Apple’s ‘flop’ iPhone 5c outsold Galaxy S5 in its first month on sale in UK

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Samsung’s newly-launched flagship Galaxy S5 might have hoped to capture some of the iPhone’s market dominance in Britain, but new research figures show that even in its first month it trailed behind sales of the iPhone 5s and even Apple’s so-called “flop” iPhone 5c.

The numbers were crunched by research company Kantar Worldpanel, which looked at smartphone sales in the month of May. The Galaxy S5 did manage to convert a few former iOS users to become Android fans, with 17 percent of new S5 owners being former iPhone users.

Even this news is unlikely to worry Apple (or make Samsung particularly cheerful), however:

“In general, consumers buying the Galaxy S5 were primarily attracted by its large screen size,” said Kantar Worldpanel ComTech strategic insight director Dominic Sunnebo. “This is something Apple is likely to address with the [rumored] larger screen iPhone 6 launch expected in late September.

The iPhone 6 is predicted to arrive this September, likely in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants, signaling Apple’s entry into the “phablet” space. Given that this is one of the few advantages Samsung handsets like the Galaxy S5 currently enjoy over the iPhone it will be fascinating to see what impact this has on iPhone sales around the world.

In the U.S., sales of the Galaxy S5 were ahead of the iPhone 5c, but behind the iPhone 5s. Overall U.S. sales give Samsung the slight edge, with 36.8 percent of the market versus Apple’s 32.5 percent.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Hey, if a bunch of jackass analysts and pundits say the iPhone 5c is a flop, then it must be true. They can simply claim that the Galaxy S5 was a bigger flop than the 5c. However, I’m rather certain that there are many smartphone manufacturers that wish they had a flop like the 5c. Any Apple product that doesn’t live up the analysts or news media expectations is considered a flop because they set the sales standards, not Apple.

  • digitaldumdum

    Cult is the first place… actually the only place I had read that the 5c was a flop. With a flop like that, I’d be doing just fine.

    • Luke Dormehl

      I just want to jump in at this point and reconfirm (as a proud 5c owner) that I agree that pretty much any company other than Apple would be perfectly fine with a “flop” that has the success of the iPhone 5c. I’d still argue it didn’t do quite the job Apple hoped — being a rival for the low-end Android devices that do well in a lot of countries — but my use of “flop” in the headline here was definitely sarcastic.

      • plaztik

        The problem is your still arguing something that is fundamentally wrong, and that only analysts and pundits keep blurting out again, and again, and again: That the 5C was supposed to be a rival for the low-end Android devices. Thus the whole “flop” kerfuffle…

      • digitaldumdum

        I get it, Luke. No disrespect intended! It was earlier articles on Cult—perhaps not even by you—that I was reacting to. Everyone (or so it often seems), wants our favorite company to fail. No wiggle room at all. I’m preparing for the otherwise blow-with-the-wind BGR group, who suddenly loves the notion of an iPhone 6, to start blasting it for every tiny flaw that will inevitably come with new hardware and software. I’ve been with Apple since the first 128k Mac, and the company has seldom, if ever disappointed me. Fanboy is a label I gladly accept.

  • thinkfurther

    Hmm. I purchased an iPhone 5c. I’m not the only one.

    • John

      Until you saw this data, were you thinking that you might have been the only one?

  • Barrett Jasper

    FLOP? No. Geared to the lower end spectrum and to compete with lower priced/featured smartphone market? Sure.

    • Joshua D.

      lowered Priced??? lol Sorry i had to laugh. I have a Nexus 5 32gb with better specs and better performance (from experience I owned a 5s for a month) was listed at $399 has top flagship specs

      this was honestly not a low priced device.

      • Barrett Jasper

        Most flagship and faster devices are 649-800.00 comparatively. The 5 was and is geared to compete with the lower prices smartphones.

      • Zak Taccardi

        it has the price of a midrange smartphone, with the specs of a flagship.

        The Nexus 5 runs circles around the Galaxy S5, thanks to much better software.

      • Barrett Jasper

        Debatable.depends on the features you require. There’s no clear winner. They all varycin different areas

      • jaffa99

        Yeah, they released a low-cost device – it cost less to produce. They sold it at a high price to boost margins. Same reason Apple have always sold small screen phones at large screen prices – higher margin. The funny thing is Apple fans often tout Apples profitability and cash pile like it’s some kind of virtue when really it’s just Apple ripping their customers off.

  • TJ

    I see a lot of 5Cs in Europe. Almost none in the US. Considering the US is covered pretty well with iPhones, I’m thinking the 5C did exactly what it was supposed to do, make new inroads in places they were struggling that are NOT Serf/Lord countries. In Serf/Lords (India & China for instance) the serfs will never buy a phone more than $20, and the Lords will all buy gold plated iPhones in packs of twenty.

  • Chiam

    Apple stock down 93 tomorrow on this terrible news

  • Joshua D.

    I’m an Android user and even I can believe this I have found the Majority of UK peeps prefer ios.

    Notice this is UK not the US. because we already know for a fact the S5 outsold the 5c by leaps and bounds in the USA.

  • Gianluca Iacovone

    FLOP
    FLOP
    FLOP
    FLOP

  • Zak Taccardi

    Look – how to write an article with manipulated statistics!

  • jaffa99

    I thought the 5c was a better phone than the 5s. Less delicate being plastic, ought to have better radio reception because the antenna isn’t compromised by the metal case, and cheaper. Why no red option though?

  • Craig B

    Samsung – that’s gotta hurt! Your new flagship S5 is outsold by an almost one-year old 5C. What will happen when the iPhone 6 comes out in a couple of months?

    • John

      All the people stuck in ‘locked down ecosystem hell’ will FINALLY be able to upgrade, and they will do so in droves.

  • kevinkee

    And yet iOS has half of the mobile web traffic in the UK, why?

    • jaffa99

      I think that’s pretty obvious – iphone users use more data. What are you getting at Kev?

  • Elviento

    In France I can see much more 5C than 5 or 5S…

  • Barrett Jasper

    That makes no sense whatsoever. Meh

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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