back to article There's ONE country that really likes the iPhone 5c as well as the 5s

After learning that Apple's iPhone 5s was being activated by carriers at a far higher rate than the less-expensive iPhone 5c, we were curious as to how the UK compared to the US when it came to that breakdown – so we asked Localytics, the company that provided the original activation stats this Monday. "Comparing the United …


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  1. LarsG

    Look it is a phone for girls, tech heads will opt for the most advanced one, but girls like the bright colours. Their brains are wired that way.

    Whereas the 5S sold out in seconds, the 5C will drip feed onto the market over the next year and out pace it. Girls like their bling you know.

    Sexist? Maybe. True? Yes

    1. Khaptain Silver badge


      Statistically, doesn't Britain have more Chavs than any other country in the world. Unfortunately not all Chavs will have the wonga required for a 5S therefore they will adopt the 5C, especially if they can get a Burberry themed case.

      In this respect the 5C will definately take over the 5S in sales terms.

      The Mericans got tham there Rednecks.....

      The Brits got Chavs, what......

      1. Adam T

        Re: Chavistically

        In LarsG's defence, all my wife talks about is the green 5c. She can't have one though, I'm saving up for a new dustbin.

        1. Blain Hamon

          Re: Chavistically

          "all my wife talks about is the green 5c."

          Your wife's a Chav? My condolences.

        2. Malcom Ryder 1

          Re: Chavistically

          A green one I assume

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chavistically You Brit's don't know squat about Americans

        No self respecting "redneck" would have an iPhone let alone a "colored" one (and not in a racist way dumbass)

        There will be a small percentage of female "rednecks" that will want the "pink one" but that would be the same for almost any cellphone with a pink case; oem or aftermarket.

        On the other hand, the female contingent WILL pay good money (we don't recognize "wonga" here) for a "blinged up" case or cover encrusted with rhinestones/crystals.

        Most real rednecks will happily spend way more $ on a bow or a gun than a cell phone. The "free one" is just fine...

        That proves that 'Merican Rednecks have more common sense than all Brits.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The 5c will also sell to the people who just want a cheaper phone - i.e. those that would have bought a '5' is it was still on sale - so yes the sales will still be good but less of an initial rush.

    3. LarsG



      You PC puss*es you!

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It needs a country-by-country breakdown and then after more time than three days to come to any meaningful conclusion. With the data available now you might as well say that canny Brits know that Apple's wifi is about as stable and powerful as NFC so they've gone for the phone with the plastic case to increase the range.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      More than 3 days data?

      But the hysteria will be over by then and new shiny attracting moths attentions.

  3. tony


    Saw a 5c over the weekend and was mildly impressed with the build quality, far better than I expected for a plastic phone, I had expected something like the 3g/s.

    Not my cup of tea but when you see the amount of people who put chunky plastic "protectors" around their phone I can see where there is a market.

    1. Fihart

      Re: 5c @tony

      Good point -- people spend all that money on a cool looking iPh and then, because it's fragile and easy to drop, spoil the effect with a crap looking protector case.

      New Nokias and Apple C have crap effect built in -- and no extra cost.

      If they really want the chav market they'll copy the stupid protector that purports to make your iPh look like a compact cassette -- cool and ironic ? -- except that it's far too long.

      1. Ragarath

        Re: 5c @tony

        people spend all that money on a cool looking iPh

        What? They are cool? When did that happen, did I miss something?

        1. Professor Clifton Shallot

          @Ragarath Re: 5c @tony

          "people spend all that money on a cool looking iPh"

          "What? They are cool? When did that happen, did I miss something?"

          Apparently they are cool if you drop one.

    2. Adam T

      Re: 5c

      The 5c is surprisingly appealing, especially if you haven't upgraded since 4 or 4S - feels solid yet feather light. Reminds me of the iPod Nanos after owning a classic iPod for years.

    3. David Cantrell

      Re: 5c

      What's wrong with the 3gs? Provided you're intelligent enough to not kick your several hundred quid of equipment around like a football they last well, they feel solid, and they don't break. And that's without one of those idiotic third party cases. Mine is, apart from a few unimportant scratches and scuffs on the back, as good as new.

      1. tony

        Re: 5c

        I'm not saying anythings wrong with the 3g/s but it's a useful comparison.

        If it helps maybe replace the sentence with:

        "... far better than I expected for a plastic phone, it feels better than something that feels worse."

    4. Douglas Lowe

      Re: 5c

      I'm still using my 3GS - which is still going strong even after getting dunked in the sink and thrown down a couple of flights of stairs (though admittedly with the help of a rubber case). If I upgrade at some point I'd much prefer to have another plastic backed phone, rather than one with a pointless glass back which just something else to break, so the 5c is looking much more appealing than the 5s at the moment (at least until the app designers have had a chance to make proper use of the 64-bit chipset).

