Why didn’t Apple sell more iPhone 5 units opening weekend? How do we know they didn’t?

“Apple sold a record five million iPhone 5s during the device’s first three days of retail availability. But it sold out its initial supply during the same time, leaving Wall Street with the impression that it could have sold significantly more, and searching for explanations for why it didn’t,” John Paczkowski writes for AllThingsD. “Among analysts that follow Apple, there are a few theories emerging on the company’s … imaginary iPhone sales shortfall.”

Paczkowski writes, “But in the end, all of these theories are moot. Because, ultimately, we don’t know how many iPhone 5s were ordered over opening weekend. All we know is that Apple delivered at least five million of them to customers. For all we know, there could have been twice that number in pending orders by the end of the weekend that Apple can’t deliver for another few weeks.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

Related articles:
AAPL bulls hopeful missed iPhone 5 unit sales number will catch up to analysts’ expectations – September 24, 2012
Analyst: Why Apple whiffed on iPhone 5 sales – September 24, 2012
iPhone 5 sales disappoint as Apple fails to produce units fast enough to meet demand – 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
Apple: Due to high demand, some iPhone 5 pre-orders will be delivered in October, rather than September – September 17, 2012
France Telecom’s Orange: Apple iPhone 5 pre-orders surpass iPhone 4 and 4S records – September 17, 2012
iPhone 5 pre-orders top two million in just 24 hours, more than double iPhone 4S previous record – September 17, 2012
Apple’s iPhone 5 sets AT&T sales record; most successful iPhone launch ever – September 17, 2012
iPhone 5 pre-orders sell out in one hour, 22 times faster than iPhone 4S, further spotlighting Apple’s dominance – September 14, 2012

25 Comments

    1. yeah at&t for the first time said they were not giving a fully subsidized iPhone this year. i’ve bought 8 iphones, 7 of which i used. 18 months is now the full upgrade schedule. i did get the new iphone 64GB. I did get a partial upgrade of $200 off, but i had to pay $738 out the door. however i sold my iphone 4S 64GB for $349. so my end cost is $389.

      1. My phone wasn’t eligible for an upgrade (til May 13). My wife’s phone OTOH is eligible. My iPhone 5 will be delivered as soon as the UPS driver gets his ass to my house.

        1. I have the FedEx number in my posted app.. Been checking it like every 15 min lol.

          I got the AT&T store to deliver it to the store since I’m not home during day, this is a VERY long day for me lol.

    1. Yep. On top of that they can’t read plain English….

      From Apple’s web site, they said SALES, and sold:

      “iPhone 5 First Weekend Sales Top Five Million
      September 24, 2012
      Apple today announced that it has sold over five million of its new iPhone 5 — just three days after its launch on September 21 — …”

      Paczkowitz, what is it you don’t understand that!?

      Paczkowitz, your “we don’t know how many iPhone 5s were ordered over opening weekend.” only shows ignorance.

  1. Yup, I too was ready to upgrade my AT&T 4S. But at $685.00 plus tax (plus at least nine lightning adapters), my burning desire gave way to patience for the next iteration. iOS6 was a pleasant enough upgrade for now.

    1. 9…..
      Holy crap.

      I need 3 total, iPhone comes with one, the new iPod I’m buying is another, and I just need to buy one for the car.

      Prob end up buying a 4th to keep with me.

  2. Apple, we all know, says “units SOLD” not SHIPPED! I get the feeling that the ANALysts look at the other crap manufacturers really big SHIPPED numbers and are duly impressed, thinking everyone should do it that way. We know for a fact that what Apple gave in the way of numbers SOLD, means they are in the hands of the customers already, not sitting on a warehouse shelf waiting for further distribution – if that will ever happen. Not to worry, they’ll get over it.

  3. Apple’s lost iPhone 5 weekend has come and gone. Forget it. Wall Street already called it disappointing and shareholders got screwed. Coming up are bigger fish to fry. Focus on quarterly earnings and see if Apple has what it takes to satisfy anyone on Wall Street. I say they can’t, so let’s see if I’m proven wrong. Unless Apple comes up with some new revenue stream that doesn’t involve hardware, I’d say Apple shareholders are toast. Not the company which will have more money than ever, just shareholders.

  4. I’m no analyst, but I think that a large percentage of the people who want an iPhone 5 but haven’t gotten one yet are willing to wait however long it takes to get one rather than settle for some knock-off.

  5. In today’s news, a man almost filled his glass with water. When asked why it wasn’t filled, the man did not have an answer. It is speculated that the man was not as thirsty or perhaps he turned off the tap too soon. Experts also commented that the glass may have been too big. Stay tuned when our expert analysts weigh in.

  6. Number of orders over the weekend far exceed 5 million, I’m sure, but from an accounting perspective it doesn’t matter–even if credit card details were entered, IIRC the end-user isn’t actually billed for the purchase until the order is actually filled (i.e. phone is assembled, packaged, and almost ready to ship to specific buyer).

    As such, the money isn’t on Apple’s balance sheets until then.

    This is probably why Wall Street creams themselves over “shipments” that Samsung and others report–shipped means they actually already have the money, even if the product is sitting on a store shelf. Wall Street doesn’t care that much about actual uptake and market share like developers and users do.

  7. Doesn’t Apple have to hold off on selling every existing iPhone in the world to make sure that there is ample stock to sell out to the other 8 countries getting the iPhone on Friday 9/28/2012. All this gnashing of teeth because they didn’t meet Gene (iTV is coming every quarter since 2008) Munster’s magic numbers for the first week-end. They praise Cook’s inventory management skills as Apple’s secret sauce, then cry “fail” when he manages it. Rumors of scratches and slashed wrists over imperfect Maps, make for great speculating and herding of the public to run screaming in fear. Apple sells a record number of phones in one weekend, holding back inventory to do it again in 8 more countries on the next weekend. Apple does not let itself run on Wall Street Analysts’ advice. Perhaps the rest of us should follow their lead.

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