blue yellow pink iPhone 5c

While the iPhone 5c has failed to live up to internal expectations set by Apple, the smartphone certainly hasn’t been moving off the shelves as badly as some people might think. According to an AppleInsider report by Daniel Eran Dilger, the mid-tier handset actually outsold every BlackBerry, Windows Phone and flagship Android device in the United States during the winter quarter. Take a look… 

iPhone 5c sales

The report cites multiple sources in claiming that iPhone 5c sales were roughly 12.8 million during the three-month period, more than double the sales of some key smartphone competitors:

That means iPhone 5c sold twice as many units as all Blackberry smartphone sales combined (6 million), more than all of Nokia’s Windows Phone smartphone sales in the winter quarter (8.2 million), and in fact, all of Microsoft’s Windows Phones sold globally in the winter quarter (slightly more than 8.2 million, as Nokia makes 90 percent of the world’s Windows Phones). Even Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 reportedly sold just 9 million units in the winter quarter. If you do the math, that’s less than 12.8 million.

It is worth noting that the iPhone 5c was the second most popular smartphone on only half of the top four carriers — AT&T and Sprint — in the United States. The high-end Samsung Galaxy S4 nabbed second place on Verizon and T-Mobile during the same time period. But the sales numbers outlined above prove that the iPhone 5c — a so-called “flop” — is a legitimate candidate on the list of best-selling smartphones.

iPhone 5S vs 5C casing video

A major reason why critics have been pouncing on the iPhone 5c is because it is overshadowed by the more successful iPhone 5s in sales. But as Dilger notes, it is hard to believe that Apple is upset that consumers are opting to purchase a smartphone that retails for double the price with a two-year contract. He goes as far to blame Android as part of the problem.

Note that Apple isn’t just asking for more money; consumers are readily paying twice as much to buy iPhones. That’s indicative of a failure on the part of Android. Either the entire world has been fooled, or Android is simply not as desirable as its proponents claim.

Kantar reported in December that almost half of iPhone 5c buyers were switching from competitors, namely Android-based smartphone makers like Samsung and LG. That contrasts sharply with iPhone 5s buyers, 80 percent of which upgraded from a previous iPhone model. The highest demand for the iPhone 5c comes from lower income households, with 42% of owners earning less than $49,000 per year.

Apple most recently launched an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c in Australia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, perhaps further propagating myths that sales of the budget handset have been less than desirable. But as we now know it, the iPhone 5c has actually been one of Apple’s most successful products in the last year and quietly positioned itself as the world’s second most popular smartphone.

Which do you prefer: the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c?

  • Alan

    So why’s apple worrying ?, releasing an 8gb 5C and all

    • FFF84

      because it’s the winter quarter directly after lunch. and the statistics are for the USA which is not the target market.

    • Quang

      12.8M may be acceptable to others, but unacceptable to Apple.

      • Rowan09

        That’s not true. It’s acceptable for Apple but not for investors apparently.

      • Qasim

        Looks like 5c isnt flop after all

  • Adham

    I just find this funny because a bunch of news headlines were showing the 5c in a negative light in terms of sales, yet there is a chance it outsold all their competitors…

    • Hollywood69

      Your dumb if you believe this…the s4 outsold the 5s….5c really?? Lies

  • Sam Khan

    8GB is not actually 8GB, its way less than that. And my music liberary alone is 7GB. So this is useless to me.

    • Not really, I have iTunes Match and it works very well with my 25,000 songs.

      • Sam Khan

        Not just music, you can’t even install 3 good games (1.8GB each) in 8GB

      • JoJo

        So what exactly are you not getting? The 8gb version is not targeted at music-gathering, Modern Combat-playing, heavy duty smartphone users.

        It is for the people that want to play angry birds, check their email and tweet a few messages.

