A survey of new iPhone owners conducted in December brought to light two interesting facts: 53 percent of customers surveyed bought an iPhone 4S, meaning that previous versions of the iPhone (iPhone 4S and iPhone 3GS) are still selling quite well, accounting for 43 percent of new iPhone purchases.
Prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S, there was speculation about the introduction of a low cost iPhone from Apple to compete in the prepaid market; this, of course, didn’t happen. Apple instead chose to keep the iPhone 3GS — offering three iPhones, something they haven’t done before — and lower its price to start at $0 if bought with a contract. The iPhone 4’s starting price was also reduced to $99 on contract.
All three phones are able to run iOS 5, even though the two older phones cannot use every feature the new OS offers.Yet, the combined percentage of sales of the iPhone 4 and 3GS suggest that Apple has hit a sweet spot with customers who want a cheap entrance into the iOS ecosystem aside from the iPod touch.
Furthermore, it seems that Apple has achieved entrance to the low cost smartphone segment, again without doing what many pundits and analysts predicted Apple would (have to) do.