  4. JDX Gold badge

    So all this "nobody is buying a 5c" talk is nonsense... even in America in in 4 people choose a C over an S?

    I'm not sure about the colours, but don't they do a white C - perfect for someone who wants a cheaper iPhone? It's basically a 5 after all.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      All the reports are clickbait nonsense. But this, it has to be said, is one of the weakest.

      Apple has been successful with brightly coloured devices before and will be again. The question will be whether over time sales of the 5c meet expectations - Apple is onto a winner whether people by the 5s or 5c or even the 4s - for continued growth.

      The underlying arguments for and against having a low cost product will continue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And will, for the time being, be not-relevant for this launch, as neither of the devices is a low cost product.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ JDX

      "So all this "nobody is buying a 5c" talk is nonsense... even in America in in 4 people choose a C over an S?"

      No, you've read that graph wrong, unfortunately. I had to use the "I wondered who'd spot that first" clause yesterday due to posting rubbish. Looks like your turn today.

  5. MrDamage

    Country Coded?

    iPhone 5s(eppo)

    iPhone 5c(hav)

    Now we just need an iPhone 5b(ogan) for Australian markets

  6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Clueless Analysts

    The analysts are clueless. China is and will remain for the time being a severely stratified country. Lots of poor, few new rich. Having a 1000$ phone is a status symbol. There is no way in hell someone with status symbol mentality in mind will show off an inferior status symbol to his peers. This is the same reason why you do not see any new mid-class exec saloons in an "emerging economy". You see either an "enormous shiny boat on the road" with an appropriate badge (Merc or BMW) or something out of Mad Max driven on gutter oil. The boat is driven (or in China chauffer driven) by the new rich while the mad max contraptions imported from the scrapheaps of the richer countries are being driven by the poor.

    There is no way someone who wants to be perceived as one of the "successful" will buy the lower spec gadget. In fact, trying to ship a "slightly cheper" option to places like China shows that you have no clue. You either make it as cheap as _THEY_ can make it (rather difficult) or you make it a status symbol. Inbetwen does not sell.

    What this data shows is exactly what was expected. iPhone 5C is not made for "emerging markets". It is made to fight Android mid-tier in established markets. Like the UK.

    1. albaleo

      Re: Clueless Analysts

      Point taken about the status thing. But for the man with everything, assuming he has five mistresses too, a 5c in each colour might be appealing.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      Re:" It is made to fight Android mid-tier in established markets. Like the UK."

      Spot on. The phone simply makes no business sense in "the third world". However, it makes a lot of sense from Cupertino's point of view if they are taking aim at Samsung, HTC, Sony etc as far as their mid-point offerings are concerned.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clueless Analysts

      Can't think why Apple wouldn't be able to get it made as cheaply as the Chinese. It is after all the Chinese that make it for them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clueless Analysts

      @Voland's - "You see either an "enormous shiny boat on the road" with an appropriate badge (Merc or BMW) or something out of Mad Max driven on gutter oil."

      You are talking about China from about 6+ years ago. Today, the roads in the cities are packed with mid-size, mid-price sedans, just like America or England. Most middle class Chinese families I know have become 2-car families over the past 5-6 years. Tons of Toyotas, Nissans, Fords, Buicks, Hyundais, Kias, Mazdas, etc on the road.

      Of course, the Mad Max gutter-oil vehicles are still around - the farmers drive them till they die. But you can also find lots of similarly dilapidated vehicles in any American farming community - I see plenty in the countryside any time I drive up to Chicago or Indianapolis.

  7. Anonymous Coward 101

    I expect an article in the Daily Mirror about how hard up Brits are reduced to buying the new iPhone 5C. Austerity, innit?

  8. snozdop

    It probably had a lot to do with vastly differing availability of the two models. Perhaps the UK was allocated far less 5s's than other countries.

    Every phone shop I visited on Saturday had cupboards full of iPhone 5c's - in every colour. All of them had sold out of the iPhone 5s on the Friday, and had far fewer in to sell in the first place.

    I was unexpectedly impressed by the iPhone 5c though. Build quality was exceptional and I was surprised how refreshing the colours were. The iPhone 5 / 4 look is getting a little tired.

    1. D@v3

      stock issues

      I was told by my local o2 store mid week (last week) that they weren't getting any 5s' for launch day, but would have loads of 5c's. You could place an order in store from Friday, and you would get it when you get it.

      Or, you could order one (5s) online from the o2 site Friday morning, and get it Monday morning.

      Slightly off topic, for all the people saying its (5s) not much of an update from the 5, they're right, but it is quite a step up from the 4s that I was using previously.

