Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Look who chose the iPhone 5C over the (pricier) iPhone 5S

December 2, 2013: 2:05 PM ET

Kantar reports that nearly half were switching from other brands, chiefly Samsung and LG.

iPhone 5S (left) and 5C

iPhone 5S (left) and 5C

FORTUNE -- When Apple (AAPL) released a pair of new iPhones in September, demand was so lopsided in favor of the more expensive (by $100) model that many on Wall Street assumed that the pricing on the cheaper iPhone was some kind of blunder.

The iPhone 5S continues to outsell its more moderately price sibling -- by three to one in the U.K., according to a Kantar World Panel report released Monday -- but somebody is buying the iPhone 5C.

Who are these mysterious customers?

In Monday's news release, Kantar's Dominic Sunnebo offers some clues.

"The cheaper 5C," he writes, "appeals to a broader audience than Apple usually attracts. In the US, the biggest demand for these mid-end models is coming from lower income households. Some 42% of iPhone 5C owners earn less than $49,000 compared with just 21% for iPhone 5S. iPhone 5C customers also tend to be slightly older at an average of 38 years compared to 34 years for the 5S. The good news for Apple is that this wider appeal is attracting significant switching from competitors. Almost half of iPhone 5C owners switched from competitor brands, particularly Samsung and LG, compared with 80% of 5S owners who upgraded from a previous iPhone model."

Below, Kantar's report on 10 selected smartphone markets for the three months that ended Oct. 31. The Sept. 20 release of the new iPhones gave Apple a "significant bounce," according to Kantar, but not enough to make a dent in Android's 70.9% share of sales in August, September and October.

The conspicuous exception was Japan, where Apple's share of sales hit 76.1% in October thanks to the company's new distribution deal with NTT DoCoMo.

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LINK: Kantar: Apple iPhone 5S outsells 5C three to one in Great Britain

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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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