iPhone 5 sales disappoint as Apple fails to produce units fast enough to meet demand

“Apple Inc sold out of its latest smartphone, with more than 5 million iPhone 5s sold in the three days since it hit stores, the company said on Monday,” Jennifer Saba and Sinead Carew report for Reuters. “While sales were solid, analysts were concerned that Apple was unable to produce the new phone fast enough to meet demand.”

“The early total for the iPhone 5 topped sales of the iPhone 4S, which sold more than 4 million units in its first weekend after Apple introduced it in October 2011,” Saba and Carew report. “Expectations for new Apple products are so high that Wall Street appeared not to be wowed by the latest numbers. Investors sent shares of the stock down 1.4 percent at $690.14 in mid-morning trade. ‘It appears investors were disappointed with the slowdown in growth in the first weekend,’ said BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.”

Saba and Carew report, “‘We believe that sales could have potentially been much higher if not for supply constraints,’ William Power, an analyst with Baird Equity Research, wrote in a note. He forecast Apple selling 8 million to 10 million units in the fiscal fourth quarter ending in September. One of Apple’s key suppliers for screens, Sharp Corp, is struggling with high costs and scrambling to raise funds to pay debt.”

“Apple signaled last week that pre-orders outstripped initial supply and that many phones would not be available until October,” Saba and Carew report. “On Friday, fans lined up at stores in cities around the world to get their hands on the new phone, which is thinner and lighter and has a bigger screen.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Analyst: Why Apple whiffed on iPhone 5 sales – September 24, 2012
Apple iPhone 5 misses analysts’ estimates with over 5 million units sold in first weekend – September 24, 2012
Apple: iPhone 5 sales exceed five million units in first weekend; demand exceeded initial supply – September 24, 2012


  1. bla bla bla – we’re dissapointed with first days/weekends…. what a joke. its great being able to watch calmly from bleachers while everyone tries to finagle AAPL. When China is signed on, they’ll say it sucks because it was too late.

    1. Apple announced 5,000,000+ sold because that’s what they planned to sell. Don’t believe me? Who got up this morning before 6:30 AM PST to count orders for the pre-market Press Release? No. This Press Release was authored several weeks ago when Apple placed its initial order with Foxconn.

      1. Apple always fails to meet demand. They sell all they can make and people want more. Its simple. Shame on you customers for wanting Apple products so much. LOL

        And gt, yes I agree. Apple sold everything it made with orders for many more. Plus there are people like me that will wait for 2-3 months to pick one up. Using an iPhone 4 which still works just fine thank you. 🙂

        Just a thought.

  2. Truth be told… We were told 2 weeks ago that Sharp and LG were not able to supply the displays as fast as Samsung. We all knew this would happen as Samsung is unmatched in terms of production capabilities and quality assurance. A6 chips, chipsets and memory modules are still being made by Samsung. This comment is not pro Samsung but simply calling it the way it is. No doubt that in the future, Apple will consider their supplier’s abilities and capabilities more closely as they continue to wean themselves off Samsung.

    Things will settle down and life will gone on.

  3. BS they can’t supply enough. Apple Stores and FutureShops in Vancouver all have stock and NO lineups as of Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. I consider Vancouver a good sample because it is a large metro area with many Apple users and 3 Apple Retail Stores in the lower mainland.

    1. Point taken. Maybe just maybe…. not enough improvement to move 4s owners and not enough to fend off the GS3? I live in Ottawa and like Vancouver iPhone 5 are easy to find anywhere in the City.

      Speed tests aside, do normal users really care about all the tech specs or do they just want a device that works.

      1. I think in the mobile device category, tech specs are less important than the “usability” of the device.

        That said, I think the focus on snappiness has to do with the fact that some Android handsets were touting their processors and benchmarks as being significantly superior to iPhone. The tech websites that do benchmarks are, of course, going to highlight that, in particular since this gain in processor speed might have been gained with little loss of battery life as a result of Apple’s custom chip design.

        To your point, once you hold one and play with one, it becomes obvious that this is worth the upgrade. I’m not sure what the general perception is about this upgrade, but historically iPhone users have upgraded at a fairly high rate.

  4. They sold every one they were able to make. That will still be true next month and for some time to come. They will sell about 250,000,000 of them. And they have a net profit of more than $300 per phone. That’s a cool $75B in profits.

  5. “iPhone 5 sales disappoint as Apple fails to produce units fast enough to meet demand”
    Soooo, FUD-churning columnists and competitor-paid bloggers are spinning the over-whelming iPhone demand as disappointing?

    Yes. yes they are.
    Are we surprised?
    No. No we’re not.

  6. So let me get this straight: Apple moves so many phones that still can’t keep up with demand – and this is a BAD thing? If they had made more than was sold the anal-ists and others would have said, “demand is down because they didn’t sell them all.” Looks like Apple just can’t do anything right.

  7. Sometimes it is said to be good as it shows customers keep waiting for iPhone 5 even the supply can’t meet demand . It depends how the big investors want to interpret it .

  8. We thought it would 34 kadrillion units in the first 30 seconds, but it only sold 33.9 kadrillion units, so I think the company is doomed and I’m going to sell my stock!

    Also, I live in Podunk, South Wherethef#@kamai and the new map app wont show me a flyover of my Kiwanis meeting hall, so obviously it is a total failure.

    #1, Stop being so stupid and greedy.
    #2, Move somewhere worth mapping.

  9. Apple figure was only DELIVERED units, not the sold ones. That figure is basically 1st hour sales online, when they sold out for launch delivery + sales from operators and stores that had the phone to give customer straight away. The number they have really sold by the end of weekend is a mystery but it’s clearly more that the 5M.


    Apple’s figure includes sales from wireless carriers, retail outlets, Apple stores and online orders that customers have received, Marshall said. It excludes early orders from Apple’s online store that haven’t been delivered, he said.

    “Units in transit could be in the millions currently,” Marshall said in a research report today.

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