After surveying a handful of US smartphone owners, the market research firm has found the following: As of the end of March, 94 million iPhones were in use in the US. That includes 25 million iPhone 6 and 13 million iPhone 6 Plus models.
“In the quarterly investor call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, ‘there’s a lot of people that haven’t upgraded to a 6 and 6 plus,’ said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.“Our estimates indicate that 40% of US iPhone owners have upgraded to an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. We see 56 million US iPhone owners with older models who are potential upgraders.”
As you can see from the chart inserted above, the iPhone 6 and its bigger brother are selling hot in the US, outperforming previous model launches. For example, the iPhone 5s sold about 18 million in the same period in 2013–2014. Currently, there are 26 million iPhone 5s models in use, but the phones are 18 months old, so we can expect consumer upgrades in the coming quarters.
There are still 8 million iPhone 4S phones in use – that’s technology from 2011, says Josh Lowitz, co-founder of CIRP. That means there’s another set of users ripe for an upgrade. “While they are ripe for upgrade, many of these consumers have owned their iPhone 4S for only a fraction of its three and a half years on the market. The size of this upgrade cohort relative to the number of new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units sold suggests that the coming quarters may prove challenging for Apple in the US,” Lowitz concluded.