Are the Two New iPhones Equally Popular?


Although Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) revealed that it sold a record-breaking 9 million new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models over the opening weekend, the company didn’t disclose how many of each model it sold. While some commentators noted that the shortage of iPhone 5S models may indicate that Apple sold more flagship iPhones, the low inventory levels could also be interpreted as a sign of suppliers’ production constraints.

However, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is one analyst who believes that Apple may have sold about the same amount of each iPhone model during the opening weekend. Kuo estimates that Apple sold about 3.5 million to 4.5 million iPhone 5S models and around 4.5 million to 5.5 million iPhone 5C models, AppleInsider reports.

Kuo’s iPhone sales estimates are at odds with data recently released by mobile app analytics firm Localytics. According to Localytics’s study of more than 20 million unique iPhones, Apple’s iPhone 5S was 3.4 times more popular than the iPhone 5C approximately 48 hours after both devices became available in the U.S.

Kuo pointed out that Localytics’s data are based on phone activations, while his estimates are based on phone production numbers. “From Apple’s viewpoint, production, sell-in, sell-through and activation are different things,” wrote Kuo, via Apple Insider. ”Since iPhone 5S is in shortage now, numbers of production, sell-in, sell-through and activation should be very close.”

It should be noted that Kuo has a fairly good track record when it comes to Apple analysis. Although Apple’s iPhone weekend sales beat his prediction by 1 million units, his estimate was closer than many other analysts’ predictions of around 6 million units. Kuo also accurately predicted that Apple was abandoning further production of the iPhone 5 in favor of the iPhone 5C.

This year’s iPhone sales numbers shattered last year’s record, when Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5 models in three days.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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