The Channel logo

back to article Apple iPhone 5s still world's top-selling smartphone – report

Apple's flagship iPhone 5s has been the world's top-selling smartphone for two months in a row, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research's Monthly Market Pulse report for October 2013. Cupertino holds three of the top four slots in the top 10, with Samsung's Galaxy S4 coming in at number three. Top 10 smartphones in …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

who are counterpart?

What's their motivation for this report? How do they collect data (real life, surveys, fantasy, highest bidder?)

3
2
FAIL

Re: who are counterpart?

From their website: http://www.counterpointresearch.com/about-us

"Our goal is to deliver what you want."

And:

"All our data is based on solid statistical models"

Um, I'd like to know what they mean by 'models', in my part of the world that means "we have some data, and then we fleshed it out with guesswork".

Now it is entirely possible that Apple are right up there at the top, and in China there are loads of people who would sell their granny for one, but when you have some research company letting out questionable (where are your stats people??) looking for some free publicity then I am going to call bullsheet.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: who are counterpart?

"Our goal is to deliver what you want."

And the statistics to prove your point.

Manipulation guaranteed.

2
0
Silver badge
Gimp

Re: who are counterpart?

From Cnet: "Counterpoint's monthly Market Pulse report culls its sales data from surveys of major retailers and distributors across 33 countries."

So, all they are doing is surveying a bunch of large stores, which of course doesn't work hardly at all in China, where a huge percentage of phones are sold through small independent electronics shops.

I'd say that their surveys are probably useful in countries like the US where small shops have been pressured out of business by big-box stores like WalMart and BestBuy. But in a country like China, I highly doubt they have the ability to track total sales effectively.

And, understanding how effectively Samsung and the Chinese manufacturers are at getting their phones into every single shop in every village, I highly doubt that Apple is having 4X success outside the large luxury goods stores in the big cities.

Also, their claim that the 5C is the #4 phone in the world flies in the face of a lot of recent research showing that the 5C sales have been disappointing, and that suppliers have cut back their manufacturing of 5C parts.

2
2
Bronze badge

Re: who are counterpart?

"From Cnet: "Counterpoint's monthly Market Pulse report culls its sales data from surveys of major retailers and distributors across 33 countries."

Too true, one retailer these companies don't include data from in their survey results is the Apple Store (Apple won't respond to such surveys any more than they respond to The Register). So they end up being a skewed representation of sales only via independent channels. Independent channels account to close to 100% of Samsung handset sales and 50% of Apple handset sales (half of all iPhone sales are through the Apple Store) So you then get your answer as to why it is the picture mobile industry surveys paint so often diverges quite radically from the picture you get when you take (the far more accurate) global sales figures released by Samsung and Apple as public listed companies (see my post below - remember it's a Fellony offence to lie about sales figures if you are a public listed company, they are comparatively far more accurate, though practices such as reporting sales into channel rather than sales to end users need to be accounted for). The biggest problem with the figures these companies produce is that they don't report them frequently enough or with enough granularity for the public to be able to do apples for apples comparisons. However there are some highly salient figures reported for the question this particular article raises (again see below).

1
1
Silver badge

Re: who are counterpart?

It would seem to be a rare instance of someone not being paid by Samsung

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: who are counterpart?

Would you be asking this is they agreed with your bigoted view? ;-)

0
1

Nokia

Good to see two Nokia devices on there... Interesting that neither of them run Windows Phone

1
0
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Nokia

I'd like to see a longer list. With so many handsets, and even the Lumia range now quite wide, for any handset to make the list is notable but doesn't tell so much about the OS war.

0
2
Silver badge

Re: Nokia

> but doesn't tell so much about the OS war.

It is only Microsoft, and their supporters, that think that it is a 'war'. The others are just supplying the best products and letting the users choose.

3
2
Bronze badge
Alert

Re: Nokia

"The others are just supplying the best products and letting the users choose."

kindly explain then why Apple are so keen to take things to court with their bogus patents instead of innovating and letting the "market decide"?

1
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokia

Because Samsung copied the design pretty much wholesale. Simple really...

2
3

Re: Nokia

I am glad to see the Nokia 501 at number 10. It's a great little device which totally deserves its success.

I have tried the successor (Nokia 503) on Sunday and I am amazed at what you get for 60 quids these days.

Fast, efficient, bombproof and a great battery life

Phil

0
0
Silver badge

So the news is that the S4 slipped a notch in a month and the Note III move up a few positions with very little other changes. I wonder if Nokia would do better if they actually sold the Asha in the US? I know it's what I would get.

