UPDATE (9/30/14): The North American user bases of both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus exhibited usage share growth within the iPhone ecosystem since our last study on the subject on September 21.
iPhone 6 users now generate 2.3% of total North American iPhone-based Web traffic – a figure roughly 0.8 percentage points higher than what was observed the first weekend following release. Meanwhile, the share of U.S. and Canadian iPhone-based Web traffic driven by iPhone 6 Plus users reached 0.3%, an increase of 0.1 percentage points since the first post-release weekend.
In terms of the share of North American iPhone Web traffic generated, iPhone 6 models are behind what was exhibited by iPhone 5 users following that phone’s launch in 2012. Several factors are likely contributing to the smaller usage share, among them, delays in meeting existing demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, along with the domestic iPhone user base having grown in size in the two years since the launch of the iPhone 5. However, as the North American supply of both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus begins to catch up with demand in the coming weeks and months, we expect to see each device’s corresponding North American usage share continue to rise, possibly at more accelerated rates.
ORIGINAL POST (9/22/14): Apple unveiled its two newest iPhone iterations on September 9, 2014, before ultimately releasing both models ten days later across the U.S, Canada, and several other countries. Apple stated that pre-orders for the iPhone 6 in particular reached over 4 million in the first 24 hours following the September 9 announcement – nearly doubling the number of iPhone 5 preorders in 2012, the previous record. Subsequent usage growth for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has been impressive, with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus also showing progress but trailing its smaller counterpart. However, supply delays for both phones may be to blame for initial usage growth rates being slightly behind those of the iPhone 5 in the same post-launch time period.
To quantify usage growth of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus over the first weekend following their simultaneous releases, Chitika Insights examined millions of U.S. and Canadian iPhone-based online ad impressions generated between September 19 and 21, 2014. Usage rates of each phone were then graphed as a percentage of total North American iPhone Web traffic, and are displayed on a three-hour rolling average for the purposes of clarity.
In order to provide a historical point of comparison, an additional graph overlays average daily iPhone 6 and 6 Plus iPhone Web traffic shares on top of the first weekend adoption data we catalogued for the iPhone 5 between September 21 and 23, 2012. Both graphs can be seen below.
iPhone 6 users are generating a steadily growing portion of North American iPhone Web traffic, surpassing a 1.5% usage share less than two days following the September 19 launch. That figure is roughly one percentage point behind what we observed for the iPhone 5 over the same time period following its public release, but it is nonetheless a notable achievement. For some perspective, it took North American Samsung Galaxy S5 users over a week to generate a 1.5% share of Samsung smartphone Web traffic.
The iPhone 6 Plus exhibiting a slower growth rate isn’t a tremendous surprise due to the phone’s size giving it more of a niche appeal as opposed to the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Additionally, while supply delays have impacted the ability to meet demand for both devices, the iPhone 6 Plus has been selling out at retail stores much more frequently than the traditional model.
While Apple did not specify any country-by-country breakdown of its record-setting iPhone 6 presale, it’s reasonable to assume that a sizable percentage of those purchases were made by U.S. and Canadian consumers. As Apple is still in the process of fulfilling its device preorders with shipping dates for some models still on the horizon, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus usage rates are expected to continue trending upwards for some time. However, the exact velocity of these changes, along with how long the growth may last, remains to be seen.