US survey shows Apple's iPhone 5s has 'staying power,' while 5c is losing ground

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
A new survey of prospective U.S. smartphone buyers has found that Apple's flagship iPhone 5s remains the most popular option for those making a purchase in the next few months, but the iPhone 5c is not expected to make waves.

iPhone 5s


Investment firm Piper Jaffray polled 1,003 U.S. consumers about smartphone purchase intent over the next three months, and 39 percent of those surveyed said they plan to purchase an iPhone. That was down from 44 percent in December and 50 percent last September.

Apple's iPhone 5s, in particular remains the most popular option for American smartphone buyers, attracting 33 percent of prospective purchases, down slightly from 35 percent in December. This despite the announcement of new devices in the months since the iPhone 5s launched, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is scheduled to launch in April.

Piper Jaffray


Analyst Gene Munster said he views the results as positive news for Apple, as the iPhone 5s is approaching six months of availability on the market, and many consumers may be simply waiting for Apple to launch its next handset before upgrading.Analyst Gene Munster believes most iPhone owners use cases, which may be a reason why the colorful iPhone 5c isn't more popular.

But just 6 percent of those polled said they plan to purchase Apple's mid-range iPhone 5c in the next three months, compared to 9 percent in December, and 12 percent for the handset just after it launched last year.

Munster speculated that consumers see a significant value increase in the iPhone 5s, which is priced starting at $100 more than the iPhone 5c with a two-year contract subsidy. The iPhone 5s sports a faster A7 processor, a metal back, and the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

The analyst also believes that the colors of the iPhone 5c may not be as appealing to consumers, as many simply place a case over their smartphone, giving it a unique look regardless of what color the device may be. He noted that while Apple found success bringing colors to its iPod lineup, most owners of the company's portable media players did not place cases on their iPods.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted in January that the market share taken by the iPhone 5c was lower than he and other officials expected it would be. The iPhone 5c sports largely the same internal components as the discontinued iPhone 5 that launched in 2012, but it features a new polycarbonate back that comes in a range of colors.

Still, Cook said last week that sales of the iPhone 5c are outpacing its predecessor, which was previously the mid-range iPhone 4s. Apple continues to set record quarterly iPhone sales, though growth has slowed considerably as the smartphone market has matured.

Munster said in a note to investors on Monday that he feels comfortable with his forecast of 37.5 million iPhones sold in the current March quarter --?a number that would be flat year over year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

  • Reply 2 of 64
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,394member
    Gene Munster sure flaps his gums a lot.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    It could of been a contendah if it was cheapuh.
  • Reply 4 of 64
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,669member
    I still think the 5C is a success and is important for the iPhone product line. It will still get iPhones into the hands of more people who want a more up to date phone than something like a 4S, but can't necessarily afford a 5S.

    I'm not really sure what the projections of the 5C were supposed to be in everyone's eyes, but I think its silly to think it would be anywhere near the 5S in terms of sales. Just because its not, doesn't mean its a flop. I personally know more people with a 5C than a 5S as far as new phones go. As a person who works in IT, I've had to setup more 5C iPhones than anything else.
  • Reply 5 of 64
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    People are so dumb.

     

    The iPhone 5C has sold WAAAAYYYYY better than the iPhone 5 would have sold in its places for the last year. Apple's successes with selling "last year's phone at reduced price" was actually lining up to slip during the last refresh, as the 5S was going to create a massive gap between 5 & 5S.

     

    The only thing that saved the $99 category was Apple redesigning the 5 product into the 5C, and making it more attractive than just last year's phone.

  • Reply 6 of 64
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    sudonym wrote: »
    <p>I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!</p>
    you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.
  • Reply 7 of 64
    The narrative in Sweden has also been for quite a while that the 5c is a "flop". But whenever sales charts are actually released by the operators it turns out that the 5c is almost always the best selling phone after the 5s and maybe some Galaxy variant (usually the cheaper ones like the S3 or Ace or something). It usually beats for example the Galaxy S4. And after that there is usually a raft of Sony phones and even cheaper Galaxys.

    Curiously, no one here is calling the S4 a flop for some reason!
  • Reply 8 of 64
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member

    I'm surprised that as many as 6% are thinking of buying the 5c, I have only ever seen one in the wild in the UK. Perhaps a higher proportion of Americans have purchased the device?

  • Reply 9 of 64
    512ke512ke Posts: 780member
    Comparison so the 4s it replaced please.
  • Reply 10 of 64
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,589member
    sudonym wrote: »
    I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

    Amen to that.

    you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.

    Just because the mix was not accurate, doesn't mean the 5C was a failure. It just means more people (as a percentage) wanted the 5S. That's also good news. Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.
  • Reply 11 of 64
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

    It could of been a contendah if it was cheapuh.

