Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:38 UTC

I've been thinking a bit more about those iPhone 5C/5S weekend sales figures, and while it is certainly impressive, if you compare it to the iPhone 5's first weekend sales figures, it's actually quite a step backwards for Apple. The issue here - something many sites and even Apple itself doesn't want to focus on - is that the iPhone 5C/5S is available to a lot more people than the iPhone 5 was.

The iPhone 5 was available to 720 million people at launch, and sold 5 million units. This is a penetration of 0.69%. The iPhone 5C and 5S, however, are available to 2078 million people, and sold 9 million units, which constitutes a penetration of 0.43%. So, Apple has two new models to advertise and lure consumers with instead of one, and has a huge additional market (China) to address, yet it failed to capitalise on either of these two factors.

What this shows is that while the sales figure is still pretty darn impressive, it's not nearly as groundbreaking if you put it in perspective. Looking at it this way, the so-called record breaking 9 million figure can easily be explained away by Apple almost tripling its launch weekend audience, instead of an increasing popularity of the iPhone.

The only reason I'm writing this is to illustrate how numbers are entirely arbitrary, and it's easy to make silly comparisons and claim an arbitrary victory - or, change perspective a bit and claim arbitrary defeat, as I've done here.

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RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Sep 2013 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Tony Swash
Member since:

That's the point I'm trying to make. Numbers are arbitrary.

No they are not arbitrary, they just need to be interpreted like all data.

Horace Dediu at Asymco has a short piece on the iPhone launch figures compared to previous Apple, and a some Samsung Galaxy phone, launch sales data.

Taking into account the inclusion of China in this years iPhone rollout there was an impressive 29% increase over last year's iPhone roll out sales.

For comparison Motorola is shipping 100,000 Moto X phones per week, a somewhat slow start for the long-awaited phone.

The figure, quoted by Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside in a Reuters article, would net out to just more than 5 million shipments annually if Motorola continues at that pace. For comparison's sake, Apple shipped 31.2 million iPhones in its most recent quarter.

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