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Apple iPhone 5S/5C Launch: A Repeat of iPhone 5

10/15/2013 06:08 pm ET | Updated Dec 14, 2013

First Analysis of iPhone Launch Finds 5S Sells Twice as Much as iPhone 5C; iPhone 4S Accounts for Almost 10 Percent of iPhone Sales

Yesterday, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners released the initial results from our research on Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the calendar quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2013, with the first detailed analysis of consumer trends for the new iPhone 5S and 5C models, which launched in September 2013.

We compared the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C models to the launch of the iPhone 5 in September 2012, with striking similarities between the two launches.

The flagship iPhone 5S accounted for 64 percent of total iPhone sales since the Sept. 20, 2013 launch. Also, the iPhone 5C accounted for 27 percent of total iPhone sales, with the legacy iPhone 4S accounting for the balance, at 9 percent of total iPhone sales.

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CIRP bases its findings on its survey of 500 Apple customers that purchased an iPhone in the U.S. in June-September 2013, including the period following the iPhone 5S and 5C launch. These results confirms anecdotal reports that the flagship iPhone 5S outsold the lower-priced iPhone 5C. CIRP data indicates that it did so by over two-to-one in the two weeks following the launch.

Though only accounting for 27 percent of iPhone sales, the new iPhone 5C model outperformed the similar mid-priced iPhone 4S at the September 2012 launch, which accounted for 23 percent of sales at the time. The iPhone 5C sales came at the expense of the flagship iPhone 5S, which accounted for 64 percent of total iPhone sales after the September 2013 launch. In contrast, the iPhone 5 accounted for 68 percent of total iPhone sales after its launch a year before. The "free" phone at both launches (iPhone 4 in September 2012, and iPhone 4S in September 2013) had the same 9 percent share each time.

Sales at the three different iPhone price points are similar between the two product launches. Apple did position the iPhone 5C as a new model, and it does allow previous iPhone owners to trade-up to a faster smartphone. Based on this initial analysis, over the coming months we would expect iPhone sales to follow the pattern of the year-ago launch.

For further information, please contact CIRP.