      • Sam Khan

        Yea yea that’s what all beginners say, but after a month they regret and cry about lack of space.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        That is their fault though. It would only be Apples fault if they didn’t provide enough storage space but they do have devices with higher storage capacity it’s just that this user that is apparently a ‘beginner’ and must be uneducated and not realise their needs which IMO is what the 5c is targeted at. First time smartphone buyers…

      • Hollywood69 glad I came to this site…just to see how pathetic apple buyers really have become….your not #1 sure yall know that..unless your reading bgr..lmao..or apple insider..which is lying to your face…lets look at is destroying iphones in sales…5 to 1 sold..yet apple is making more $$… they are lying to you..then robing you blind…its mind blowing…

      • Cameron Chao

        you have no idea what you’re saying, the audience buying a 5c already have no interest in heavy duty smartphone usage. They are likely to just want to call, surf, email and angry birds. If they actually fall for its cheap price and that will be a very very small percentage, then it serves them right. Im sure most people know the 5c isnt worth it.

      • Byron C Mayes

        Not worth it to you. Totally worth it to the entry-level iPhone user, who may not be sure that he wants to stick with iOS.

    • Matt

      My music library is 17.3 GB lol and my 5s is in a desperate need of a new option for storage. I saw this storage case on Apple’s website.
      And if the 5c has 8GB – the OS alone take about 4GB so uhm yeah

      • Rowan09

        That’s not true the OS takes up a little over 1GB if not less. The 8GB is for people who don’t really install apps and looking for a smartphone.

      • Dan

        not sure if it’s different for 5C (compared to 5S), but I just bought a 32GB iPhone and it has 27.5 available. 4.5GB is not light for a OS…

      • Rowan09

        It looks like the 32GB takes up more space as you stated. I have a 8GB iPod and it comes with 6.8GB. I’m not sure if this always the case though, but the 8GB phones for for kids or people just looking for a smartphone. It’s like a basic Android phone. I always recommend at least a 32GB for an iPhone, I personally believe Apple should start at 32GB put its hard to believe that will ever happen.

      • Dan

        I almost went with the 16gb to save a little cash, but it really wouldn’t of been enough. I find it ridiculous that they increase the price 100$ when you go from 16 to 32 though.

      • Rowan09

        It’s a way to rob people but it’s common practice, not sure if Apple made it popular but it’s a standard now. Everyone I know with a 16GB wish they bought a 32 and looking to buy a 32 from now on.

      • Ashish Maheshwari

        thats not the case always. i have a 16GB iPhone 5 and i am still left with 2GB free space.
        I have over 130 apps installed (all small games, utilities, photography, reading, multimedia and all) and have 1GB camera roll and 2GB worth of songs.
        the only space eater is BIG GAMES. so i only install one big game at a time and when i am bored of it, i uninstall it and install another one. most games save game progress on iclould now. so thats not an issue. I do hope all games follow this soon. this should be made mandatory.

      • felixtaf

        32GB phones will have ~29.7GB actual storage. So OS is only about 2.2-2.5GB

      • Rowan09

        My 5s 32GB has 27.5 as Dan stated, so it appears as if they add some software additions to the 32GB models.

      • felixtaf

        Same in my 32GB air. 1GB on any device is not alctually equals 1GB coz of their calculation.

        {Advertisers measure space in metric bytes 1000 bytes = 1KB. 32 billion bytes = 32GB.

        In Binary: 1024 bytes = 1KB 32 billion bytes = 29.8 GB. roughly.

        That’s the difference. That’s why you get less space than advertised.} #Lazy to type and copied from Apple forum.

      • Rowan09

        Got you.

      • Dan

        Well I can assure you, my iPhone 5s 32 gb running iOS 7.0.4 has 27.5 usable.

      • felixtaf

        Thats the same available space in my iPad Air too. Read my previous comment to Rowen09 plz.

      • Who did you buy the tiny 4″ screen for?

      • Dan

        hah, well my wife broke her phone, so I gave her my Note 2 and got the 5S for myself. Really enjoying my iPad air (and iOS) and I wanted to be able to use the same apps on both devices. I’m getting used to the screen size, less of a weight in my jean pockets.

      • -1 not cool dude.


      • felixtaf

        Ha ha.. U love company! 😉

      • You know it!

    • Arsanny Lintang

      8GB is like having a USB drive… and actually it’s around 6.75GB storage space available without any music or apps installed.

    • Abhinav Chaudhary

      8 GB is a joke, these days minimum space on any mobile device should be 64 GB. It should start from 64 GB, in fact i’m not satisfied with space in my ipad which is 64 gb. I want more.

      • Dan

        for a tablet, 64GB can go fast (which is why I got the 128GB), for a phone imo 32GB is good. I agree 8GB is a joke.

