Even with secrets spilled ahead of time, Apple sells 2 million iPhone 5 units in first 24 hours

“Apple’s announcement of its new iPhone 5 lacked surprises. Most of its secrets spilled ahead of introduction, but that didn’t weaken early sales of the phone. People ordered more than two million iPhone 5s its first 24 hours on sale, double the previous record, held by the iPhone 4S, according to Apple,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times.

“Early sales of the iPhone 5 also set a new record for AT&T,” Chen reports, “which said it was its fastest-selling iPhone ever. Apple said the demand for the new phone exceeded supply, and while it can ship most of the phones to customers by Sept. 21, when the phone officially arrives in stores, some shipments will have to go out in October.”

Chen reports, “The strong initial excitement for the phone suggested that the early adopters, at least, don’t need to be surprised at the well choreographed Apple announcements… The strong early sales of the iPhone 5 are also a sign of how difficult it’s going to be for competitors like Nokia and Motorola Mobility to gain a foothold in the smartphone market”

Read more in the full article here.

17 Comments

    1. When a company’s product success is presumed to rely not so much on consumer merit but on devious product placement, marketing hypnosis, and NSA-style secrecy, its latest product exploding in popularity is strong evidence that EVEN THOUGH the product’s appearance is boringly unchanged and EVEN THOUGH the product introduction fell flat through the necrosis of Apple VPs not born Jobs or Svengali or Mesmer, and EVEN THOUGH the somehow all-important surprise element was nullified by tech blog grinches and canine rear-end sniffers—that that product somehow must have been (uh, we can’t understand how it escaped our attention) actually excellent and desirable.

  1. “The strong initial excitement for the phone suggested that the early adopters, at least, don’t need to be surprised at the well choreographed Apple announcements…”

    Whether a feature or function of the phone is a surprise at the announcement or not has nothing to do with whether that feature or function is desirable to consumers. I do not think early or late adopters will be influenced by the pre-announcement rumors.

    Sure, it is great to have a wow factor, but the buzz and anticipation seems to be fed, rather than attenuated, by pre-announcement leaks.

    Also, keep in mind that while many of the rumors were correct, many were also wrong, eg NFC.

    1. Totally agree with your argument. I don’t buy a mattress, or a car, based on some surprise factor. Neither does anyone else.

      This surprise factor is a tool (and only that) of the tech press to keep themselves in business by generating suspense about product introductions. Steve Jobs perfected it, the pundits (seeing its success) expropriated it and have been exploiting a dirty version of it ever since to jack up their hit counts.

      1. I think the word you’re after is ‘appropriated’.
        The ‘surprise factor’ is Apple playing the press.
        ALL consumer product companies keep their plans secret and hold press conferences. Apple just has products that people care about.

  2. I think the early leaks helped sales.

    It allowed the public to come to terms with the changes or lack of, of the iPhone. Then, finally, allowing the preorder within 48 hours of the official announcement.

    It was just good timing. In seriousness it’s good for the public to not have surprises. Sometimes it’s good for the individual, but, hey how do you control disappointment, when you can’t win? (this is not about a contest, it’s about public expectation.)

  3. Existing customers have gone through two cycles by the time they upgrade. My last phone was a 3Gs, waited through the 4 (loved it) and when the 4S came out it was a BIG improvement for me. iP4 owners have seen the 4S and want the iterative improvements of that model plus the new features of the 5. People moving from the 4S to the 5 passion/money than most of us.

  4. I don’t really think there were more leaks than most other launches…

    The first iPhone & iPad launches are the only two that really stand out as being pretty much “watertight”.

  5. I’ve gone 3-4, now going for the 5. Every upgrade adds new features that increase it’s usefulness. Screw fashion, my phone is an everyday tool that is totally indispensable.

  6. Build it and they will come… BUZZZZZZZZ… BUY!

    Build it and they will buy! Especially from a company that built a product that has won the JD Powers Award for Customer Satisfaction for how many times? Since the initial release of the iPhone!

  7. These spilled secrets are good for Apple and shareholders. It helps stabilize the stock price. Previously there would be wild expectations which would drive the stock up, then on presentation day the stock would go down due to disappointment only to go up again after the products were released. The last few announcements have not resulted in the stock dropping in value.

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