According to new data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners obtained by AllThingsD, iPhone buyers have been reaching for the new iPhone 5S more than twice as often as the iPhone 5C. CIRP surveyed customers who bought new iPhones during the final weeks of September after its launch, and the results showed that the 5S, Apple’s newest flagship phone, comprised 64 percent of iPhone sales.
While that’s impressive, it’s hardly surprising. The 5C is aimed at a customer who doesn’t necessarily want to pay top dollar for the latest and greatest iPhone. Those people are more likely to want to upgrade to a new phone on their schedules, not Apple’s update cycles. According to CIRP’s co-founder Josh Lowitz, the same trend played out last year, though the new design of the 5C might add a few wrinkles.
“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.”
It’s also worth noting that these aren’t Apple’s official numbers, which haven’t been released. Apple is holding its fourth quarter earnings call on Oct. 28, and Tim Cook may give a more detailed snapshot of iPhone sales then.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.