Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to release its earnings numbers for the last three months this afternoon. Analysts and investors are doing everything they can to try and predict what the company’s numbers will look like, but there’s a lot of risk in playing an earnings report. Some new information about the company’s iPhone sales was released in advance of the report, and may help investors make the tough decisions.

apple earnings

Apple Insider picked up on a report from Localytics which shows the proportion of each iPhone that’s in active use. The report shows that the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c have been selling well, but the less expensive iPhone is not selling anywhere near as well as the premium model.

iPhone sales

The Localytics report showed that the iPhone 5s makes up about 3.8% of the population of active iPhones out there. the iPhone 5c makes up just 1.7% of the population according to the report. The most popular Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smart phone is the iPhone 5, which holds 39.8% of the market.

The rest of the list is made up of the iPhone 4s at 32.9%, the iPhone 4 at 20.2%, and other iPhones at 1.6%. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) clearly does an excellent job of getting its latest iPhone to the front of the pack extremely quickly, but the iPhone 5c numbers probably represent a worry for investors.

A report released a few weeks ago indicated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had cut its production order for the iPhone 5c on the back of weak demand for its less expensive smartphone offering. Today’s report backs up the idea that demand for the phone has been low, but it does indicate that the iPhone 5s has sold extremely well in the month since its release.

Apple earnings

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a smartphone company that has another couple of products on the side. The firm’s earnings are almost entirely based in iPhone sales, and that means that products sales numbers are the single-most important statistic heading into most earnings reports.

Estimates for iPhone sales in the fourth quarter of the year have a wide range, but consensus is somewhere in the region of 31-32 million units shipped in the three months. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings will need to impress investors on this metric to avoid a drop in shares after close.