October 21, 2013

iPhone 5c Narrowing 5s’ Lead and What to Expect From Apple’s 10/22 iPad Launch


The iPhone 5c is steadily gaining, but it’s still not the phone for emerging markets.

It’s been just about one month since the initial release of the iPhone 5s and 5c and, following two initial extensive research reports from Localytics about their early traction (published on September 23 and September 27), we now have an additional update. In recent weeks, the iPhone 5c has been written off by many pundits as too expensive to serve its primary purpose of acting as a bridgehead into emerging markets. Our initial study, following its first weekend of sales, seemed to confirm this hypothesis as the iPhone 5s was outpacing the iPhone 5c by a factor of 3.4x.

Now, one month post-launch, the iPhone 5c has been steadily gaining traction. Currently, in the U.S. the ratio of active iPhone 5s to iPhone 5c in terms is down to 1.9x.

US 5s-5c ratio chart

Globally, however, the  gap is still wider: for each active iPhone 5c, there are 2.3 iPhone 5s’. This indicates that the relative popularity of the iPhone 5c vs. 5s is higher in the U.S. than the broader global market.

Global 5s-5c ratio chart

iPad or iPad Mini?

In anticipation of Apple’s big event on Tuesday and the rumored new iPad and iPad Mini release, we wanted to take a quick look at how well the iPad Mini has performed to date. According to our data, the current Mini has only achieved a 17 percent market share of all of iOS tablets. What is also interesting is that the iPad Mini and the 4th generation of the iPad combined represent only 35 percent of all of active iOS tablets. This could be an indication that the innovation in tablets is slowing down and the perceived differentiation of the latest-generation tablets is getting smaller with each new release. That being said, a retina display could certainly be the trigger Apple is looking for to drive a major upgrade cycle.

Global iOS Tablet Share2

We also compared iOS tablets to Android tablets. On the Android side, Samsung has the majority of tablet market share with Galaxy tablets representing 55 percent.

Global Tablet Share by Model2

Stay tuned for updates on adoption of the new Apple iPad Mini and iPad as soon as they become available.


Localytics is the leading analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps across more than 1 billion devices, 20,000 apps and 5,000 customers. Localytics processes 50 billion data points monthly. For the iPhone study, we examined over 20 million unique devices and investigated the breakdowns by country and weekly ratios of 5s/c each week for four weeks. For the tablets, we examined over 20 million unique tablet devices and investigated the global breakdowns by platform, device model, and US tablets by US ISP. The timeframe for this study is from when the iPhone 5s and 5c were first released on September 20th, 2013 until four weeks later on October 18th, 2013.

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  • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

    As far as I can tell, 16% of iPads sold thus far are the original iPad (http://www.macworld.com/article/2026112/iphone-ipad-sales-up-macs-fall-as-apple-sees-record-sales.html) so this implies that the original iPad is used about half as much as newer models on average (this presumably means something between half and all original iPads are still in use and are used just as much to half as much as newer models). This is pretty impressive. How do these stats compare with (say) not nearly so old Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire devices? I would (owning one of each) hazard that the answer is very favorably. (Our daughters use our original iPads and none of us have any interest in using our Kindle Fire or Nexus 7, the latter having bricked itself for a third time.)

  • don108

    “In recent weeks, the iPhone 5c has been written off by many pundits as too expensive to serve its primary purpose of acting as a bridgehead into emerging markets.”

    This was NEVER stated or even implied by Apple. It was nothing more than a fantasy by know-it-all, doom-and-gloom, click-hungry pundits who insist that they know better than the leaders of the most valuable company in the world.

    The 5c NEVER had as “its primary purpose” a [low cost]
    bridgehead into emerging markets.” Both the late Steve Jobs and Mr. Cook have explained that Apple can’t make a high quality phone for a cheap price. The 5c’s purpose was to replace the 5, offer more features and colors than the 5, and keep a high profit margin with a price that is still lower than the 5. The error in understanding this falls on the false profits…er..prophets claiming their wild guesses that would fulfill there fantasies are things that Apple must and will do. In reality, these analysts are just carnival fortune tellers. They’re also not as accurate or as entertaining.

  • Kevin P.

    It’s too bad that it’s seemingly impossible to get a breakdown of tablets counting only sales after the iPad Mini debuted.

  • http://www.sohrob.com Sohrob Tahmasebi

    The 5C is a great phone. If I didn’t have the 5S as an option I would have gladly chosen the white 5C.

  • Paul Rowe

    I always wonder where I missed Apple saying the 5c was targeted at emerging markets.

    This is called the “straw man” fallacy.

    I don’t believe Apple has decided it is time to attack the lower end market. When they do, competitors will get a run for their money, quite literally.

    This is my only quibble with this excellent article. Thanks for posting. This is extremely valuable information for serious Apple investors.

  • http://jmmxtech.wordpress.com/ jmmx

    This article has a very in depth take on tomorrow’s events – both iPad and Microsoft/Nokia


  • Brennen Byrne

    This is really interesting to see. I wrote a post about why the 5c was a really good strategic move for Apple, but they’ll have to sell some before it matters. http://brennenbyrne.com/2013/10/dont-understand-iphone-5c-brilliant-yet/

  • MarkS2002

    Thumbs up. Read on my original iPad, as long as Apple continues to support it.

  • Gareth Gibbs

    These data are well reflected in the industry financial reports of the company. Where a detailed study of the market, customers and competitors.

  • http://tabletsmanuals.com/ ipad guide

    The ratio’s you have posted here on the apple company has made me understand well on how the apple markets are now leading to its competition. That sounds reallt great deal for the apple company. Thanks for sharing all the info’s here.

  • MichaelMLeaks

    Both are excellent when it comes to the performance that an apple company made an applications for this coolest gadgets these days. The features are great, and it has all the great features that made for users to love using this type of gadget.