Like a Hollywood studio Apple just released the weekend “box office” numbers for iPhone 5: “more than 5 million” sold. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster had expected a larger number: roughly eight million. Given those expectations this performance may be seen as something of a disappointment. However it beats the iPhone 4S, which saw sales of 4 million on “opening weekend.”
Does that mean an iPhone 6 would initially sell six million?
Apple said supply constraints were to blame for not selling more. Apple CEO Tim Cook is quoted in the release saying:
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.
Apple released the device to a much wider range of countries simultaneously than in the past. And had more handsets been available more would likely have been sold, as suggested by Cook’s remark.
While most people will be reporting on iPhone 5 sales, a much bigger deal in my view is the fact that there are now “more than 100 million iOS devices” in the market. This represents millions upon millions of immediate upgrades. And it means that software like Passbook is now on 100 million phones.
Postscript: This CNBC video further explains the iPhone numbers and indicates that the five million number doesn’t count everything. So final weekend sales may have been greater.