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Localytics: China leads world in preference for iPhone 5S

September 24, 2013: 8:38 AM ET

72 hours after launch, the higher-price iPhone represents 78% of activations worldwide.

localytics countries 72 hours

401718142799FORTUNE -- If Apple (AAPL) designed the lower-cost iPhone 5C with the billion-plus Chinese mobile phone market in mind -- as many analysts opined -- someone forgot to tell the Chinese.

Of the nine countries included in the launch of Apple's new iPhones Friday, none showed less interest in the iPhone 5C than China.

A Localytics survey of 20 million iPhones conducted 72 hours after launch found that the split between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C was 78% worldwide but 91% in China.

"One possible explanation," the report suggested, was the "hoopla around the addition of the gold-colored iPhone 5s as a very attractive addition in particular for Asian markets."

The U.K. came in at the other end of the spectrum; 31% of British buyers opted for the cheaper iPhone 5C.

"With the economy in the U.K. still in recovery," Localytics suggested, "a slightly less strong affinity for the 5s could be the result of a more cost-conscious buyer. Subsidies also play less of a role in the U.K.'s phone market than in the US, making the upfront cost of phones higher for consumers."

The U.S. remains the No. 1 market for the new iPhones by far, representing 68% of all purchases worldwide. See chart below:

401718484856

LINK: China Leads the Pack in Preference For iPhone 5s Over 5c.

Methodology: "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 this study, we examined over 20 million unique iPhones and investigated the breakdowns by country. The timeframe for this study is all active iPhones from when the iPhone 5s and 5c were first released on September 20th, 2013 until Monday September 23rd, 2013."

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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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