CIRP Survey: Apple’s Old Mobile Devices Still Highly Sought After

23 Jul


A noteworthy survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) reveals that smartphone users might still have an affinity for old iOS devices after all. According to CIRP’s latest data results, older iPhone models–the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in particular–remain highly popular even though the iPhone 5 consistently accounts for more than half of Apple’s total iPhone sales.

In looking at CIRP’s consumer purchase data below, one can see that prior to the release of the current gen iPhone, the iPhone 4S was by far Apple’s most popular iOS device; in October 2011, 90% of the iPhones sold were the iPhone 4S, whereas the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 accounted for only 3% and 7% of the total sold units, respectively. While the eventual release of the iPhone 5 would expectedly divert attention away from the older iPhones, Apple still managed to maintain the sales level of the iPhone 4S at around 20-30%, which is impressive considering the nearly insurmountable hype surrounding the iPhone 5 during the early stages of its launch.


CIRP’s key statistics, upon careful examination, reveals a host of other interesting trends. The gradual decline in the popularity of iPhone 5, for instance, is followed by the growth of iPhone 4 sales, the proportion of which increased from 9% in October 2012 to around 18% in June 2013. The sales proportion of the iPhone 4S, in a similar fashion, grew from 23% in October to 32% in December, and is still hovering around the 30% mark as of the most recent quarter.

The growing popularity of “old” iPhone models, to many, will unquestionably be associated with the rising demand for low cost smartphone devices, which is itself induced by the expansion of smartphone markets in emerging countries. In China, the iPhone 4 and 4S are continuing to appeal to consumers wanting to purchase high quality smartphones at lower, more affordable prices. The situation is very similar in India, where discount and phone exchange policies are making it easier for ordinary consumers to get their hands on the iPhone 4 as well as the 4S.

With regard to the iPad, Apple’s other major iOS product line, the older models have proven to be an equally popular commodity. In June 2013, nearly 34% of the iPads sold were the iPad 2, whereas the retina iPad and iPad mini each accounted for 32% and 33% of the sales, respectively. Of all the iPads sold, the 16 GB versions appear to be the most favored choice among consumers.


the iPad 2 remains the most popular of all the old iPad models released by Apple


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