Tim Cook (iPhone 6 launch, Palo Alto Apple Store)

In the last three months up to October 31, Apple’s misunderstood iPhone 5c outsold the iPhone 6 Plus in the United States.

Moreover, overall sales of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets has bumped up Apple’s market share against Android around the world, according to the latest smartphone survey by Kantar Worldpanel, the WPP-owned market researcher.

The research firm reported Wednesday that Apple is poised for a record quarter amid “a huge jump in sales share across almost all major markets” thanks to the new iPhones.

For the three months ending in October 2014, the iPhone 6 registered as the best-selling model among iOS devices with a 33 percent share.

“The iPhone 5s was the second best-selling iPhone model with 26 percent, and the iPhone 5c was third with 18 percent,” said Kantar. “The iPhone 6 Plus captured 10 percent of iOS sales.”

The new iPhones are doing well in other markets, too, especially in Europe, traditionally one of Android’s strongholds. Brand loyalty, not just the bigger phones, is a big part of that.

According to Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, most of the firm’s sales in Europe were driven by loyal Apple users. “Some 86 percent of British buyers upgraded from an older iPhone model, only five percent switched across from Samsung,” he said.

For reference, Apple’s smartphone share in the United Kingdom was only thirty percent just a month ago and it’s now sitting at forty percent, its highest ever level in the country.

The drastic increase is a testament to Apple’s decision to cater to buyers with bigger phones. Check out Kantar’s interactive per-region chart below.

Android in Europe’s five major markets — Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — accounted for nearly 70 percent of all sales, a 2.6 percentage point decline over a year ago. By contrast, Apple in the same markets grew by nearly six percentage points to 20.7 percent of all sales.

It’s not just United Kingdom or Europe: Apple’s smartphone share has been on the rise in nearly every market while Android handsets either held ground or lost share as a result.

Kantar Worldpanel,(Q3 2014 smartphone share)

As the chart above proves, Samsung continues to bleed share in China to Xiaomi, which makes inexpensive smartphones with appealing designs and features that match most Samsung devices.

Xiaomi grabbed 30 percent of smartphones sales in China during the three-month period, while the iPhone 6 ranked as China’s third best-selling device. Back in the United States, LG has been chipping away at Samsung’s market share as well. In other markets, Samsung remains the top Android vendor.

Although Kantar did not break out the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus sales, the smaller phone outsold the bigger device in the UK by a 4:1 ratio. “The top reasons shoppers gave for choosing the iPhone 6 were 4G capability (51 percent), screen size (49 percent) and design (45 percent),” Kantar writes.

Nearly one out of each three iPhone 6 sales in the UK were sold directly through Apple’s retail operations, the research firm added.

In the United States , the smaller iPhone 6 outsold its bigger brother by a 3:1 ratio. According to TechCrunch, U.S. iPhone 6 Plus buyers tend to be older than iPhone 6 ones.

[Kantar Worldpanel]

  • Jason Baroni

    It proves how much people understamate the iPhone 5c.


      I think it’s doing well because its this years free model for 2 year upgrades. That being said, it’s not a bad phone. It’s what I have. It’s just an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell. Can’t wait for the 6s though.

      • Jason Baroni

        Yes. People seem to dislike it because it’s a device that “Steve Jobs wouldn’t ever do”, as I have read around. I had a 5c and changed to the 5, however, I did not regret my experience with the C being made by plastique. It’s a good, beautiful device.

      • Which is funny, steve was around when Apple introduces plastic 3G, 3Gs. The 5C is thicker and more durable than those models.

      • BoardDWorld

        Actually the 5C more often than not has a better LCD than the 5.

      • Jason Baroni

        Really? I would never tell this. If you say so… The 5c has a better frontal camera and a battery 10% better than the 5. It is still a better choice, anyway. My blue 5c was the my only iPhone that didn’t need a case, actually.

      • I disliked the 5c due to it’s design being unapologetically plain, it was like a sight of disgust. The 3Gs (my first iPhone) was made of plastic too, but at least the chrome bezels at the fronts made it appealing to look at.

      • Which color did you get? Blue and pink looks nice but personally I would not consider the yellow or the green as beautiful

      • Jason Baroni

        I went for the blue, as always. Also like the green, it looks nice with Apple cases, but definitely wouldn’t pick another color option beyond the white.

      • Jeffrey

        Well that’s only in the US. In most countries people buy phones off-contract so it isn’t free. I don’t get why Americans buy phones with contracts anyway…

    • Its a pretty good device and an upgrade to the Aluminum 5. Its weird about it out selling the 6 Plus when there are mostly just 8GB models available for the 5c.

