Taking a deeper look at a closely monitored smartphone metric, the average selling price (ASP), CIRP researchers found that while Apple's competitors' U.S. prices were falling last quarter, iPhone prices were rising.
ASPs for smartphones -- including Apple's -- tend to fall over time as competition increases and older models get discounted. But that's not the whole story, and to tease out more information, CIRP produced a graph that shows the distribution of U.S. iPhone sales in four quarters at each subsidized retail price point, from $0 to $399.
These are cumulative curves, and not so easy to read.
In the Dec. 2013 graph, for example, 17% of the phones were free to U.S. customers, and another 16% were $99. Thus, 33% were priced at $99 or less. At the other end, 93% were at $299 or less. Thus 7% are at $399, and 100% are at $399 or less, since $399 is the top subsidized price for a 64GB iPhone 5S.
"Think of it this way," says CIRP's Michael Levin. "As a single number, ASP hides some interesting elements of product pricing. The curve expands ASP and shows how much Apple sells at each price point."
As price curves move to the right over time, ASPs increase. As they move to the left, ASPs decrease.
CIRP' four that for the iPhone, the price curve has remained relatively stable over the past two years. But through 2012, the price curve moved left, reflecting a lower average selling price. During 2013, the curved moved right, as average selling price increased.
"For both iPhones and iPads, Apple's newest product lines have succeeded in pushing higher priced models and presumably higher margins," said CIRP's Josh Lowitz. "While in recent years both lines have been expanded to include closer to entry-level priced models, the moves in 2013 seemed a successful attempt to emphasize margin over volume.
IDC, CIRP and Canalys all issued new smartphone market reports this week.
FORTUNE -- A few hours after Apple (AAPL) released its quarterly results Monday -- giving market researchers the only hard sales numbers they are likely to get from any smartphone manufacturer this quarter -- IDC released the chart at right, dutifully updated with the new iPhones sales number (51 million).
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For that we turn to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which surveyed 500 Apple customers who purchased an iPad, iPhone, or Mac in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 20, 2014 7:01 AM ET
Not for the first time, and probably not the last, according to CIRP.
FORTUNE -- Samsung overtook the iPhone on Apple's (AAPL) home turf in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners' report obtained by Fortune Thursday.
[As for Verizon's (VZ) report that 51% of the smartphones it activated in the same quarter were iPhones, see UPDATE below.]
In CIRP's survey, Samsung accounted for 38% of U.S. mobile MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 17, 2013 10:41 AM ET
Androids are 3 times more likely than iPhones to have been bought at a discount store.
FORTUNE -- Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which has been exploring the differences between Americans who buy Apple (AAPL) iPhones and those who choose phones running Google's (GOOG) Android, released a new set of charts to Fortune on Wednesday.
The first, above, shows that when shopping for a smartphone, Android buyers favor discount and big-box stores -- like Walmart MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 22, 2013 12:00 PM ET
For Apple, 42% from previous iPhone owners. For Samsung, mostly 'droids and dumb phones.
FORTUNE -- Twenty percent of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone customers over the past year were switching from an Android phone, but only 7% of Samsung buyers had previously owned an iPhone, according to a new study released to Fortune by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
The CIRP report is the most detailed we've seen on where Apple and Samsung get MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 19, 2013 6:38 AM ET
What Tim Cook didn't say in last week's earnings call
FORTUNE -- When it reports on Mac sales in its retail stores, Apple (AAPL) likes to make the point -- as Tim Cook did again last week -- that roughly half of the Macs sold in Apple Stores are sold to customers who never owned a Mac before.
In a report issued Monday entitled "What Tim Cook Didn't Say," Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 30, 2012 2:58 PM ET
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