     

    Already more of a contender than the previous model. So, uh… no, it’s gonna break you.

  • Reply 12 of 64
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,214member

    imo, That phone will do great when they drop the price

  • Reply 13 of 64
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    jungmark wrote: »
    sudonym wrote: »
    I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!

    Amen to that.

    you hate any article or post that isn't saying Apple is godlike and all should bow down to them. When Tim Cook says the mix is wrong and demand percentage turned out different than we thought. Which id interpret as whoops we made a mistake. In comparison what was the driver to buy a 5c. Colourful plastic and a bit cheaper but miss out on the real goodies the 5s has. Its a bit of a no brainer that the demand went to the 5s.

    Just because the mix was not accurate, doesn't mean the 5C was a failure. It just means more people (as a percentage) wanted the 5S. That's also good news. Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.
    I wasnt saying the 5c was a failure, I was respondibg to the inane sycophantic post of SudoNym. The sales numbers say the 5c wasnt a failure.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post

     

    I'm surprised that as many as 6% are thinking of buying the 5c, I have only ever seen one in the wild in the UK. Perhaps a higher proportion of Americans have purchased the device?


    Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

     

    When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

  • Reply 15 of 64
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

     

    When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.


    How do you explain the US market where android and ios phones cost the same subsidized? 

  • Reply 16 of 64
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    jungmark wrote: »
    Cook also said the 5C outperformed what the 4S did last year.

    There we go. The only fact needed to know that the 5C is a success at one if its two missions: bolster the midrange.

    (I also suspect there is a second mission: phase one of a planned split into two more-different iPhone lines in future. More than just the traditional spec delta. Paving the way for a choice of size?)
  • Reply 17 of 64
    woochiferwoochifer Posts: 365member

    Notice that these analysts never compare the 5c to the year-over-year sales for the previous year's midrange model? Treating the 5c like an underperforming brand new model allows them to continue churning their doomsday ("losing ground") meme.

     

    The other angle that continually gets ignored is the supply chain issue with the 5/5c/5s' aluminum shell.  Keeping the 5 while introducing the 5s would have required a substantial ramp up in CNC machining capacity, since both models share the same basic outer design.  Going to a plastic shell and stamped steel frames for the 5c simplifies and reduces the time required in the manufacturing process.  It also frees up the CNC capacity to go exclusively to the high demand 5s. To me, the 5c is a simple solution to a potential supply chain problem.

     

    Even though Apple's midrange models have reused year-old internal designs, they're still important to Apple's bottomline.  Imagine the outcry from these analysts if iPhone 5 sales had collapsed because of supply chain bottlenecks.

  • Reply 18 of 64
    sudonym wrote: »
    Generally, Apple does best in countries with heavy subsidies.  

    When people have to buy their phone, the iPhone does not sell nearly as well, because people are too cheap to actually buy one, so they get some sort of cheap Android phone.

    The inability to pay the full cost of an iPhone up-front does not make someone "too cheap."

    Carrier subsidies come in the form of a no/low-interest loan and are popular anywhere easy consumer credit is available. They serve to lower the 'sticker shock' of the price and increase the likelihood of an impulse buy. Without the subsidy, even in developed countries, high-end phones would not do so well.
  • Reply 19 of 64
    [SIZE=4][/SIZE]Apple [I]is[/I] Godlike and all [I]should[/I] bow down to them!
  • Reply 20 of 64
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,182member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    I hate these articles which claim that the 5C is a flop.  Apple has sold zillions of them.  They sell better than any phone on the planet save the 5S.  If that's a flop, these "journalists" better learn to be fair!


     

    Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted in January that the market share taken by the iPhone 5c was lower than he and other officials expected it would be...

     

    ...Cook said last week that sales of the iPhone 5c are outpacing its predecessor, which was previously the mid-range iPhone 4s. Apple continues to set record quarterly iPhone sales... [not to mention record profits].

     

    ---------------------------------------------------

     

    I re-read the article and I can't find anywhere in the article where he states the 5C is a flop. Not my favorite iPhone but far from a money loser. I purchased a 5S Gold 64GB. 

     

    I think If nothing else the 5S selling better than the 5C could be interpreted by the customer base as a statement that what Apple has done with iPhone in the past i.e., concentrate on innovating on the hardware end and adding value thru upgrading and adding the best software (and cutting ties with vendors/competitors that keep their iPhone based products a couple steps behind their own platform e.g. Google's Maps).

     

    This is a utility device that I want to serve several of my needs all day long. If I want it big and wild I can get one with an illuminated Burning Man effigy case.

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