Now, at the dawn of a new iPhone (and other gadgets), it’s the perfect time to take stock of where iDevice popularity stands. And where it seems to stand is in the past.
According to data from mobile analytics company Localytics, it seems that old Apple gadgets are proving more popular than newer ones.
The iPad 2 is still the most used Apple tablet, while last year’s flagship iPhone 5S lags behind its 2-year-old predecessor, the iPhone 5. But that didn’t stop Apple from removing the latter from the store, in an apparent cleansing ahead of the company’s “big reveal” of new devices Tuesday.
The “S” Stands For “Still Can’t Beat The 5”
After a year on the market, says Localytics, the iPhone 5S couldn’t beat the previous model. More iPhone owners use an iPhone 5 than any other model, with a 27% share, edging out its successor by 2%.
Judging by launch period sales numbers, you might have imagined a different outcome. They’ve increased with each successive model—the iPhone 4 blew past 1.7 units in sales back in 2010; the 4S topped that with over 4 million units in 2011, the iPhone 5 nabbed more than 5 million units two years ago; and the 5S beat all those figures in 2013, exceeding 9 million units in sales.
The iPhone 5 may be the most popular Apple smartphone now, but that’s going to change pretty quickly. People who bought that device on a two-year contract will be eligible for an upgrade this year, and if they buy another iPhone, they’ll probably go for the latest model.
Though Apple had removed the iPhone 5 from its store, the older iPhone 4S still inexplicably remains in stock. Localytics surmises it could be a ploy to attract low-end shoppers, but that seems redundant, considering the budget iPhone 5C is still alive and kicking. For now, anyway.
There’s reason to think 4-inch iPhones have a finite shelf life, whether Apple kills them all at once or not. We’ll find out for sure at the press event, but for now, it looks like the company won’t be developing any new ones.
Turns Out, Plenty Of Us Still Carry The iPad 2 Too
Apple’s tablet team must be scratching their heads over another intriguing detail.
Despite numerous releases since the iPad 2—including Retina versions, mini variations and a super lightweight model—that 2011 device is still the predominant Apple tablet, with 29% share of all iPads.
Apparently there’s no such thing as being long in the tooth when it comes to tablets. Certainly, people don’t upgrade them as often as they do phones. Apple also held onto the iPad 2 for a good long while, finally discontinuing it last March.
Apple Moves On From The Past
Critics may have taken aim at Apple’s previous refusal to put out an enormous “phablet”-style phone or fixated on its lagging iPad sales earlier this year, but CEO Tim Cook and his company are having the last laugh now.
Bloomberg notes that this time last year, the company’s stock was sagging and concerns arose about Cook’s ability to innovate and move Apple forward without any further lingering direction of departed co-founder Steve Jobs.
Fast forward a year, and the company’s stock is nearing a record high. Not even security concerns in the face of leaked celebrity iPhone photos can seem to bring the company down. Apple stock hit $98.36 by the end of trading on Monday, for an impressive increase of 38 percent from the year prior.
As for concerns about Cook’s leadership, the CEO will likely answer those criticisms at the press event. He’s reportedly delivering two of the most radically different iPhones than the company has ever produced before, along with a new smartwatch that bears no fingerprints from the Jobs era.
It’s essentially a show of confidence. Cook will need it Tuesday, when Apple enters brand-new categories that could determine the company’s immediate health and future course for years to come.
Edit: The story suggested Apple just took the iPhone 5 down from its store, though it had been removed previously. The article has been updated to reflect that.