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iPhone 6 outshines 6 Plus over launch weekend

Adoption of the the 4.7-inch model has surpassed that of the 5.5-inch edition, according to mobile analytics firms. But is the smaller phone more popular or just easier to find?

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple

The iPhone 6 is so far more popular than its bigger sibling, according to the latest mobile data.

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially hit the retail market Friday across several regions, including the US, UK, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, France, and Germany. Apple revealed on Monday that it sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets over the weekend.

The company didn't break out sales numbers between the two models. But companies that tracks online usage of the two phones show the iPhone 6 in the lead.

Real-time global data revealed by mobile analytics firm Mixpanel as of Monday morning showed the iPhone 6 with an adoption rate of 2.12 percent among all iPhones. Trailing behind, the iPhone 6 Plus had eked out an adoption rate of just 0.32 percent. Mixpanel's data is based an analysis of mobile-app usage and covers tens "(of millions) to hundreds of millions of users across all kinds of devices," a company spokesperson told CNET.

Another mobile-analytics firm called Fiksu also showed the iPhone 6 in the lead. As of early Monday, Fisku said, the iPhone 6 had earned a usage rate among all iPhones of 1.7 percent. The larger-screened model rang in with a rate of just 0.3 percent.

Looking strictly at North America, analytics firm Chitika showed a 1.5 percent adoption rate for the iPhone 6 in its first 55 hours and a rate of 0.2 percent for the iPhone 6 Plus over the same period of time.

So does all this mean the iPhone 6 is more popular than the 6 Plus? That's a difficult question to answer.

It's possible that the smaller-screened iPhone 6 is simply attracting more customers among traditional iPhone users because it's large enough to entice them but not so large as to be unfamiliar and perhaps too drastic a change. Chitika pointed to the larger-screened iPhone's status as a "niche" product as one possible reason for its slower growth rate.

However, supply and demand also appear to be factoring into the equation.

The iPhone 6 Plus has reportedly been harder to find and had been selling out at stores at a faster clip than its smaller sibling, Chitika added. A Bloomberg story published on Saturday said that certain stores had limited stock of the iPhone 6 Plus. A survey of 386 iPhone 6 buyers conducted Saturday by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster found that 57 percent of them had expected to buy the iPhone 6 Plus, higher than Munster's forecast of 50 percent.

Many consumers could be going into the stores searching for and not finding the iPhone 6 Plus model and instead going home with the iPhone 6. Apple's online store currently shows a wait time of seven to 10 business days for the iPhone 6 and three to four weeks for the iPhone 6 Plus.