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.

Thread beginning with comment 573205
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:

This. All indications are that Apple is selling every iPhone they can produce.

The hype is real. Apple has supreme control over their base, these are people that feel compelled to upgrade, so their weekend numbers always look amazing.

I'm amused that the tech industry goes through this correction every year. First they say "iPhone below expectations" or "Why hasn't Apple released sales figures" only to have Apple release stellar numbers a few days later.

Another amazing statistic is the uptake for iOS7 and the amount of big name apps already updated.

This is the holy grail of integration. Apple controls the end to end experience in ways that everyone else can only dream of.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:06 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

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

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Nelson on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Nelson Member since:

Numbers are pesky things. Two people can use the same numbers to convey two different points, or at times, to argue two opposite sides of a position.

Here's a good example

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 25th Sep 2013 12:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:

Yeah, Apple's number are just higher on launch weekends than anyone else's and if they could produce more they'd be even higher.

More interesting is the total number of phone models sold over product lifetime.

Is there that much difference in selling amount X in one weekend vs sell X over 365 days? Maybe Apple users run faster to the shop than non-Apple users, but if sales are the same for another phone it would make both models equally successful.

When it comes to making money it's of course better to sell your stock as quickly as possible and Apple is making a lot of money on this too. They don't need to waste much money storing phones.

Considering this and taking to account that Apple continues to make money off sold iPhones through app and media sales one might wonder if they shouldn't just lower the sales price of the iPhone? They'd still make money even if they didn't sell more of them, but more likely they will sell more.

Being high prices phones leaves a lot of room for competitors to undercut them on price. If iPhones were made cheaper competitors would to go even lower, which could mean it wouldn't be worthwhile anymore. Or competitors need to come with something better, which is a win for consumers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Tony Swash on Wed 25th Sep 2013 17:14 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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by Carewolf on Wed 25th Sep 2013 18:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
Carewolf Member since:

This. All indications are that Apple is selling every iPhone they can produce.

All indicates suggest that except of couse what Apple themselves are saying. The sold out 5S, not 5C. Not word officially on how many of each was sold though, but there are still plenty of 5C, but they also produced a hell lot more of those than 5S.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by SojoPhoto on Wed 25th Sep 2013 18:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
SojoPhoto Member since:

It's already been known that Apple had constraints on the 5s before the launch. Personally, two things tell me that this is all a marketing ploy by Apple.

1. They claimed 5s constraints, so they wouldn't have enough. How much? No one knows

2. They did not allow pre-ordering of the 5s, why? Because they knew that the demand for the 5s would be significantly lower than previous year's top model, and wanted to show the lines waiting.

So how many 5s were sold? I could ask the same about the $99 5c and the free 4s. These numbers will tell us the whole story, but Apple is not releasing these.

Reply Parent Score: -1