Apple destroys smartphone sales record: First weekend iPhone sales top nine million units

Apple today announced it has sold a record-breaking nine million new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models, just three days after the launch of the new iPhones on September 20. In addition, more than 200 million iOS devices are now running the completely redesigned iOS 7, making it the fastest software upgrade in history.

Both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. Demand for iPhone 5s has exceeded the initial supply, and many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.

MacDailyNews Note: The previous all-time 3-day smartphone sales record was “over 5 million” set in September 2012 by Apple’s iPhone 5.

“This is our best iPhone launch yet―more than nine million new iPhones sold―a new record for first weekend sales,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “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. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.”

Apple's all-new iPhone 5s
Apple’s all-new iPhone 5s in SIlver, Gold, and “Graphite”

iPhone 5s redefines the best smartphone experience in the world with amazing new features all packed into a remarkable thin and light design, including the Apple-designed A7 64-bit chip, all-new 8 megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and introducing Touch ID, an innovative way to simply and securely unlock your phone with just the touch of a finger. iPhone 5c features an all-new design, packed with features users know and love like the beautiful 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast performance of the A6 chip, and the 8 megapixel iSight camera—all while delivering great battery life.¹ iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c both offer more LTE bands² than any other smartphone in the world and include all-new FaceTime HD cameras.

Apple's new iPhone 5c
Apple’s new iPhone 5c

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c feature iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, featuring a stunning new user interface, completely redesigned with an elegant color palette, distinct, functional layers and subtle motion that make it feel more alive. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and introduces iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes.³ Over 11 million unique listeners have already tuned in to iTunes Radio since launch with the most listened to song being “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.

Every customer who buys an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more, so they’ll be up and running with their new iPhone before they leave the store. Customers can learn more about iOS 7 and their new device through new free workshops at all Apple retail stores worldwide. In the US, the new iPhones are available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, select Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space gray, and is available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the 64GB model.⁴ iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white and is available in the US for a suggested retail price of $99 (US) for the 16GB model and $199 (US) for the 32GB model.⁴ iPhone 5s cases are available in beige, black, blue, brown, yellow and (RED) for a suggested retail price of $39 (US) through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers. iPhone 5c cases are available in blue, green, pink, yellow, black and white for a suggested retail price of $29 (US) through the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers. iPhone 4s is also available for free (US) with a two-year contract.⁴

¹ Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
² LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks, check with your carrier for details.
³ iTunes Radio is available with iOS 7 in the US.
⁴ For qualified customers.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: Bloodbath.

iPhone is off to a great start — we hope to sell our one-millionth iPhone by the end of its first full quarter of sales. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, July 25, 2007

Related articles:
Apple: iPhone 5 sales exceed five million units in first weekend; demand exceeded initial supply – September 24, 2012
iPhone 4S destroys sales record; over 4 million units sold in first weekend – October 17, 2011
iPhone 4 sales top 1.7 million in first 3 days; Steve Jobs apologizes for not having enough supply – June 28, 2010
Apple CEO Steve Jobs back on the job: Over 1 million iPhone 3G S units sold in first three days – June 22, 2009
Apple sells one million iPhone 3G units in first weekend – July 14, 2008


      1. There would have been far more than 5 million sold last years opening weekend but they were supply constrained, as they were again this year. Apple has been supply constrained at every launch so far. I’m not sure how they could address this and it may never be cost effective to do so, but they are losing sales due to not making enough.

        1. Or perhaps they are increasing sales because of all the buzz created by record-breaking sales and being out-of-stock.

          I don’t know if the 9M includes *orders* for the 5s (like mine) which won’t be fulfilled until October. If the 9M is actually units sold (atoms changing ownership), then they nearly doubled stock from the previous 5M launch of the 5. How many businesses would take the risk of doubling launch supply, product to product?

          1. Well as I stated before the previous year they were supply constrained and quite possibly could have sold 9m that year had they produced enough and had them ready for sale in enough of their current markets.

            It doesn’t require a lot of risk to supply more when they will all eventually sell out. Stores aren’t going to be that upset if they sit on the shelves for a week or two. They could supply around 20 million pretty safely, the main issue is the cost of ramping up production that early. That may not be feasible or even possible.

            1. I think Apple knew there was going to be exorbitant demand, and I think they did everything in their power to provide enough phones! They want everyone to have them. I don’t think they are as concerned with being the ‘hard to find’ gadget of the year. Nine million sold proves that they did everything they could, obviously learning from
              Their previous years of not being able to supply enough. It just so happens demand increases faster than output could possibly ever.

          2. Also, Don’t forget. This was not just a US launch this time either. China probably accounted for at least 1/3 of those sales if not more. So actually, iPhone sales in the US were probably down compared to the iPhone 5 launch. Maybe the analysts forgot about this simple fact. Which just proves that they do not have a F**n clue!

