Tech Biz

Premium Over Plastic: iPhone 5s Outselling 5c More Than 3-to-1

Apple’s iPhone 5s has proven more popular than the 5c, even in China.

Just days after Apple unveiled two new iPhone models, a clear favorite has emerged. The tech giant’s new flagship, the fingerprint-scanning iPhone 5s, has outsold its plastic-backed sibling, the 5c, by more than three-to-one. While this may not be surprising in markets that have traditionally embraced Apple’s latest gadgets, the iPhone 5s is winning across the board – even in China, an emerging market of the kind ostensibly targeted by the more affordable 5c.

According to mobile device analytics firm Localytics, which gathers data from code embedded in smartphone apps, the iPhone 5s outsold the 5c 3.4-to-1 in the U.S. and 3.7-to-1 globally. Apple has yet to confirm the disparity between iPhone 5s and 5c activations, but the company did set a new record for an iPhone launch with 9 million units sold in only three days.

“In less than 3 days, the iPhone 5s and 5c combined now represent about 1.36 percent of the total numbers of all iPhones activated in the U.S.,” Localytics explained in a press release. “From the data we are seeing, 1.05 percent of all iPhones in the U.S. are now iPhone 5s and just 0.31 percent are iPhone 5c, a clear indicator that the early adopters are favoring the high-end 5s compared to 5c.”

In Japan – where lines began forming outside of Apple Stores 10 days before launch – the iPhone 5s’ dominance was even more obvious. It outsold the iPhone 5c five-to-one. The new gold version of the iPhone 5s sold out quickly in China – but few Chinese consumers seem to have embraced the 5c, a handset that was supposed to have been designed with them in mind.

Why is the more expensive gadget dominating sales?

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“Early adopters are often the power users and the gadget lovers who must have the latest and greatest devices,” said VentureBeat. “In other words, those who will stand in line for hours for the new iDevices are self-selected for those who will spend more on their phones.”

The numbers will likely shift as the holiday season approaches. Apple reported a one- to two-week shipping delay for the opinion-dividing iPhone 5c cases, suggesting that not all consumers have abandoned the colorful plastic option.