5 Million iPhone 5 Models Sold In First Three Days On Market

September 24, 2012
iPhone 5. Credit: Apple

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Apple this morning has confirmed something anyone with an Internet connection and a modest understanding of popular culture was already aware of: The iPhone 5 is a huge hit. How huge? According to a press statement, Apple sold a coincidental 5 million iPhone 5s in its first three days of availability.

In fact, the press release even suggests that Apple could have easily sold more if they would have had more inventory going into Launch Day, though one analyst is suggesting Apple may be holding on to a few of these iPhones to ensure the rest of the world has a fair chance at the latest hit phone when it ships to an additional 22 countries this Friday.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook in a statement to the press.

“While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

Apple sold out of initial stock within the first hour of pre-orders and took orders for more than 2 million iPhones within the first 24 hours of pre-order availability.

Apple said today the majority of these pre-orders have already been shipped to expectant customers, while the rest are scheduled to be shipped in October.

ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall suggests that these pre-ordered iPhones might not be counted in this 5 million number, however. In a note to investors, Marshall writes: “[R]ecall the 5mil+ iPhone 5 reported sales only takes into consideration: 1) what was sold into partners (e.g., retail outlets, carriers, etc.), 2) sold in AAPL retail stores, and 3) direct to customers only if they signed for the device. Importantly, this doesn’t take into consideration units in delivery direct to customers (i.e., AAPL must have signature of acceptance by customer before it is counted as a sale) and we estimate units in transit could be in the millions currently.”

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was bullish on the iPhone 5 from the beginning, suggesting Apple could move anywhere from 6 to 10 million 5s in opening day sales.

Now, Munster believes there are as many as 1 million smartphones in transit, also noting that inventory this year was tighter than last year´s 4S.

“We believe there are two factors that negatively impacted the number,” writes Munster in his note to investors. “First, our sales expectation assumed that Apple would include all phones pre-ordered online. We believe that this may have been up to 1 million additional units as units pre-ordered after the middle of the first day were projected to be available in October. Second, we noted 1.25 days of Apple Retail inventory compared to 2.5 days during the 4S launch. Our 8 million estimate assumed full weekend availability and the counting of all online pre-orders. We believe that if supply were not a constraint and Apple included all pre-orders, the launch weekend number would have been closer to 7-8 million, assuming ~1 million October pre-order sales and an additional 1-2 million units at retail.”

The iPhone 5 has already beaten last year´s 4S in terms of opening day sales. The iPhone 4S sold 4 million units during its opening weekend, shattering the previous record of 1.7 million set by the previous year´s iPhone 4.

In other Apple news, the company also announced more than 100 million devices have been upgraded to iOS 6 in its first 4 days of availability. Despite any early naysayers, it seems a large portion of the world prefers iOS 6 and iPhone 5.

Source: Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

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