Apple 2.0

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Report: Higher-priced iPhone 5S outsold 5C in U.S. by 3.4 to 1

September 23, 2013: 7:29 AM ET

An early sign that Apple may have erred when it set the price of the iPhone 5C so high.

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FORTUNE -- Two weeks ago, before Apple (AAPL) introduced this year's crop of new iPhones --  a higher-priced model (the iPhone 5S) and a lower-priced one (the 5C) -- the pundits assumed that customers around the world would be lining up to buy the cheaper one.

The pundits couldn't have been more wrong -- both about how cheap the iPhone 5C would be, and about which phone the first wave of customers would be buying.

According to a report issued Sunday by Localytics, a Boston-based mobile analytics firm...

  • Apple sold 3.4 times as many units of the higher-priced iPhone 5S as the 5C during the first weekend of U.S. sales
  • Globally the 5S outpaced the 5C by a factor of 3.7 to 1. In Japan the ratio was even steeper:  5:1.
  • Of the four largest U.S. carriers, AT&T (T) has seen the highest adoption rates for both models, representing 0.67% of all activated iPhones, versus 0.51% for Verizon (VZ), 0.12% for Sprint (S) and 0.07% for T-Mobile .

By Sunday evening, according to Localytics' count,  the iPhone 5S represented 1.05% of all iPhones in the U.S. and the iPhone 5C just 0.31%.

If those ratios don't change after the early adopters have purchased their phones, Apple may be under some pressure to lower the price of the iPhone 5C.

Localytics gathered its data by sampling roughly 20 million iPhones between Friday morning and 8 p.m. Sunday.

Below: The rest of its graphs.

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Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 7.05.55 AM

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 7.06.05 AM

LINK: iPhone 5s Outsells 5c by a Factor of 3.4x in the United States Opening Weekend.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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