More sales estimates released today indicate the iPhone 5s continues to outsell the iPhone 5c, Apple’s other smartphone released in September. Indeed, the iPhone 5s – decked out in fingerprint sensor, new A7 processor and all – accounts for 64 percent of Apple handset sales, flying off shelves more than twice as fast as the more colorful iPhone 5c at 27 percent.

However, will that sales lead last beyond the early demand fueled by first-adopters and other Apple fanatics? Plus, can the two new iPhones perform as well as their iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s counterparts did?

The findings from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) should come as a comfort to Apple, since the less-expensive ‘mainstream’ iPhone 5c is not cutting into sales of the top-tier iPhone 5s, according to AllThingsD.

CIRP’s data suggests that the company ha so far avoided it – though that’s hardly surprising at this early stage. After all, the iPhone 5c was intended as a mainstream smartphone, the iPhone 5s as an enthusiast one – a ‘forward-thinking’ device for forward-thinking folks. And enthusiasts are often early adopters.

The iPhone 4S, now free with contract, accounted for nine percent of Apple smartphones sold. The survey, taken in late-September, captures initial demand for Apple’s first-time dual iPhone launch.

How will the two Apple smartphones do once the heat of first sales cools off?

The iPhone 4s could be a good barometer. The iPhone 4S – eclipsed by the newer iPhone 5 – had 23 percent of sales back in October of 2012. By comparison, when launched last month, the plastic iPhone 5c performed only slightly better – 27 percent.

We’re likely to see the iPhone 5c account for a larger portion of sales over time.

CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz tells AllThingsD:

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 US iPhone sales in the coming months.

Since the two smartphones were released in late-September 2013, we’ve seen numerous reports that the iPhone 5s is preferred over the iPhone 5c. At the same time, we’ve seen reports that Apple intends to slash production of the 5c in the wake of such news.

Although it would be intriguing to hear some official sales numbers from Apple, when it announces fourth-quarter figures on October 28, we’re likely only to get an aggregate picture because Apple never broke down iPhone/iPod/iPad sales by model. Just after the first weekend of sales, Apple said it had sold nine million new iPhones.

Both new iPhones are slated to hit an additional 50+ new markets by November 1, according to the company. People in the market for a new iPhone 5s, especially the elusive gold model, are out of luck as the online Apple Store was recently updated with a new shipping estimate of 2-3 weeks.

Jeff and Christian reported about a pair of web apps (here and here) that help determine iPhone 5s availability across Apple and carrier’s online stores across the world.

  • Kurt

    Who’s going to be the annoying one to say, “No surprise here”

    • Mohammed Sahib

      Apparently, you just did.

      • Kurt

        Unfortunately, I expected that exact response.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Lol, and I expected you to be expecting it, so I didn’t want to disappoint you 😛

      • Kurt

        Well, I expected you to expect me expecting you. You didn’t disappoint 🙂

      • thetomthebomb


      • Anthony Antunez

        What to expect when you’re expecting.

    • RarestName

      No surprise here

  • Andy

    The iPhone 5c is still an incredibly solid phone for new people getting introduced to their first iPhone experience. But for 100 bucks more, you get the latest and greatest iPhone. Who could resist the temptation?

  • Grande PHD

    The problem is in the price, not in the phone

  • TesticularFortitude

    One thing is certain – These firms are never close to being right. They have even less insight than Wall Street…

  • Cameron Chao

    Who would buy a phone 1 year behind in technology when theres another one almost 2 years ahead for only $100 more?

  • n0ahcruz3

    On the positive side atleast 5c buyers wont have to deal with BSOD. Lol sweet!

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    You can make a line look bigger by drawing a smaller one next to it. I think this is what is happening, by contrasts the 5s looks a lot better, and thx to only a 100 USD difference it looks like a much better deal.

    I hope Apple learns from this and next time gives production priority for lunch day correctly as to no have this short supply of the popular one :-/

  • shar

    I don’t understand why there is an expectation that iphone 5c sales should be in par with iphone 5s,

    iphone 5c is basically the replacement of iphone 5 (but with cheaper material) and with the price of what iphone 5 would have been if not discontinued.

    so it’s like saying why iphone 5s (if there was no 5c) is selling twice more than iphone 5?

    I would be surprised to hear otherwise.

  • @dongiuj

    Should’ve dropped the price a bit more for the 5c.