            1. Dont forget also…China Mobile, with its 600 million existing customers of which 100 million are smartphone users still doesn’t carry the iPhone. If Apple has China Mobile on opening weekend next year, watch out.

            2. Seriously, your voting me down because I said the Analysts don’t have a F’n Clue? I’m a self proclaimed fanboy but seriously, look at the facts guys. I would have been a little worried if they said that they only sold 5.5 million iPhones this weekend. The sales had to be higher with the additional markets on opening weekend. I don’t think the analysts even considered the additional markets. So what exactly are they analyzing? I’m not dissing Apple at all! I account for 3 of those 9 million phones. So I’ll say it again, The analysts don’t have a F’n clue! The proof is in the numbers.

            3. We may never know if that’s true or not but either way, it was pure marketing skill on Tim Cooks part. Apple knows precisely what they need to do, when it needs to be done and how to do it. MS and samdung just keep throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks. Apparently, there are a lot of flies that are attracted to shit.

        2. I’d like to see what 9 Million boxed and packaged iPhones look like. How many ships would be needed to transport them all etc. Got to be hard to make and hide that many before launch.

  1. But according to all those industry pundits, nobody was going to buy either the 5c or 5s. I guess it was just all those Apple zealots who purchased them in the first weekend. Assuredly they will sell no more for the rest of the year.

      1. This is part of my reasoning. The record setting initial demand is a strong indication that the long term demand will be weak. Also, remember the margins. You do not want them to be high! Rather than a remarkably profitable company, you want them to get in the junk market. This will increase market share. These are among the reasons that the stock remains controversial.

    1. IIRC Apple only counts sales as those that have already been delivered to customers, i.e. any orders that can’t be fulfilled until next week or even next month, aren’t counted.

      Assuredly there will be many more sales reported in the coming weeks.

      1. I think the guy was being sarcastic. I for one will be getting mine in about a month. I hate lines, and I don’t mind waiting. Just having iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 is pretty cool. Holiday sales I would expect will be fantastic. Pretty impressive sales considering there are no buy one, get one free offers like we so often see from Apple’s insecure competitors. Maybe they should offer free concert tickets with the purchase of a new phone. Oh, right, somebody already tried that and it didn’t do a lick of good. I guess, in the end, it’s all about quality, ecosystem, service & support.

  2. And they deserve it! Apple does not make junk…but I will admit that those old flip phones from the mid 00s were cool. But that was the past, and unlike a certain someone here *i won’t name names* I am excited for the future, and can’t wait for new possibilities. The past is…history.

    1. Only the ones with disposable income, social aspiration, or ambition and purpose beyond pitiable self-validation and envious denigration, plain laziness, or cluelessness.

  3. I was trying to tell you, concentrate of the quality of the hardware and software and the user experience and everything will take care of itself.

    That being said, this Apple fan is going to hold Apple to a very high standard. I’ve detected ONE minor error in the user interface and heard about THREE others. This needs to be corrected. In addition, it seems that the Apple TV update isn’t what Apple customers are used to. Step it up guys, tell us what went wrong and what you are doing to correct it. Apple could come out better then if the Apple TV went perfect.

    1. Don’t pay attention to these FUD spreaders. They just want to take advantage of a few missteps Apple has taken. At least when those PC vs Mac ads were “spreading FUD” as the Microsofties liked to call it, the ads had some truth to it. This is just malicious lies.

        1. My comment was not intended to be “FUD”, I’m sorry that so many took it that way.

          Apple makes great products, and this weekend was absolutely extraordinary to sell 9 million units, and update over 200 million devices with a new operating system is unprecedented. I just believe that Apple customers hold Apple to a very high standard and minor problems need to be corrected. At this point it would “suck” to have a “bricked” Apple TV. Apple should just say what went wrong, even if the problems are with just a few tens of thousands of Apple TVs, out of millions and what they are doing about it. Part of being a fan is an honest opinion of what is going on. A few minor problems? Straighten them out, you’ll look good.

          1. Sorry for any misunderstanding. It’s just that, this morning on the TV, a talking head “reported” that Apple’s stock has lost a few points because of stock issues with the iPhone 5S. This was not an ideal way to start the day, and I became suspicious of any comments the painted an inaccurate portrait of Apple. Once again, sorry for any misunderstanding.

    2. Don’t you worry your little furry head. iOS 7.1, 7.2, etc. will be along soon enough to address what few issues that will show up. Same goes with the app developers and their wares. Unlike Android, iPhone are incredibly easy to patch and update. Your not stuck with whatever OS was on your phone at time of purchase the way fragamdroid phones are.

  4. Any doubts left about how much of this spectacular production and sales planning had to do with Tim Cook?

    Well done Tim, we never doubted your brilliant prowess…

    Well done Steve, for appointing a worthy steward and successor!

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