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 573229
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Launch weekend sales
by chithanh on Wed 25th Sep 2013 14:54 UTC
Member since:

I think a better metric to judge the success of the launch weekend than absolute numbers or potential vs. actual buyers is the percentage of smartphones sold that year.

For the iPhone 5 launch weekend, they sold 5 million (0.7%) of 700 million total smartphones in 2012 (according to Strategy Analytics).

For the iPhone 5S/5C launch weekend, they sold 9 million (0.9%) out of an expected 1 billion total units in 2013.

So Apple did better. Not much better, especially if you take into account that they launched two devices, but still.

Reply Score: 2