0
0
Bronze badge

"Apple's flagship iPhone 5s has been the world's top-selling smartphone for two months in a row."

Makes it sound like the S4 was at some point the top seller. It never has been. Before the 5S the iPhone 5 was selling more as well. Samsung sell more smartphones overall, when their non-Galaxy lines are taken into account. However their flagship phone has never outsold Apple's flagship phone in any quarter by quarter comparison. The figures have to be estimated somewhat, since Samsung don't release their sales figures (and there's only one reason for that, and it's not because the figures compare well). But even being kind to Samsung in the estimates, it's clear the flagship falls short by quite a margin.

5
7
Silver badge

It sounds that way because the S4 was the top seller for a while. If you go back to the previous month, September, when the S4 was knocked into second Counterpoint said:

"The Galaxy S4 came down from its reign of several months as it lost the position by a whisker."

Feel free to check their earlier reports to see how long "several months" really is. I know you won't because you don't want to know or you'll just dismiss the earlier numbers as being wrong. Whatever you want to believe is fine but Apple doesn't love you any less or more than Samsung or Nokia do. In the end they all love you from the bottom of their heart to the top of your credit limit.

8
3
Anonymous Coward

Samsung sell more smartphones overall, when their non-Galaxy lines are taken into account

WTF they have a non-Galaxy phone range? I wouldn't stop at a red light in South Korea in case a Samsung exec slapped a Galaxy sticker over the model name of my car.... They are putting Galaxy on everything and diluting the brand massively.

1
0
Bronze badge

@Eddy Ito

I'm not in the habit of making false claims or making claims that can't be substantiated.

"For the iPhone 5 [note: not 5S] its sales for the second half of 2012 were 74.7 million units" (so 6 months)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2013/09/23/second-half-2013-iphone-sales-should-reach-90-million-or-more/

If Samsung's CEO is to be believed (and Samsung have form for "massaging" their figures upwards), the Galaxy S4 has sold 40 million over 7 months. The few data points Samsung have provided paint a picture of rapidly slowing sales for the S4:

10 million total sales in less than first month

20 million total sales after first two months

30 million total sales after first 4 months (so rate of sales has halved from opening two months)

40 million total sales after first 7 months

The S4 figures I've given above can be determined from here:

http://www.ibtimes.com/samsung-galaxy-s4-hits-40-million-sales-mark-ceo-jk-shin-insists-device-not-trouble-amid-slowing

So it's clear this doesn't get close to matching the iPhone 5 sales, let alone 5S sales, which are much higher than the 5.

http://www.asymco.com/2013/09/23/iphones-5c-and-5s-launch-performance-illustrated/

However also note: the Samsung CEO provided his figures verbally and without qualification, so, given the evidence Samsung habitually fluff up their figures, I think it is quite likely he will have been counting orders as sales and rounding up his figures. It is also well known when they do publish figures, they give them for sales into channel (so sales to suppliers, not end users) which are will be quite a lot higher than sales made to end users (up to about 15% higher). Apple sales figures are into channel for handsets they supply to phone companies. For handsets they sell through the Apple store the figures are sales to end customers (globally Apple Store sales account for about half of their iPhone sales).

Also it's notable that the market was smaller when the iPhone 5 launched, so relatively speaking it's performance is even stronger than the total sales figures suggest.

5
3
Silver badge

But even being kind to Samsung in the estimates, it's clear the flagship falls short by quite a margin.

Actually, without the volumes (could be minimal difference between some positions and magnitudes of order between others) and more information about how the stats are collected then nothing is clear apart from Apple and Samsung sharing the market between them and sites like El Reg desperate for clickbait.

3
0
Silver badge

S4 vs Note III

I'm not going to argue about the numbers, because I currently don't know any reliable source. However, what I do find interesting is the uptake of the Note III. If the Counterpoint data can be given any kind of credence then that is quite astonishing but it does bear up what I have heard from a few sources that screen size is currently the main criteria for buying (non-Apple) phones. If so then Samsung got it wrong with the S4 but got it right by not betting on only one horse. Personally, I'm more than happy with my S4 Mini.

1
2
Silver badge

Re: S4 vs Note III

The Note III is newer than the S4, which may account for it too.

Samsung, like Apple, sells their new products fastest immediately after introduction, then they slow down after a while because some people decide it is worth waiting a few more months for the next model to come out.

