The new iPhone 5c was supposed to sell to price-conscious buyers while leveraging Apple's premium brand name. Instead, consumers are flocking to the more expensive iPhone 5s by a two-to-one ratio.
According to AllThingsD, a new analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows the iPhone 5s taking 64% of new iPhone sales while the iPhone 5c has 27%. The remaining 9% goes to the iPhone 4s.
(Watch: Apple is not immune to PC bloodbath)
Those following such things closely will recall that it's not the first time a research company has said the 5s is outselling the 5c. As 9to5mac.com points out, research company Localytics estimated that the ratio was more like three-to-one in favor of the 5s.
That's not good news for Apple – it's great news. The margins on the $199 - $399 iPhone 5s are much higher than for the $99 - $199 iPhone 5c.
But, perhaps the champagne corks shouldn't start popping just yet in Cupertino. In his interview with AllThingsD, CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz says:
"Over time, the lower-priced phones have tended to gain share versus the flagship phone, after the initial rush of dedicated upgraders to the newest device. So we expect that the 5c will account for a higher percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the coming months, but the design changes may alter that dynamic. The iPhone 5c may appeal to different buyers than the legacy 4S did last year, or the new 5s will this year."
What also makes it interesting is that the iPhone 5s is also more popular than the 5c in the world's largest mobile market, China. The joke was that the "c" in 5c stood for "China". However, in a recent note, Cantor Fitzgerald's Brian White writes:
"Our contact believes the iPhone 5C has potential, and consumers 'love' (especially the younger crowd) the new color scheme; however, we were told the price point needs to come down to a range of US$325-$405 to find meaningful volume levels in China."
In other words, if prices for the 5c are going to be relatively high for the Chinese consumer, they figure they might as well splurge a little more on the premium 5s.
What does this all mean for Apple?
Talking numbers on Apple is CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. She says the fundamentals are bullish for the tech giant. On the charts is Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson. He believes price action is about to hit a critical level for the stock.
What's next for Apple given the surprisingly better performance of the 5s versus the 5c? Watch the video above to see what the fundamentals and technicals have to say on it.
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