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iPhone 5s dominates Apple smartphone sales

Apple took a chance last Autumn, launching its colourful iPhone 5C alongside the more sleek, feature-filled, and more expensive iPhone 5S. But did it pay off?

According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the iDevice scale has tipped heavily in favour of the 5S.

A new CIRP report compared September's lineup launch to that of the iPhone 5 a full year before, and found that the classy 5S outsold both of its counterparts in its first full quarter.

Snagging 59 per cent of total iPhone sales between October and December, the 5S soared past the iPhone 5, which garnered 50 per cent during the same period in 2012. The iPhone 5C, meanwhile, snagged only 27 per cent of total sales; the legacy iPhone 4S rounded out the quarter with 14 per cent.

"The iPhone 5s clearly excelled, selling almost three out of five iPhones in the most recent quarter," CIRP said in a statement. "The other iPhone models clearly helped, with the brightly colored 5C targeting a narrower customerbase than prior mid-priced iPhones, and the two-year-old 4s showing its age."

Based on firm's research, the iPhone 5S stole a hefty share from the mid-priced iPhone 5C and legacy iPhone 4S—an unusual incident for Cupertino's popular smartphones. In fact, when the iPhone 5 launched in September 2012, its predecessor iPhone 4 and 4S continued to sell strongly for months.

"In the most recent quarter we also saw models with larger storage capacities sell better than before," CIRP co-founder Mike Levin said in a statement. "We would expect the average selling prices for iPhones to increase accordingly."