      • Rowan09

        Couldn’t agree more.

      • Abhinav Chaudhary

        When i bought my iPad 64 GB was the maximum capacity at that time. So baad!

  • p_amXtr

    Well, that’s because everything compared to an Apple flagship is considerd a flop..

  • Batman

    Shamesung Galaxy is the real flop. Even compared to the iPhone 5c

    • I’m willing to bet Shamesung (as you call them) Galaxy phones outsell the 5c 4 to 1 around the world.

      • Batman

        You are too optimistic. Even if it sells more. So what? As a so-called flagship, it still sucks. It sells only because of the marketing.
        FYI, HTC One is a flagship.

      • ” It sells only because of the marketing”

        So can be said about EVERY Apple product that’s sold today, including the 5s…

      • leart

        Yeah every company on this world makes marketing, but cant compare the modest marketing of apple with the aggressive and massive marketing of samaung, and dont forget the huge army of trollers that are around badmouthing apple sponsored by samsung

      • Don’t forget these (http://bit ly/1f9cevk), Apple’s just playing innocent now that they’re the top target.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I think his point was that the Apple advertisement isn’t as relentless as Samsung. But hey if it’s working for them I can’t see what’s wrong with it…

      • Cameron Chao

        could you avoid typing in this way, i know it helps boost credibility and all, in turn giving you the thumbs up you desire so much, but you’re really the only one doing it.

      • Uhm, in what way? Please clarify…I’m just posting facts, not ignoramusly praising nor hating any company.

      • You’d have to define what makes it suck. Take a trip on a subway and tell me what phones you see. The SGS4 is hugely popular, just as popular the iPhone 5s. FYI, SGS4, SGS5, Note 2, Note 3 <—–All flagship phones.

      • Rowan09

        I hope you know there are over 50 Galaxy models around the world.

      • felixtaf

        50? Ha ha… Visit GSMArena and count now… More than 150 models

      • Rowan09

        I was being modest, but this proves my point even more.

      • I know there are many Galaxy phones out there. That was the my point. The article is misleading because it limited to 4 carriers in the US that don’t carry many older phones. Or at least the sales people don’t push people to older or cheap phones. But overseas, you can walk into a cell phone shop and pick what you want. The sales people don’t care and don’t persuade you to get a high end phone. This is where the many Galaxy phones shine cause you can buy them off contract for $200 or so.

      • Rowan09

        The title attracted us to read the article. After reading the article we were aware it’s only mentioning the 4 major carriers in the US. If there’s no official numbers being released by anyone anymore but Apple it’s hard to compare numbers. Ship numbers does not equate to sales because there are a lot of phones sitting on shelves which would account for shipped figures. Does Apple sell the most phones no, but as an article I’ve read on here before states most Androids being sold are $200 devices. It’s hard to compare 2 iPhone models to over 100 Galaxy models especially when the iPhone is not being sold everywhere in the world.

      • The title was click bait to be honest. The title made a bold statement only to find out its a small slice of the global market in which all 4 companies polled have 1 business plan, “get the customer to upgrade as soon as possible and milk them into upgrade fees and early termination costs if possible”. This model only works in North American where the average consumer is in a 2 or 3 year contract. The rest of the world, doesn’t do that. The rest of the world lets you pick your phone, then lets you pick which carrier works best for you and the costs you want. If you don’t want to pay $25/month extra for the SGS5, they have a SGS4 or Galaxy whatever sitting in the display as well that you can buy outright for $200.

        I believe you can compare the two current iPhone models to the 100 Galaxy phones on the market. Apple chooses to only produce and market two phones. All of their marketing backs those two phones. Samsung takes a different approach by flooding the market. Both companies are doing the same but using two different tactics.

      • Rowan09

        It was click bait, but that’s the purpose. I don’t think it’s would be fair to compare the iPhone to everyone other phone in the world, since it’s not available everywhere. I understand America is big on subsidies, but we’re slowly moving away from that model.

      • Ashish Maheshwari

        its because they have ZILLIONS of cheap models released every month. its like Samsung Galaxy ____ . fill in the blank 😛

      • And what’s wrong with that? Two different ways to skin a cat. Massive marketing for one phone or flooding the market with multiple phones.