I'm sure there are some who choose the Note III over the S4 because of screen size, but I doubt that a majority of buyers of Samsung's high end phones think the S4's 5" is too small and are choosing the Note III for that reason. If the Note III is still outselling the S4 in February then I might buy your theory.

1
0
Silver badge

@SuccessCase

So let me get this straight. You are trotting out 3 day launch sales and 6 month sales in an attempt to substantiate the following claims:

1. "Makes it sound like the S4 was at some point the top seller. It never has been."

Last I checked at some point in a monthly analysis would likely be a given month, not three days, not six months. It's possible that the given month might include the 3 launch days. Apple and Sammy often launch in different months. Apple claimed the top spot in the 5S launch month and have held it but that doesn't have any bearing on any one previous month. I'll even forgive that "never has been" could be construed to mean that Apple's iPhone 5 sales were greater during the 3 launch days of the S4 when I'm pretty sure over those particular 3 days that wasn't the case.

2. "However their flagship phone has never outsold Apple's flagship phone in any quarter by quarter comparison."

A quarter is 3 months. A quarter is not the initial launch 3 days which occur at different times of the year nor is it 6 months. It's fine if you want to redefine "outsold" from a month to a quarter but you aren't even backing that up.

Don't get me wrong. If Apple wins over a 6 month period then good for them, I hope their stock continues to climb as my three sell triggers are all over $600.

1
1
Bronze badge

"I'll even forgive that "never has been" could be construed to mean that Apple's iPhone 5 sales were greater during the 3 launch days of the S4 when I'm pretty sure over those particular 3 days that wasn't the case."

Check the Asymco link I provided. If you do you will see the iPhone 5 sales *were* greater over the opening weekend than the S4 by quite some margin (about 1/3). iPhone 5S sales were, of course, greater again.

0
1
Silver badge

I had already looked at the Asymco link. Those numbers are for the first three days after each individual launch and that's why the iPhone 5 shows up twice (21 September 2012 and 14 December 2012). Given the iPhone 5 was launched in different countries on seven different dates spanning three months, I don't know how anyone is supposed to interpret a 3 day launch window since I'm certain some folks traveled to nearby areas to get a phone early like the case of China where many people went to Hong Kong where it was released earlier or were actually purchased second hand from folks turning a profit on that deal. I don't know if the Asymco data balls up all other iPhone 5 launch dates and only breaks out China or not. Likewise the 5S had four launch dates spanning two months.

I understand what you're trying to illustrate by saying that 21-23 September 2012 was a better period for the iPhone 5 than 26-28 April 2013 was for the S4 but that isn't what you said previously which was;

"Makes it sound like the S4 was at some point the top seller. It never has been."

Here's a point, 26 April 2013 through 25 May 2013. Compare iPhone 5 sales to S4 sales in that period and tell me which had the greater unit market share and was the "top seller". Before you balk that it's an unfair period, it's a month and "never has" implies never, not for a month, not for a day, not for a minute, never is never. Also note that the periods referred to in this article are months, not the 3 launch days, not six months but individual, single, named months. Keep in mind market share only counts the number of units sold over a period or the revenue for a certain period, not total units sold or total revenue ever.

1
1
Silver badge

Apple/Samsung dominance

This list must make for rather unhappy reading for the CEOs of every company aside from Apple and Samsung.

5
0

Poor ol' 5C

I found it kinda funny that the iPhone 5 is outselling the 5C. So much for "Cheap"

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Poor ol' 5C

Maybe it stands for Color.

3
1
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Poor ol' 5C

Yeah poor old Apple selling squillions of their old model.

3
1
Headmaster

Corporate League Tables

Unless I owned or had shares in any of those companies, which I don't and never will, I don't see why I would be interested in which one is "winning", in fact having any single vendor dominate the industry is bad for competition and therefore bad for me, because it reduces my choices and thus the potential to satisfy my preferences. So I'd much rather have many different companies with many different products all with a more-or-less equal standing in the market, to increase the chances that my preferences will be satisfied.

This "radical" notion is called diversity, although its opponents like to stigmatise it as "fragmentation", because apparently they don't like freedom of choice, or more specifically other people's freedom of choice, especially when any of those choices support preferences different to their own.

And the fact is there is far more diversity in the Android ecosystem than there is in Apple's, or more accurately there is diversity in the Android ecosystem, whereas Apple has almost none, in terms of products, and certainly none at all in terms of vendors. So boasting that a product from a single-vendor monoculture outsells another from a diverse ecosystem is a tad disingenuous, and moreover that fact is of absolutely no benefit to the actual customers, who only really benefit from diversity, not any one company's profits, particularly as they're unlikely to ever see any of those profits (unless they have shares, and maybe not even then).

