Despite multiple media outlets painting it as a “disappointing” update immediately after its debut, the iPhone 4S is Apple’s most popular iPhone by far. A consumer survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via AllThingsD) suggests that the new iPhone 4S accounted for 89 percent of all iPhones sold in Apple’s most recent quarter. The US$99 iPhone 4 and free iPhone 3GS were both barely blips on the radar, with 7 percent and 4 percent of overall sales, respectively.

iPhone 4S unit sales follow a predictable pattern, with the lowest-priced model being most popular:

  • 16 GB: 45 percent of sales
  • 32 GB: 34 percent of sales
  • 64 GB: 21 percent of sales

Some other metrics found in CIRP’s research give some further insight into demand for the iPhone 4S:

  • 19 percent of iPhone 4 owners upgraded
  • 42 percent of iPhone 4S buyers broke their existing contract for an early upgrade
  • 19 percent of iPhone 4S buyers sold their old device

I’ve inputted CIRP’s results into a spreadsheet and compared them against the iPhone unit sales and revenues in Apple’s own earnings. The numbers I got for total revenues when going by CIRP’s survey results are only about 6 percent higher than Apple’s actual reported revenues, so CIRP’s numbers look to be quite close to what actually took place.

Keeping that margin of error in mind, unit sales of the iPhone break down approximately as follows:

  • iPhone 3GS: 1.48 million
  • iPhone 4: 2.59 million
  • iPhone 4S 16 GB: 14.8 million
  • iPhone 4S 32 GB: 11.2 million
  • iPhone 4S 64 GB: 6.9 million

This distribution of unit sales hews very closely to my own analysis of Apple’s iPhone sales. Of note, the iPhone 3GS is still the third-most popular smartphone overall, and with just under 1.5 million units sold it outsold all competing Android handsets (considered individually, obviously not in total).

The iPhone 4S is also eating the iPod touch’s breakfast and stealing its lunch money; with approximately 10 million iPod touch units sold last quarter, the 16 and 32 GB iPhone 4S models each outsold the iPod touch all by themselves.

Siri, define “blockbuster.”

iPhone 4S accounts for 89 percent of iPhone sales originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 26 Jan 2012 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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