iPhone 6 outsells its big brother 3-to-1 in U.S.

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You've got the (force) touch! Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac.

The iPhone 6 is outselling the iPhone 6 Plus by a margin of 3-to-1 in the U.S., but that’s no knock on Apple’s giant-sized handset, according to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

The research firm’s sales breakdown looked at the first 30 days the iPhone 6 family of handsets were available to buy. It concluded that the iPhone 6 represented 68% of iPhone sales, with the iPhone 6 Plus making up 23-24%.

Combined, this means that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus represented a massive 91-92% of iPhones sold in the United States. The remaining iPhones were previous generation iPhone 5s and 5c units. This figure is even more impressive when you consider that last year the then-new iPhones represented a smaller 84% of iPhone sales after the first month.

While a 3-to-1 ratio of 4.7-inch to 5.5-inch iPhones might sound bad for the iPhone 6 Plus, that’s not really the case.

Not only is the iPhone 6 Plus half of the most successful iPhone launch ever, constrained supply of the larger devices means that we’re not yet getting an accurate measure of the “phablet” device’s popularity. CIRP’s report goes on to note that the 6 Plus “could exceed expectations, especially in Asia.”

If correct, this tallies with previous reports that Apple has been taken by surprise by the larger-screened iPhone, and has had to shift production capacity accordingly — moving from an original 65:35 split in favor of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, to a more even 55:45 ratio.

During Apple’s recent earning call Tim Cook himself noted that “it’s very difficult to gauge demand without first finding the balance.”

CIRP’s report also suggests that people are storing more on their iPhones this year, with the average storage capacity being 48GB — perhaps unsurprising given that Apple ditched its 32GB model in favor of larger storage options.