      • Ashish Maheshwari

        except that it results in shitty quality phones and poor product experience. you cant even get proper after sales service as samsung discontinues models so often. OS updates come very late. not to mention non availability of spare parts.

      • Those phones aren’t even sold in the same market segments as thier flagship phones. In the US they are all on prepaid carriers and that’s it. Its overseas where there are 50 low end “Galaxy” line phones in normal stores.

  • So where exactly do the million Android devices per day that get activated go to? I know some of those are tablets but is Apple activating anywhere close to even 100,000 5c’s? I doubt it.

    I see, you only polled American carriers in which the iPhone and SGS dominate the market. I’m willing to bet if the poll went out 5 places, the Note 3 and HTC One would have been 4 and 5 on the list. And if you factor everywhere in the world were even Windows Phone beats the iPhone you’ll probably see a 50/30/20 split between Android, iPhone and WP.

    The iPhone is a dominating product, no doubt. The same type of domination that Samsung has with the Galaxy line. But don’t feed me this click bait bullshit that’s only valid when there are restrictions on how you polled the data.

    • Rowan09

      It’s hard to actually account for the million Androids activated because all those companies do not give hard numbers. Apple is the only one from my understanding still giving sold numbers, so it’s easier to track. Apple is still however making more profit than all Android manufacturers.

      • More profit to a non fanboy = people being ripped off

      • Rowan09

        I understand, but the reality is Apple was always a premium brand and all premium brands are a ripoff

      • I knew you knew that. I just was mentioned that because you seemed to be saying it as if it were a good thing. And for us it’s not is all.

      • Rowan09

        I wish everything was cheaper and not happy for paying more than $100 for a phone, but the reality is that’s just a dream.

      • The big money is in the plan. We need to save there as much as we can.

      • Rowan09

        I agree and that’s why I’m on AIO wireless with an unlock iPhone. I will never go back to a contract.

      • I’m an artist so I work at home so I don’t really need a data plan or much of one. So I want to find a cheap plan when I move back to the states in May. I’m gonna take a look into AIO Wireless now. I have a brother who is on a carrier I never heard of and he is also off contract but gets a data plan and he is happy with their service. On a related note, here I pay a little less than 30 dollars a month for 100Mbps home internet and digital TV. Only wish it was this fast and cheap in the states.

      • More profit doesn’t equal more sales. Besides, Microsoft makes more off Android any anyone else.

      • Rowan09

        That’s true but we have no sales figures to go by, since they don’t release the numbers.

  • Matt

    AYYYYYE like get it Apple.

  • O Al Marar

    This is prices table not sales quantity yoooo huuuuuu you have a mistake

  • I don’t get the 5C hate. Yeah, it’s not the latest or the fastest, but it’s really cute, it has a good design and it’s faster than an iPod Touch. And yeah, given only a $100 difference, it’s no wonder the 5S sells more. But I managed to get mine for $350 used without a contract (sim-locked), and given that price, this will definitely be great for a while.

    • Awesome.

    • Jason Baroni

      Congratulations, Kaylee. You have the best opinion that I have ever heard! This is from a true consumer point of view: when you pay for something YOU judge worth it there is nothing to be wrong about your choice. Yes, indeed. 5c is still a great device and it still provides a pretty good experience.

  • No surprise, it’s their backyard…

    • Rowan09

      True, but investors and the media made it seem as if they sold less than a million of these phones.

  • gittlopctbi

    Well, impressive, I guess. I’ve never seen anyone with one, though. So I wonder who has one of these “hot” selling things?

  • WolfgangHoltz

    Probably blind people that are misled to buy.

  • Tom C

    8 gig sucks I wouldnt buy it apple are cheap skates putting 8 gigs

    • Rowan09

      The 8Gb is the entry phone which is meant to be cheaper and will obviously have trade-offs. If you have a 16GB S4/S4 it leaves you with less than half of the space from what I remember.

  • hkgsulphate

    5c is actually a good phone
    all they need is just a lower price…

  • Abhinav Chaudhary

    It should be noted that these statistics are of USA only, in rest of the world iPhone ain’t a big deal. In my class there is only 1 iPhone 5s and 2 other iPhones, total of 3 iPhones in a class of 40.Others have high end phones as expensive as iPhone like Note 3, S4, Z1 Ultra, HTC One. Idk why people in USA are so obsessed with iPhones, clearly other phones are better.

