105
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post



    I don't think they were anywhere near evenly split. I saw people walk when the 5s ran out, rather than get a 5c. A lot of people were even upgrading from the 5, for which a 5c would've been a down grade. There is an audience for the 5c, but it isn't one that would stand in line or make a great effort towards getting the phone on the first roll out. Okay, I'm sure there was a small percentage willing to move to last years model with the price drop, but the vast majority of early adopters are knowledgeable enough about the product line, to know they wanted the 5s. And since there are no 5s' left and there are 5c's, I don't see his conclusion of a 50/50 split as a reasonable one.

     

    Remember you could pre-order the iPhone 5C as well, which is what I did. I think you have to take into account the number of preorders Apple had for the iPhone 5C as well. 

     

    And not everyone went to the Apple Store to get a phone. I would think, most did not in fact. They went to places like Target, Walmart, a carrier store, etc. 

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