      • Chliii

        Some of the lack of sales must be due to lack of availability. Most stores around here have zero 6 plus’s in store

      • That could be the case but a majority would just order it online and wait for shipping.

      • Chliii

        Not such much here. All of the people I know bought 6 plus’s, the 6 was almost like the 5c

  • Juschan

    spain Blackberry 0% haha i´ve been in spain about 4 years ago and everybody had one 😀 i still don´t know if i should take the 6 or 6plus i don´t want to belong to the for the most part old people

  • CS

    I can definitely see why the 5c is outselling the 6+ but seriously, EVERYONE either hates the 6+ or loves it. I am one who loves it, and all I hear is “how too big it is.” People should just give it a chance. I personally think that it’s the best iPhone ever made (iOS 8 on the other hand is garbage)

    And the 5c is not worth your time. Apple only sells the 8 gig online, that isn’t enough storage for anyone. With the 5s only $50 (TouchID, faster processors, better camera), that is the bargain iPhone, not the 5c

    • diggitydang

      I’m a 6 Plus too, and I really really like it, but wouldn’t say I LOVE it… it really depends how a person uses it. I love the big display and the reason I’d buy the 6 Plus again if I had to, is the better battery life… I can get through an entire day with plenty of juice to spare. Even on days of heavy usage. That said, I often use my phone in bed, or lying on the couch and have dropped my phone on my face a couple times (HA!). Reachability helps but is a bit clunky… jailbreak tweaks help even more. All in all though, I am pleased with my 6 Plus, but can TOTALLY see why people might opt for a smaller, less expensive phone.

      • Rodney Coleman

        I loved my 6 plus but too big for my job. So I got the iPhone 6. All iPhones are beast.

  • iBanks

    I personally think the smaller screened devices are outselling the 6 plus due to price factor, not because of form factor. The sweet spot for most customers is a 32/64 gig model device. If you factor in that it will cost a customer $200 more to jump to the 6 Plus screen size at an 64GB model, many will create that built in excuse that they don’t need the screen size. Had the 6 Plus been priced at maybe $100 more but included 64GB storage, most would bite. In my opinion, it’s more so the cost factor driving the sales of these devices compared to the 6 plus. But hell, I’m still waiting on my Gold 128 plus. Ordered on Nov 3rd. Delivery date since changed to Dec. 12th alongside my 128 Gold iPad Air 2. Going to be a good day for me.

  • ♋JULY 17♋

    Its like Steve had a dream just like king ✊

  • Jamessmooth

    Interesting. The first day I got my 6+ I was ready to take it back and get the 6 because of its size. After a day of use, I can’t imagine going back to anything smaller. I fell like most people would feel the same if they gave the 6 + a shot.
    All I hope is that Apple will continue to develop the + model and not scrap it in the US due to low sales, because I love mine. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if they made it just a bit bigger.

    • JehutyFrame

      I think you need a tablet xD

  • n0ahcruz3

    In the USoA a Free iPhone 5c with 2 year contract is cheaper than $200 Moto G unlocked. LOL

  • Karly Johnston

    I think this says more about the death of Windows Phone than it does anything else.

  • gittlopctbi

    What?!!! A plastic phone doing well? An *Apple* plastic phone doing well? Don’t know how that works with the over-the-top Fanboys’/diss-Samsung-for-making-“cheap-plastic-phones” template. Also looks like lots of people will pay for a cheaper phone.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    I thought the 5c was considered a huge sales failure a while back and everyone claimed it was the biggest mistake in an iPhone that Apple ever made. It cost too much while offering too little. Everyone hates plastic when they can get a metal version. Bright colors weren’t suited for Phones. I think Apple had sold around 25 million 5c units and it was claimed to be a sales dud. One of the many reasons people wanted Tim Cook to be fired.


    So, is the iPhone considered a success, a failure or merely an Apple embarrassment? All of the above?

  • Tnt4ever






  • Wicrowe

    Well the 5c was available for the whole 3 months before 10/31

  • Матт Реякіпѕ

    It’s a well known fact 90% of all Android phones sold are “free” phones that cost only $250 unlocked. So it’s not shocking to see the “free” iPhone 5c outselling the $299 iPhone 6 Plus. That said there is something people forget which is the iPhone 6 Plus is still in limited supply. There are far more people wanting it than is available. And I’m sure a lot of those who wanted the iPhone 6 Plus ended up settling for the iPhone 6 either because of cost difference or they were tired of waiting for the Plus to get back in stock.