    I personally have my eyes on Z2.

    • Jason Baroni

      In Brazil Samsung sells 50 models of Galaxy lineup. 50. You can enter their site and count for yourself. In my country it is 50 Galaxy models vs 3 iPhones.

    • Rowan09

      We do use other phones in the US as well too, but better is based on who you’re asking. Where do you live by the way?

  • Jonathan

    I’ve never been so surprised in my entire life.

  • Jason Baroni

    Regular / light users don’t care about processing power and plastic backs. I am only surprised on how the 5c just sold that much with this price… it is just wow! I am super fan of Apple but I gotta admit that their logo makes marketing miracles.

    • Rowan09

      It definitely does, but it works with Samsung as well because it’s the most popular Android by far. Apple does make things popular though because it’s an American company and the world usually follows America (Jamaican WI native).

      • Jason Baroni

        At least in Brazil, where I live, people don’t seem to care if they are american or not. People here actually think Samsung, LG and Sony are american companies.
        But our society is built on north american influence (or should I say pressure?) and this counts on the status carried with an iPhone. I say this not on the 5c, but on the 4 and 4S. Here people who looks for status mostly buy the lowest iPhone, and you have cases where the person can’t afford their lives but they have the top iPhone model.
        5c here works like the 5s should, on pricing. 5s is beyond the sanity here and that is why 5c sells more in here.
        But when you look to US… man, it is US$100 cheaper. It does not make any sense.

      • Rowan09

        I heard about the prices in Brazil and it’s crazy. Someone here told me before it’s due to government practices. Sony, LG and Samsung does great marketing so some people will believe they are American companies (North America as you stated). No matter where you go in this world people in poverty will own expensive products.

      • Jason Baroni

        Yes. When you look at the big picture not even the biggest part of consumers know/care about the tech specs. Samsung, LG, Sony and others have half of the price of an iPhone on their phones, but we are still paying hundreds of Reais (our money) on Apple Products.

        iPad prices here are getting closer to US each year, otherwise. You can afford a 5s here with 2 iPads Air.

        Brazilian society is socially divided by classes: A, B, C, D and E, where D and E represent poor and miserable classes. A and B are the greatest classes, for the rich people. But the Class C is the most growing of all these. They are the new rich group, between the B and D, result of an emerging / growing economy. They are the buyers of the iPhone 4 to the 5c as well as all the mid range Android devices, specially the Samsung Galaxy models you have never heard about.

  • Byron C Mayes

    “[A]lmost half of iPhone 5c buyers were switching from competitors, namely Android-based smartphone makers like Samsung and LG. That contrasts sharply with iPhone 5s buyers, 80 percent of which upgraded from a previous iPhone model. The highest demand for the iPhone 5c comes from lower income households, with 42% of owners earning less than $49,000 per year.”

    Both of these are as expected. New Apple users would naturally get the cheaper phone, to “see what it’s all about” before dropping the big bucks. Once they know and come to love iOS, they feel comfortable paying more for the latest and greatest.

    That a lower-income household would opt for the lower cost device just makes sense. The 5c seems to be hitting just the marks it should be.


    I prefer the iPhone 5c’s aesthetics and variety but also prefer the iPhone 5s’ technology. Fortunately, I am not in a position to choose until likely when the iPhone 6 becomes available.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Market manipulation at best to jack up stock price before fall announcement of the new iphone and then sell. Typical

  • YalllSuckBallz

    This site is the 5h!t!!, But some of the peeps that post comments here are just Turd-heads, maddafakas, b!tcH3s, h03s, PuZz!3s, Cunt5, Cawk Zakkas, and just plain sons of filthy and promiscuous female dogs!!! Windows/Nokia/Android users who be posting negative stuff about apple products. Go suck a toe!!!! Dunn be posting up on this joint if yall don’t like the iStuff!! Keep using your devises and move on. Honestly, I’m fed up with yall stupid attitudes and cheap ass comments! Yall don’t see apple fanboyz spreading up text jizz on yo sites! GettaFak out! Sorry Jeff, I just had to set them straight…. o wait… they ain’t straight!! Pooooooooowwwww!!! ^_^

    • Sgt. Faggot

      Are you… a stupid child?