Nobody seems to want Apple's iPhone 5c

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 | 11:56 AM ET
iPhone 5C sales already disappoint
Monday, 14 Oct 2013 | 12:00 PM ET
Sales of the cheaper Apple iPhone are falling short of expectations.

The iPhone 5c appears to be Apple's red-headed stepchild. The tech giant is selling far fewer units of the 5c than it is of the (more expensive) 5s, according to recent reports.

(Read more: Let's talk about the iPhone 6)

In fact, Apple is selling twice as many of the 5s, according to an AllThingsD report that cites data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

According to the report, the 5s accounted for 64 percent of all iPhone in the final days of September. The 5c made up 27 percent of sales and the 4s the remaining nine percent.

(Read more: Apple event scheduled for Oct. 22)

The report also said that a top Apple analyst on Friday dramatically cut his projection for third-quarter sales of the 5c. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revised his estimates for the device to 11.4 million units shipped—down 33 from his original figure.

He also slashed his fourth-quarter estimate to 10.4 million units, according to a report from Business Insider, which cited Kuo's note.

(Read more: Ditching Apple for Android? What you need to know)

Kuo said that retailers are slashing the price of the 5c to move the product. Among other retailers, Walmart and Best Buy have already discounted the smartphone's subsidized price to $50 or less.

(Read more: Windows-like 'blue screen of death' striking iPhone 5s?)

Apple has been widely criticized for its pricing of the iPhone 5c.

Analysts had widely expected it 5c to have a much lower unsubsidized price. The price of an iPhone 5c without a wireless contract currently starts at $549, only $100 less than the iPhone 5s, which features a fingerprint sensor.

In a note last week, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also said that Apple likely will be forced to cut the 5c's price because of lackluster sales, which would hurt gross margins. He added that demand for the 5s will also subside more quickly than expected.

"We think it is likely that the 5c misses consensus FY14 expectations and 5s sales taper off faster than the Street expects, but we believe that better-than-expected margins and new products will cause the market to be forward looking," Misek said.

We'll get a better picture of iPhone sales when Apple reports earnings Oct. 28.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.