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The most popular iPhone is still the 5, two years after its release

large iphone
Reuters/Toru Hanai
This year’s iPhone is rumored to be bigger—much bigger.
By Leo Mirani


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Every Apple event needs a central rumor to build some buzz. This time last year, the speculation was about a “cheap” iPhone, which was meant to take on the Android-powered smartphones of the world. Ultimately a cheap phone did not materialize, though the iPhone 5c was at least cheaper than its fingerprint-reading counterpart, the iPhone 5s.

But how much impact did the new device really have? Not a lot, according to new figures from Localytics, an analytics firm. The company looked at a sample of 100 million iPhones and iPads in use in August and found that the two-year-old iPhone 5, which was only on the market for a year before Apple yanked it, remains the single most popular Apple smartphone in use. The 5 is still marginally more popular than the 5s, which is used by one in four iPhone owners, and fewer than one in ten iPhone users tote a colorful, plasticky 5c.

There are two things to take away from this observation. First, many iPhone 5 owners will be coming to the end of their two-year carrier contracts. As the single largest group, that suggests bouncy sales for Apple’s new device, whatever it is. Unsurprisingly, a comScore survey found that users of the iPhone 5 and other, older models were the most keen on upgrading.

Second, the numbers could arguably give some pause to rumors that Apple will announce two new iPhone models this year. A larger, 4.7-inch screen is almost a given, considering the bevy of leaks that have led up to tomorrow’s announcement. Much less has been seen or heard about the supposed 5.5-inch model. With iPhone 5c making up just 8% of Apple’s users, there is good reason to conclude that Apple fans may not have the appetite for two new models in one year.

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