iPhone 5s Most Popular in San Francisco, While iPhone 5c Starts to Gain Ground Across the U.S.

After extensively reporting early iPhone 5s and 5c adoption data both in the U.S. and globally after the initial 48 and 72 hours of sales, we’re now analyzing preferences for the two phones across 12 major U.S. cities and by carrier.

After close to one week of sales, we found that, overall, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco held the largest market share in the U.S. for iPhone 5s and 5c activations. This is to be expected given the size of their populations. However the real surprise was that San Francisco came in third. Considering San Francisco is actually the 11th largest market in the U.S., its status as a technology haven also, clearly, translates to a culture of early adoption.

All Active iPhones by U.S. City

We then looked at the distribution of the iPhone 5s and 5c for each of the cities. Again, San Francisco stood out, showing the strongest preference for the 5s over the 5c (85% vs. 15%) among the top 12 major U.S. cities. Philadelphia showed the lowest preference with 72%.

iPhone 5s Relative Share of New iPhones by U.S. City

iPhone 5s & 5c Adoption by Carrier

We first reported iPhone 5s and 5c adoption by carrier in our blog post on September 23. We’ve continued to monitor the adoption for an additional 4 days to see if the usage patterns continue to evolve.

Adoption continues at a rapid pace. On September 22, active iPhone 5s and 5c's represented 1.4% of all active iPhones in the U.S. across the top 4 carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. By September 26, this had risen to 2.0%

All Active iPhones - United States

We were curious to see if the early adoption of the 5s would slow down at all as time passed. On September 22, the iPhone 5s was outpacing the 5c by a factor of 3.4x. But as of September 26, the 5c has been gaining ground and that ratio has decreased to 2.9x, with the iPhone 5s representing 1.5% and the 5c 0.5% of all iPhones activated in the U.S.

5s to 5c iPhone ratio in US

Of the top U.S. carriers, AT&T continues to see the highest adoption rates for both the 5s and 5c so far. iPhone 5s and 5c activations on AT&T represent 1.02% of all active iPhones in the U.S. on September 26 (up from 0.67% on September 22). Verizon is at 0.70% (up from 0.51%), 0.18% for Sprint (up from 0.12%) and 0.12% for T-Mobile (up from 0.07%).

All Active iPhones Carrier (blue and orange)

We were also curious to see if there was a difference in preference for the 5s between the carriers. While on average 75% of U.S. users activated the 5s vs. 25% for the 5c, AT&T and Verizon saw a clear preference towards the 5s, whereas Sprint and T-Mobile had a lower than average preference for the 5s with 54% and 60% respectively.

iPhone 5c and 5s by carrier - stacked


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 20 million unique iPhones and investigated the breakdowns by U.S. carriers and cities. For the city analysis we based our research on the top 12 most populous metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The timeframe for this study is all active iPhones from when the iPhone 5s and 5c were first released on Friday, September 20th, 2013 until Thursday September 26th, 2013.