      1. David Cantrell

        Re: stock issues

        Meh, I don't think the 5s is much of a step up from the *3gs*. The only significant differences as far as I'm concerned are that it has room for an extra row of icons on the home screen, and a bit more storage. But not enough storage, so I'd still have to pick and choose which bits of my music collection to carry around with me, which is annoying. Those two minor differences aren't enough to make me shell out several hundred quid.

        I'll upgrade either when my 3gs breaks, or when they release one with 128GB.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: stock issues

          Larger and retina screen, faster, substantially better camera and fingerprint sensor - now if those are not important features for you then I agree the 3GS is still a great phone. I no longer have mine - but gave it to a family member who is chuffed to bits and uses it every day.

        2. Si 1

          Re: stock issues

          Yeah I really wanted a 128GB model as well, I'm surprised Apple didn't launch one considering there's a 128GB iPad now. That said I need it less for music (I've uploaded my entire collection to iTunes Match and just download stuff on demand), I want it more for all the 1GB+ games that are coming out now and for films which tend to be at least 1GB as well.

          Maybe if Apple lifted their restriction that prevents movies and large games being downloaded via 3G I wouldn't need that much storage and would stream stuff as I needed it. The all-you-can-eat data package from Three really is great...

  9. IHateWearingATie

    Don't see the big deal with the 5C

    It's basically a slightly updated 5 with a new plastic back - the pricing differential is almost exactly the same as Apple has done in the past with previous versions when a new one is out.

    Plenty of people have opted for the previous version of the iPhone to save costs - Apple were still happily selling plenty of the 4S after the 5 had come out.

  10. ukgnome

    This isn't a surprise...the iPhone is cheaper in the USA

    $658 USA price from for an unlocked iPhone 5

    $807 UK price from for an unlocked iPhone5

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The price is actually $649 (non contract - but locked to T-Mobile I expect) from Apple US in the US or £549 (genuinely) SIM free from Apple UK (but the UK price includes £92 of VAT - so the ex-VAT price is £457). £457 pounds is around $732 dollars - not sure if the UK import duties are higher to explain away the $83 / £52 extra cost or if it's due to being a T-Mobile (possibly locked) iPhone 5S.

    3. InITForTheMoney

      You forget to add Tax to the US price

      UK advertised prices always include Value Added Tax of 20%.

      US advertised prices do not include Tax, the rate of Tax that must be added to the advertised price at point of sale varies from state to state, Americans know to add state sales tax on to the price they see advertised, Brits don't need to add anything on, as the advertised price already includes all taxes.

      Quoting the two prices and pointing out the disparity gives an unfair comparison, since you fail to add GST to the US advertised price, the price paid by a US consumer is higher than the advertised price, the price paid by a UK consumer is not.

      If you add 20% to $658 it comes a lot closer to the $807 the UK customer would pay. This means that Apple is making a similar level of profit in both markets (after accounting for daily variances in currency exchange), you cant really blame Apple for making the iPhone more expensive in the UK, the UK Government sets the rate of tax and mandates how prices are displayed and advertised.

      1. s2bu

        Re: You forget to add Tax to the US price

        Except sales tax here is usually around 8.5%, not 20%.

        1. Steve I

          Re: You forget to add Tax to the US price

          "Except sales tax here is usually around 8.5%, not 20%."

          He's talking about how much the US price would cost in the UK, so adding 20% is right.

  11. Hairy Spod

    valid statistics?

    Surely these statistics would only vailid if the 5S was available rather than sold out everywhere.

    The difference might be down to a more limited supply of the 5S to Blighty and plenty of 5C availability and that a few dissapointed punters have temporarily settled for a 5C with an eye to selling it on at a later date rather than actual customer preference?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: valid statistics?

      " a few dissapointed punters have temporarily settled for a 5C with an eye to selling it on at a later date rather than actual customer preference?"

      Surely no one has gone out and bought something they didn't want just in order to have bought something, have they?

  12. kmac499

    Skinned Phones

    Maybe some will try and camouflage their 5C in a case and pretend it's a 5S but popping any phone in a skin makes damn good sense to me. Especially if you wee teh one to shell out for the latest bestest phone via offspring pester power\blackmail..

    I've got a really nice slightly translucent brown silicone skin wrapped around Ole'faithful (an HTC wildfire also in a tasty shade of brown)

    Cushions the phone nicely, gives it a comfy grip.. stops it sliding across surfaces and although it won't do full waterproofing, it does allow the phone to play in puddles on bar room tables without getting upset.

  13. Steve Knox

    I see no contradiction here

    The iPhone 5c has been widely assumed to be targeted at ... less economically advanced countries. After three days of sales, at least, the market with the greatest preference for it over its pricier sibling is the UK

    See title.

