Apple: preorders of new iPhones break first weekend record

Reports are now coming out of problems facing the production of the 6s, which may delay shipping

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 14, 2015
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With an increased order supply, it was already clear that Apple was preparing for its latest iPhones, the 6S and the 6S Plus, to be its biggest yet.

Now the company has simply come out and said it: yes, these phones will set a new record for first weekend sales. In other words, this is going to be huge. 

"Customer response to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world," the company said in a statement to CNBC on Monday. "We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25."

What's most impressive is how Apple keeps beating sales record every time it releases a new one of these, even if they aren't all that different from the previous versions. Though the difference between those new releases is slowing down.

The launch of the new iPhone 5s and 5c in 2013 saw nine million units sold, meaning that the iPhone 6 models broke the record, but not by much. Compare that to the growth that Apple saw between the launch of the iPhone 5, which sold five million units in its first weekend in 2012, and then the newer iPhone models, and things maybe don't look so rosy. It has gone from nearly doubling sales between releases, to just barely squeaking by.

Then there are the issues of phones selling out too fast. The iPhone 5 sold out in an hour back in 2012, making it so that all other users had to wait two weeks to get their new phones.

That is why Apple has ramped up production in advance of preorders, which started this past Saturday, September 12.

In all, between 85 and 90 million iPhones will be made by the end of this year. For comparisons sake, last year Apple ordered an initial production run of 70 million to 80 million for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, its first larger-screen iPhones, which was a record at the time.iPhone 6S iPhone 6S Plus

Interestingly, though, Apple has not released any specific numbers for how many were sold so far, as it has done for its iPhones in the past. 

There could be another problem on the horizon for the company: analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities issued a note to investors on Monday, in which he revealed that the company has been having production issues with the iPhone 6s, specifically with the backlight module, according to AppleInsider.

Due to the problem, Apple has reached out to a competing supplier, Radiant, which it hopes can help address the issue.

The backlight problem has already pushed shipping times for the iPhone 6s Plus by three to four weeks they go on sale on September 25. 

The new iPhones

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will keep the same sizes as the iPhone 6, with 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch screens, respectively. What is changing is on what is on the inside.

The new phones have a new 64-bit A9 processor, which Schiller said can improve graphics, making them render up to 90 percent faster. Users will see this mostly in games and video.

They will also come with 3D Touch, which detect how the user is touching the screen. If the user presses down longer then normal, the screen will respond differently. It basically allows users to see inside things like their email or apps without having to open them first. 

Where the the new iPhones really shine is when it comes to photos. The devices have a 12-megapixel camera, and it now comes with a feature called Live Photos, which animated still photos. Rather than taking a video, it simply extends the capture time, allowing the user to then play them back as if they were happening live.

The iPhone 6s will start at $199 with a two-year contract, while the iPhone 6s Plus starts at $299.

VatorNews has reached out to Apple for comment on these reports. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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