Report: Newer iPhones not selling as well as last year's flagships

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus aren't selling as well relative to other Apple models as their predecessors did, according to new data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

The market research firm said the two newer phones accounted for 61 percent of total U.S. iPhone sales, with the iPhone 6s taking 43 percent and the iPhone 6s Plus claiming 28 percent. While those figures mark an increased share of iPhones sold from the December 2015 quarter, the year-ago models accounted for 78 percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the quarter ending March 2015.

"The complete dominance of the iPhone 6/6 Plus and 6S/6S Plus form factors is clear, with only 6 percent of U.S. buyers picking the smaller format iPhone 5S in the quarter," CIRP Partner Josh Lowitz said in a press release. "Interestingly, as Apple launches the 4-inch screen iPhone SE, the large format Plus models continue to gain share. In the March 2015 quarter, the iPhone 6 Plus accounted for 22 percent of sales, and this quarter the flagship iPhone 6S Plus garnered 28 percent of sales and together with the legacy iPhone 6 Plus accounted for 37 percent of U.S. iPhone sales."

CIRP also said the 12-inch iPad Pro accounted for 20 percent of all iPad sales, "taking share proportionally from the smaller iPad mini and the mid-sized iPad Air." Apple last month introduced a second iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch screen.

Like other handset vendors, Apple continues to struggle in a market where smartphone penetration rates are near saturation and consumers hold on to their smartphones for longer. TrendForce reported last week that Apple suffered its largest sequential quarterly decline ever for iPhone shipments in the first quarter, with sales plummeting 43.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Apple doesn't appear to have received much of a boost from its new iPhone SE, which offers little in the way of new features or design. Sales of the iPhone SE may grow steadily, though, as more mainstream users upgrade older models. And Apple is widely expected to introduce a new flagship model later this year.

Apple may provide more guidance on its sales tomorrow when the company reports its quarterly results.

For more:
- see this CIRP announcement

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