Menu
iPhone sales top 9m, set record for opening weekend

iPhone sales top 9m, set record for opening weekend

Apple trumps analysts' estimates, but iPhone 5s shortages impede sales

Apple today said it had sold over 9 million iPhones during the opening three-day weekend of sales, an 80 per cent increase over last year's launch of the iPhone 5 and a record by a major margin.

"This is our best iPhone launch yet -- more than 9 million new iPhones sold -- a new record for first weekend sales," said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.

The 9 million includes units sold worldwide through Apple's own retail stores, those through its carrier partners' stores, and the iPhone 5c smartphones delivered Friday or Saturday from pre-sales of the new plastic-cased, lower-priced model which started Sept 13.

Apple began selling the iPhone 5c and the flagship iPhone 5s on Friday, 20 September. The tally also presumably includes sales of the iPhone 4S, which Apple has retained to cover the low end of its three-model sales tier.

Wall Street analysts said the 9 million sales figure blew by their estimates.

"We had expected 6 million over opening weekend and believe demand is proving much stronger than anticipated," said Brian Marshall of ISI Group in a note to clients Monday. Marshall, who said that earlier records had been "blown away" by the opening, also told investors that his previous estimate of 50 million iPhones for the fourth quarter -- the one that will end on 31 December -- was plainly on the conservative side.

Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. was even more bullish on the iPhone numbers. "This is well above our estimate of 6 million to 6.5 million that was at the high end of expectations ... and is very big for Apple," White wrote to his clients today. Adding that the iPhone 5c in particular "defies the critics," he added that "criticism of the iPhone 5c as being too expensive versus expectations, and thus demand would be muted, were proven wrong."

White was referring to expectations prior to the unveiling of the iPhone 5c that had centered on a much lower price of the new handset. Instead, others argued, Apple stuck to its long-running premium-price strategy, reminding everyone, consumers most of all, that the iPhone is a top-tier smartphone linked to a luxury brand.

Along with the sales announcement, Apple also told Wall Street it was more optimistic about the current quarter revenue. "Apple expects total company revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion, and expects gross margin to be near the high end of the previously provided range of 36 per cent to 37 per cent," Apple said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today.

Apple's fourth fiscal quarter, which ends on 30 September, is the same as the third quarter of the calendar.

The fly in the ointment, however, is that Apple has already exhausted its supply of the iPhone 5s, its flagship smartphone priced from $829 in Australia.

Within hours of the iPhone 5s sales kick-off Friday, Apple ran through its supply, first at its online store then at its brick-and-mortar outlets.

Cook acknowledged the iPhone 5s shortages.

"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," Cook said in his statement today. "We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone."

The iPhone 5s currently shows "October" as the projected ship date of new orders, but the iPhone 5c will ship within 24 hours.

Marshall of ISI said it was "hard to determine how quickly supply will ramp to meet robust demand."

But iPhone shortages are nothing new: When the iPhone 5 went on sale a year ago, the company drained stocks within an hour and shoved back shipping dates by two weeks. It sometimes takes months for Apple to reach a supply and demand balance.

Marshall raised his estimate of 2013 iPhone shipments from 152 million to 173 million to a higher range of 160 million to 190 million based on the opening weekend number. His revised estimate of 36 million iPhones for the third quarter would represent a 34 per cent increase over the same period last year.

By 1 p.m. ET today, Apple's stock had climbed 4.4 per cent, or US$20.42, on the sales news.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleMobile/WirelessIT industryconsumer electronicsNetworkingwirelesssmartphonesmobile

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments