Loyalty: almost all iPhone 5s buyers apparently own an iPhone

By , Sep 20, 2013

iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5s ad 002)

Remember the days when Apple or Android hoped to snag a customer from the rival camp? You can file that dream alongside winning the Super Ball lottery, because nearly all of the people lined up Friday to buy one of Apple’s new iPhones already owns an iPhone.

According to one Apple observer, 90 percent of people lined up in New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis are upgrading from an older iPhone. The finding reflects both the loyalty of Apple users as well as a U.S. smartphone market where few consumers switch from one handset brand to another.

The 90 percent upgrade figure tops that of the iPhone 5, when 83 percent of those purchasing the handset in 2012 said they already owned an iPhone…

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said, via Barrons:

We believe that the high level of iPhone users upgrading to the new 5s or 5c demonstrates continued loyalty levels among iPhone owners. We note that given the relative maturity of the smartphone market in the US, it is not surprising to see that a majority of iPhone 5s/5c buyers were current iPhone users.

The 90 percent of iPhone owners upgrading to the new Apple handsets is higher than the 83 percent of consumers who upgraded to the iPhone 5 last year. In addition, 10 percent more people are upgrading to the iPhone 5s from the iPhone 5 than those who made the jump to the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4S.

During the first day of sales, 36 percent of people upgrading to the new iPhone already owned an iPhone 5, according to the analyst. In 2012, that number was just 26 percent.

Although there’s been much consternation over the iPhone 5c – is it or isn’t it cheap, will it or will it not fend off Android and does the “c” mean color, China, or something else – today’s launch is all about the iPhone 5s. According to Munster, 95 percent of those in line today were out for the iPhone 5s.

Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 002
Apple CEO Tim Cook today visited Apple’s Palo Alto store and sent his first tweet.

Indeed, one San Francisco shopper speaking to the L.A. Times dismissed the 5c as “junior high, high schoolish.” Such lop-sided demand is causing widespread shortages of the new flagship iPhone 5s.

Earlier today, Apple admitted that there are scattered shortages of the 5s. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes went so far as to call the initial supplies “almost comically low.”

Indeed, if it were not for the shortages, an expected 6 million sales for the first weekend could instead have been 7 million.

However, Reitzes makes an important point on why so many people are upgrading from the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s is allowing Apple to get past the flawed start of its previous iPhone.

In contrast to the iPhone 5, where sentiment “turned sour fast with limited supply, display production issues, manufacturing delays due to scratching”, he believes “the sentiment toward the 5s production process improves over the next few weeks.”

In that vein, Apple has told suppliers to boost production of the iPhone 5s by a third.

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  • Raddi

    I don’t see the news here. I think only true Apple fans will stand in line for a new iPhone :D so, they should already own an iPhone.

    • patrick

      You have a point there

    • pegger1

      What about the 10% that don’t have an iPhone?

    • Sokrates

      And it merely shows that no one from android switches to iOS, rather than the other way around.

      • Dan

        It’s also funny that it was recently revealed that the new A7 chip was built by Samsung.

      • Evan_Beezy

        Yes and a factory in china builds ford vehicles. It’s called manufacturing.

      • Dan

        I think the irony was lost on you. Ford customers aren’t always bashing China like apple fan boys bash Samsung. That was my point.

      • Kurt

        he’s doesn’t think “deeply”

      • Azhar Hussain

        Samsung is Korean… Awk

      • Dan

        Never said they were not

  • samosa king

    Damn! Go Apple! Besides, being an android user, I do like iPhones. Not a fanboy. :D

    • Saeed Ghattas

      Time to switch to perfection.

  • TesticularFortitude

    “According to one Apple observer, 90 percent of people lined up in New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis are upgrading from an older iPhone. ”

    Look, I’m the biggest fanboy there is. And I know Apple fans are loyal. But which observer pulled this stat out of his ass?

    • JaeM1llz

      And how was he in 3 places at once?

      • TesticularFortitude

        Yep… I’m surprised iDB ran with this story. (Not)

  • J. Rockwell

    Holy Crap Gold iPhones are sold out until late October!!!!

    Who would have thought?!?!

  • Matthew Cooper

    You guys are running out of stories

    • GuyBey0ndC00L

      When the new jailbreak for iPhone 5s is on the since these guys will crush it.

      • mav3rick

        They look no longer into Jaibreak. Even the most prolific writer about tweaks advised to get rid of your Jaibreak and install this horrible looking neonOS…

  • disqus_fyqPWdQb51

    I think loyalty should be: all (or 90%) older iPhone user upgrade to iPhone 5s.

    For me, this news only means that iPhone 5s cannot attract new user from other..

  • omrishtam

    i dont care i am still upgrading from my iphone 3gs….

  • Jeroen Claassens

    I wonder what the costumers thought upon seeing Tim Cook…

  • Rickm_jr

    iPhone 5s buyers own an iPhone? Well if they bought it, I hope they own it

  • KewlDewd

    “almost all iPhone 5s buyers apparently own an iPhone”

    Duuuuhhh…ya think? That’s what happens when you buy something. You own it.