  14. john devoy

    Could it also be that the 5c is actually available and a lot of people would rather settle for that than leave the shop with nothing.

  15. Nanners


    I'm a man on the US. I think the 5c is the future. Cheaper and more easily produced. It gives you some choice to make it personalized and is easily updated in the future to be even more personalized. Cheaper, faster, and more advanced materials is the future of iPhone.

  16. Adam Jarvis

    Its 10 days of Sales of 5C against 3 days of Sales of 5S.

    Trouble is, it isn't after three days of sales is it. Its after a total of 10 days of sales of the 5C* and 3 days of Sales of the 5S. As all those pre-ordered 5C in the first 7 days will have arrived on the Friday, on the first day of sales of the 5S. Clever, it makes it look like the 5C is popular when it obviously isn't.

    *7 days of pre-orders + 3 days of actual sales of the 5C.

  17. BigAndos

    I agree with you, now that smartphones are reaching a plateau in terms of features why not focus on making them cheaper? As well as being easier to buy, not so much of an issue if you lose it or break it. Also, perhaps there is scope to incorporate more recycled or recyclable material too.

    1. Fihart


      ".......smartphones are reaching a plateau in terms of features why not focus on making them cheaper?"

      Precisely what ZTE and Huawei are doing -- in no time at all we may be reading predictions about the end of Apple and Samsung. HTC, MSNokia, Blackberry, Moto will already be history.

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    5c market is all in Apple's head

    I think, in Apple's mind, the 5c *is* a "low cost" phone for "emerging markets." They just are not really in touch with reality, don't know what a low cost phone *really* costs, and for that matter wouldn't price it low enough even if they did know.

    "Can't think why Apple wouldn't be able to get it made as cheaply as the Chinese. It is after all the Chinese that make it for them."

    1) They do get it made as cheaply as the Chinese, since they are made in Chinese factories. The manufacturing cost for both is estimated at under $200. Apple just puts a colossal markup on these phones. Of course, it is only in Apple's (or dumb analysts) minds that the 5c has any particular market it is competitive in.

    2) The actually low cost phones cost less because, besides not having Apple's colossal markup, they use less expensive components. When a company can sell a smartphone -- at a profit -- for $99, obviously they are not spending $173 (estimate for 5c) or $199 (estimate for 5s) just on components and manufacturing. Some of these cut too many corners (like 600mhz CPU and 256MB of RAM or something) but others at almost the same cost (like within $5-10) will at least have 1ghz CPU and 512MB-1GB of RAM, which is really quite fine.

  19. Andy Hards

    Staff in 3 stores have been given a 5c!

    Passing the local 3 store the other day I saw lots of fruit bowls with apples in them (see what they did?) and after wandering in and speaking to one of the salespeople I noticed that each and every one of the actual sales people had been given a 5c. I asked if people had been buying them and the girl said yes but if every 3 employee in the uk got given one, that's a lot of 5c's.

  20. Waspy

    Price conscious public?

    If you were shopping around for a low price handset, why the fuck would you by an iPhone? If it's colourful plastic you like then - dare I say it - you could get a well made and easy to use Nokia Lumia for about a quarter of the price. Judging from the reviews the Nokia plastic is better wearing anyway and won't scratch within a few days.

    But then most people don't actually buy phones for utility, despite how much they try and convince themselves.

    The 5c may be cheaper than a 5s but cheaper doesn't necessarily mean cheap...

  21. JeffyPoooh

    Not fair

    Of course the UK will win any Frugality Contest.

    You've got wee-feisty, tighter-than-a-tight-thingy, Scotland.

  22. PJI

    Foolish figures

    I noticed some silly figures comparing UK and USA iPhone sales as a proportion of all sales.

    It would seem that the author knows no geography: Great Britain is a small to middling state in Northern Europe, without about 65 million people. The USA is a large entity, many thousands of kilometres the other side of the Atlantic, with roughly 300 million people. It would be somewhat astonishing if GB managed to be the market for a similar proportion of the worlds iPhone market.

    In fact, it would make more sense to compare UK with similar European states, such as Germany and France. When Switzerland finally gets its ration (Zurich Apple shop had no idea on Monday), compare it with USA perhaps (though not for worldwide proportion - just 7 millions or so population) as it is known as an iPhone friendly country.

    It does seem that Brit. media types really do think the UK is part and parcel of the USA.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Re: Foolish figures

      "...without about 65 million people."

      Without? OMG! Where'd they all go?


  23. RubberJohnny

    But duh!

    It's very difficult to get hold of a 5S, I have to wait for an unspecified date in Oct/Nov before I can get a 5S, therefore I am unable to activate it. Maybe there are more 5S available in the US and other terrotories.

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