Big weekend for iPhone 5…over 5 million sold! Good news or bad news?
Apple announced today it had shipped over 5 million iPhones to the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK in the three days following the September 21st launch..as well over 100 million devices have been updated to iOS 6 the latest version of Apple’s Mobile Operating System. This figure is about 4 million more than the iPhone 4S sold in the first three days. “Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”
All this sounds like good news for Apple..not exactly! The initial launch number was lower than some analysts had projected for the opening weekend. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, who had predicted opening weekend sales of 8 million units, wrote in a note on Monday morning that he had assumed that Apple would have included units that were pre-ordered online, but will not ship out until October, as well as possibly lower inventory for the new device.
These thoughts were echoed by Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, in an interview. He had estimated debut weekend sales of 6 million to 6.5 million units. “This seems to be driven more by availability than demand.”
After pushing up the share price to an all time high of 705.10 on Friday, Wall Street exacted a price for lower than anticipated sales..at 1:20PM Apple was trading down 1.96% at 686.35. However, don’t think of bailing on Apple just yet…but it is evident from both Apple’s press release and shipping estimates that the company could have sold many more units had its manufacturing partners been able to produce them. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, thinks Apple will report 25 million iPhones (all models) in the September quarter and twice as much in the December quarter. She also expects Cupertino to ship a whopping 200 million iPhones in 2013.
So there is good news and bad news in Apple’s record first weekend iPhone sales..by any measure the iPhone 5 is a success and most analysts are convinced if Apple’s partners can produce them Apple can sell them. As far as being sold out..every store I visited late Sunday afternoon still had iPhone 5s to sell although Apple’s online stores are promising 3-4 weeks delivery. I ask myself where will Apple get phones for Friday’s launch in 22 more countries.
What is your take on all of this?