The fact that the Android ecosystem is by far the most popular (81% of the market, according to IDC) is absolute proof that consumers demand that diversity, and is a far more significant metric than which specific device sells most, for exactly the same reasons that the vast size of the Windows ecosystem comparred to the tiny Mac monoculture is a more significant metric than the sales figures for any single model of PC versus sales of the Mac.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Corporate League Tables

"Unless I owned or had shares in any of those companies, which I don't and never will, I don't see why I would be interested in which one is "winning", "

I agree. It's a phone ffs. I have however given this a bit of thought and I may have the beginnings of an answer. I think it's a rehash of the 'cool kids' vs the nerds.

Nerds derive their self worth from displaying tech skills and being the 'go to' for friends and family. They have been in the ascendant for the last few decades as complicated tech invades our lives. Then comes Apple with its iPhone and suddenly people don't care what the specs are, or what the nerds think, they want it because it's cool. Apple's success has made it obvious that cool matters, and I think this gives nerds heartburn.

Only real way to explain why normally rational people suddenly start treating consumer electronics companies the way others treat football teams.

3
0
Pint

Re: Corporate League Tables

"The fact that the Android ecosystem is by far the most popular (81% of the market, according to IDC) is absolute proof that consumers demand that diversity, and is a far more significant metric than which specific device sells most, for exactly the same reasons that the vast size of the Windows ecosystem comparred to the tiny Mac monoculture is a more significant metric than the sales figures for any single model of PC versus sales of the Mac."

Absolute proof that users demand diversity? That made me laugh.

Most users just want a cheap phone and Android provide that, they will go for whatever they can get and don't "demand" anything.

The high end has very little competition, it's Apple or Samsung. Apple have few, high margin, phones while Samsung have a multiplicity of devices. The rest (including Samsungs lower end devices) are high volume, low margin devices. I would like to see some decent high end Nokia devices make an inroad just for some diversity, but with Microsoft that seems unlikely.

2
1
FAIL

Re: "Most users just want a cheap phone"

Really? Then please explain why the most popular Android phone is also one of the most expensive?

0
1
Gimp

Where is the Z30 ?

I have one and an iphone 4S, ipad air, two Sony xperias ... none of them come close in terms of usability, I love the hub (best thing since sliced bread, honest! <- a MUST TRY for work email), the predictive text that I swipe into the sentence - it's learned some of my favorite wordings in no time (2, 3 days), and I use three languages every single day, never switch keyboard, it detects the language after the first word or two , the stability ... it has android support (not that I care), USB host, hooked up my 3Tb hard drive, mouse, keyboard and watched a movie on my TV from my couch for the fun of it (I have a network capable linux-based Bluray+"AlmostAnyMedia" player I usually employ for that). Blackberry has a native remote for my media player (freebox) like the others, syncs photos/videos wirelessly with my freebox in the background as well.

And it comes with nginx, ffs. Got the dev kit, need time to fiddle with it ...

And why is it not in the top 2 ? Sometimes I do not get it ...

0
0

Re: Where is the Z30 ?

It't not in the first 2 for the following reasons:

- People still think old clunky pull the battery off to make it work, style device when they hear blackberry.

- Nobody wants to take the risk to buy a device from a soon to be dead company

- Shops tell people not to buy it

- The few people who do buy it can't find their apps and complain to their friends

I don't agree with all of the above but these are the reasons why Blackberry is not in the top2 or even Top20 list of devices being sold.

1
0

i doubt it

The fact that the Iphone 5C and the Note 3 are in 4th and 5th place makes the accuracy of this report very questionable. We would be better off comparing the shipped/sales figures from manufacturers than this nonsense.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Opinion

Chris Mellor

How long before Blue Big HQ pulls the plug on the whole thing?

Chris Mellor

Drives nails forged with Red Hat iron into VCE's coffin
Sleep Cycle iOS app screenshot

Trevor Pott

Forget big-spending globo biz: it's about the consumer... and he's desperate for a nap

Features

Windows 8.1 Update  Storeapps Taskbar
Chinese Buffet self-service
Chopping down the phone tree to scrump low-hanging fruit
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.
Big Blue's big $5bn bet adjusted, modified, reduced, back for more
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Redmond needs to discover the mathematics of trust