Apple breaks record: sells 9M iPhones in first weekend

Faith Merino · September 23, 2013 · Short URL:

By comparison, Apple sold 5M iPhone 5 units in its first weekend

If you were waiting in the breadline at Apple to get an iPhone 5S, you’re probably immensely disappointed to learn that you’re going to have to starve wait another couple of weeks to get it, since initial inventory has sold out. LIKE WE ALL KNEW IT WOULD.

Apple announced Monday that weekend sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C have topped nine million units, beating out the iPhone 5, which sold more than five million units in its first weekend. True to form, Apple didn’t break down the numbers to show which phone sold more, but the company did say that it sold out of initial iPhone 5S inventory.

But then again, word on the street was that iPhone 5S inventory was “grotesquely low” to begin with. So maybe this was all part of the master plan.

“This is our best iPhone launch yet―more than nine million new iPhones sold―a new record for first weekend sales,” said Tim Cook, in a statement. “The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we’ve sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5S, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.”

Analysts had estimated sales to hover around five million to eight million units.

"Apple, under Tim Cooks leadership, did a phenomenal job increasing its phone manufacturing ability to meet the demand in the market," wrote BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, noting that Apple's first weekend sales are more about how many iPhones Apple can manufacture rather than how much demand actually exists in the market. 

Nevertheless, Apple still sold three million more phones in one weekend than BlackBerry sold in an entire quarter.

Apple also announced that iOS 7 has been downloaded on more than 200 million devices, despite Miley Cyrus’s efforts to derail the iOS 7 PR train. That sounds about on par with Chitika’s estimates. A report from advertising network Chitika revealed last week that within the first 24 hours of iOS 7’s release, it was on 18.2% of iOS devices visiting the sites in Chitika’s network. By comparison, iOS 6’s adoption rate reached 14.8% within its first 24 hours. And as of September 4, adoption of Google’s Jelly Bean, which was released in July 2012, has penetrated only 45% of the Android ecosystem.

Also worth noting: more than 11 million people have tuned into iTunes Radio, with the most listened to song being “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake. So now you know. 

Apple shares were up 3.6% Monday morning to $484.30 as of 9:15 am PT. 


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