happy-iphone-5c-buyerNo matter how good the news, there is always a way to spin it negatively, especially when the news is about Apple. For example, rumbles of production cuts underscored by vendor discounts (i.e. Best Buy, Walmart, etc) have led some to speculate that iPhone 5c isn’t selling well, which could be a non sequitur.

Back in July, Tim Cook said emphatically that high-end smartphone growth was anything but over — “I don’t subscribe to the common view that the higher end, if you will, of the smartphone market is at its peak. I don’t believe that.”

Well, as Apple basks in the glow of 9 million first weekend sales, we get confirmation of Tim Cook’s belief. All Things D, quoting Consumer Intelligence Resarch Partners (CIRP), reports that 64 percent of those millions were the iPhone 5s while 27 percent were the iPhone 5c.

See? It’s not that the iPhone 5s is selling well or that Tim Cook was right to say high-end smartphones are still very much a thing, because the real news is the iPhone 5c fail.

But, is it? Let’s break it down.

It’s believed that Apple halved iPhone 5c production from 300k to 150k units per day. Whereas that seems significant, it bears remembering that a 150k per day run rate amounts to 12.5 million per month and 54 million a year.

Moreover, there’s no way to know how many iPhone 5cs, which is thought be to be easier to make, before the multihued smartphone went on sale on September 20. And, of course, Apple could make more later.

iPhone 5c Failing Up and Fast

Regarding vendor discounts, with the iPhone 5s in short supply, isn’t it telling that Best Buy, Walmart et al would rather discount the iPhone 5c rather than sell customers an Android or Windows Phone?

“The relative performance of all three iPhones is generally in line with the performance of the similarly priced phones following the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012,” said CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz. “Over time, the lower-priced phones have tended to gain share versus the flagship phone, after the initial rush of dedicated upgraders to the newest device. So we expect that the 5c will account for a higher percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the coming months, but the design changes may alter that dynamic. The iPhone 5c may appeal to different buyers than the legacy 4S did last year, or the new 5s will this year.”

There’s that, too — CIRP says iPhone 5c sales are inline with last year. So, aside from a whole lot of good news for Apple, nothing going on here…

What’s your take?

  1. Hetep and Respect folks it seems to me you can sum up the CIRP report as follows. for Iphone clone makers like droids, The only thing worst then competting against on Iphone is compeating against two Iphones, lol.

    The realty is the clone makers have two challanges in portable computing.
    1. Apples plastic phone, even before you throw in their unmatched Ecosystem with is apps, is better then the clone plastics.
    2. The 64bit A7 chip 5S puts apple at least two years in front of the Iphone clones, most of the clones won’t be abe to simulate(copy/implement) a usefull 64 bit chip that does not kill of all their existing 32 bit apps for two or more years. The how long will it take them to get software to run on their catch up 64 bit platforms?

    Talk about Tim Cook hitting the ball out of the park, wow!

  2. Personally… going with both 5S and 5C.

    My wife and I are going with 5S phones to upgrade from our 4S. Our child will be getting an iphone 5C because let’s face it, it’s a first phone and is colorful. But also, because it is cheaper, yet still runs all the same apps/etc.

    And when the next upgrade comes, we’ll see. But the 5C, even if it is only selling at a rate of half the 5S is still a great rate and it means a range of people who may not have otherwise considered the iPhone for any number of reasons: design, color, cost, etc.

    For those who have bought into the IOS ecosystem of apps and content, there is strong motivation to stay. For a family that has extensive content on their IOS ecosystem, short of Apple doing something major, like breaking backwards compatibility, they effectively have near-lifetime customers for their devices.

    Because, as nice as the Android devices may be, they don’t run IOS apps. And vice versa, IOS doesn’t run Android apps.

  3. +1 on the 64bit aspect. Not only would a chip/design need to be implemented, but also, the Android OS/platform needs to be made 64bit. 64bit apps don’t really need to be out there, especially if you have backwards compatibility with 32bit apps, but the base OS needs to be there if you want to go that route.

  4. So people are opting for the more expensive model that offers Apple a better profit margin and this is labeled a “Fail”?

    I suppose if it were the other way around and more people were buying the cheaper 5c, the naysayers would claim that it was cannibalizing the 5s, and therefore the 5s was a “Fail”.

    Either way Apple must be doomed, I tells ya.

  5. The new iPhones rock, but our family went the other direction entirely — went back to feature phones. iPads are enough mobile computing

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