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2-to-1 iPhone 5S/5C sales mix resembles 2012's blend

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 16, 2013
iPhone 5C grabs slightly larger share in early sales than did the iPhone 4S last year, according to a Chicago-based research company.

If accurate, Apple's margin for this 12-month cycle should be flat compared to the period prior, and the average selling price (ASP) of the iPhone should remain stable.

Without a fly on the wall at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters, it's impossible to know how the company scoped out its iPhone year. The company may have had higher expectations for the iPhone 5C, which Levin noted was a first-ever investment, in that the firm has never had two new models to sell simultaneously.

Other analysts disagree with Levin's take on how the 2013-14 iPhone cycle, and the share splits of the various models, will turn out.

"Much like the original iPad, no one has any idea what the 5C is or who's going to buy it," argued Benedict Evans, an independent analyst who focuses on mobile technology, on Twitter today.

And others, including another independent, Ben Thompson, and IDC's Kevin Restivo, are on record as viewing the iPhone 5C not as a product meant to blow off the doors, but one that first of all cements Apple as a luxury brand and secondly is aimed at helping boost total annual unit sales by 17% to 21% over the previous generation.

"The important thing to remember," said Levin today, "is there are a lot of people who overlook the number of iPhones that Apple sells, and that it has a built-in base of customers who buy, and buy a lot."

 

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