iPhone 5c Narrowing 5s' Lead and What to Expect From Apple’s 10/22 iPad Launch

The iPhone 5c is steadily gaining, but it’s still not the phone for emerging markets.

It’s been just about one month since the initial release of the iPhone 5s and 5c and, following two initial extensive research reports from Localytics about their early traction (published on September 23 and September 27), we now have an additional update.

In recent weeks, the iPhone 5c has been written off by many pundits as too expensive to serve its primary purpose of acting as a bridgehead into emerging markets. Our initial study, following its first weekend of sales, seemed to confirm this hypothesis as the iPhone 5s was outpacing the iPhone 5c by a factor of 3.4x.

Now, one month post-launch, the iPhone 5c has been steadily gaining traction. Currently, in the U.S. the ratio of active iPhone 5s to iPhone 5c in terms is down to 1.9x.

US 5s-5c iPhone ratio chart

Globally, however, the gap is still wider: for each active iPhone 5c, there are 2.3 iPhone 5s'. This indicates that the relative popularity of the iPhone 5c vs. 5s is higher in the U.S. than the broader global market.

Global 5s-5c iPhone ratio chart

iPad or iPad Mini?

In anticipation of Apple’s big event on Tuesday and the rumored new iPad and iPad Mini release, we wanted to take a quick look at how well the iPad Mini has performed to date. According to our data, the current Mini has only achieved a 17 percent market share of all of iOS tablets. What is also interesting is that the iPad Mini and the 4th generation of the iPad combined represent only 35 percent of all of active iOS tablets. This could be an indication that the innovation in tablets is slowing down and the perceived differentiation of the latest-generation tablets is getting smaller with each new release. That being said, a retina display could certainly be the trigger Apple is looking for to drive a major upgrade cycle.

Global iOS Tablet Share2

We also compared iOS tablets to Android tablets. On the Android side, Samsung has the majority of tablet market share with Galaxy tablets representing 55 percent.

Global Tablet Share by Model2

Stay tuned for updates on adoption of the new Apple iPad Mini and iPad as soon as they become available.


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 the iPhone study, we examined over 20 million unique devices and investigated the breakdowns by country and weekly ratios of 5s/c each week for four weeks. For the tablets, we examined over 20 million unique tablet devices and investigated the global breakdowns by platform, device model, and US tablets by US ISP. The timeframe for this study is from when the iPhone 5s and 5c were first released on September 20th, 2013 until four weeks later on October 18th, 2013.

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