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

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    This is an interesting counterpoint to the argument that "the US smart phone market is saturated."
  • Reply 2 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.

    512ke wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    What happened to December? 5c?
  • Reply 4 of 55

    Yup! That 5c is selling like hotcakes!

  • Reply 5 of 55
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    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.

  • Reply 6 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    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.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member

    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. 

  • Reply 9 of 55
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,181member
    gwmac wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    richlorichlo Posts: 46member

    Because everyone loves Goooooooold!

  • Reply 11 of 55
    cintoscintos Posts: 113member
    The absence of the December data, along with the previously understanding that the 5C was in the top three for that month is suspicious.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 55

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Where are these figures coming from? Since no one releases sales figures by model how accurate can this be?
  • Reply 15 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    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.

  • Reply 18 of 55
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    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?

  • Reply 19 of 55
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member
    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. 

  • Reply 20 of 55
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,181member
    sog35 wrote: »
    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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