After plenty of speculation of Apple needing an iPhone 5c to compete in the lower-end of the smartphone market, a new report out today from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), indicates stronger sales of the iPhone 5s as compared to the sub-$100 iPhone 5c. Apple’s flagship, priced at $199 and up, has been in short supply due to the tremendous demand. The higher priced of the two iPhones is responsible for 64 percent of new iPhone sales. The lower end of the market sees the iPhone 5c capturing 27 percent and the iPhone 4s contributing 9 percent to the sales pie.
The survey was conducted at the end of September. Since then we’ve seen aggressive pricing on the iPhone 5c. The new floor appears to be $45, available at both Target and Walmart, with some special offers dropping the price to $1.
The new price drops should have a positive impact on sales. In addition, the supply constraints affecting availability of the iPhone 5s, might have customers looking at the iPhone 5c. On Friday, Apple updated shipment estimates for the iPhone 5s, now at 2-3 weeks. Apple is also rolling out the new iPhones in over 35 countries in the by early November. Strong demand and more markets won’t do much to help with constrained supplies.
One of the more interesting statistics as pointed by John Paczkowski at All Things D is the sales comparisons of the iPhone 4s when it become Apple’s $99 option as compared to the iPhone 5s. Apple’s strategy of repackaging the iPhone 5 with splashy colors and marketing does not appear to be having an impact. The iPhone 4s accounted for 23 percent of sales in the October 2012 sales period. The iPhone 5c sales are slightly higher at 27 percent. Last year’s iPhone 5 release saw a jump from the 3.5-inch display to a 4-inch display. Point being, that there were good reasons for customers to spend the extra $100. It was an entirely new iPhone design, with a much bigger display.
These numbers can also be read as slightly disappointing. Apple’s investment in selling the iPhone 4S after the iPhone 5 release pales in comparison to the iPhone 5c. The iPhone 4S didn’t benefit from advertising from Apple, despite the new low price. It wasn’t afforded valuable shelf space.
Early sales numbers seem to benefit higher end devices, with enthusiasts the first to upgrade. Those numbers at some point will flatten and the iPhone 5c starting to become available as a free phone on contract should push sales percentages of that iPhone upward.
Source: All Things D