apple-china-localytics

It seems Apple’s release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is chock full of surprises aside from the humungous 9 million units sold during the first weekend. Remember the iPhone 5c, first expected to be Apple’s cheap iPhone, then forecast to win over emerging markets, such as China? Neither is true.

New analytics show more than 90 percent of the new iPhones sold in China this past weekend were the iPhone 5s. That’s even higher than the 78 percent of global sales average the iPhone 5s enjoys on average…

If you want to go where the iPhone 5c had a better chance of being purchased in the last 72 hours, you need to travel to the UK according to the numbers.

Given the huge demand for the gold iPhone 5s in China, combined with the region’s adoration of everything gold and Apple’s decision this year to release its new handsets in China simultaneously with other global hotspots and you have instant shortages.

Global-market-share2

Were the shortages a product of not enough supply or unexpectedly-high demand?

While Apple is making some progress on the supply side, increasing production and shortening wait times, the demand portion provides interesting insight into the company’s growth prospects.

apple-us-localytics

According to research firm Localytics, while China’s demand for the iPhone 5s led all other nations at 91 percent versus the iPhone 5c, at 76 percent the US was below the 78 percent global average.

Meanwhile 82 percent of nations other than the U.S. and China reported a preference for the iPhone 5s over the 5c, according to the data extracted between Friday, September 20 and Sunday night.

The UK, which along with the US, has a mature base of smartphone owners, recorded the highest percent of iPhone 5c purchases. But that achievement is more of a statistical asterick. The UK is “the only country that didn’t have at least a 3 to 1 ratio of 5s to 5c activations,” explains Localytics.

In other words, UK smartphone buyers didn’t grab more 5c than 5s iPhones, the preference for the iPhone 5s just wasn’t as lopsided as elsewhere.

iPhone 5s side by side gold in front

As for which country account for most combined purchases of Apple’s two new iPhones, the US remains a powerful smartphone market, with 68 percent of all new iPhone activations. Japan was a distant second with 13 percent, according to the researchers.

China could steal America’s place in the smartphone spotlight, according to a new forecast released Tuesday. According to Reuters, citing IDC figures, China’s smartphone market will jump from 360 million shipments in 2013 to 450 million in 2014.

That rise is fueled both by China’s decision to okay 4G networking and China Mobile sales of Apple’s iPhone. For some time, successive Apple CEOs have courted the world’s largest wireless carrier with Tim Cook finally landing the company’s 700 million subscribers.

iphone 5c plastic

The iPhone 5c was seen as Apple’s way to crack rival Samsung’s 18.5 percent old on the Chinese smartphone market. However, the apparent preference by China for the iPhone 5s could throw that theory into question.

After all, Apple’s plan is always to provide a “starter” iPhone, such as the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to hook new consumers. Once ensnared in the Apple ecosphere, buyers climb the product ladder, up to the iPhone 5s. Can China Mobile’s presence make the iPhone 5c more palatable to that nation’s smartphone audience?