We can hardly say we're surprised. The numbers are nothing short of outstanding and record setting, and they fulfill our prediction that Apple would easily top analyst estimates of five to six million total devices sold. Next we will begin to hear about Apple delivering its next earnings reports at the high end of their guidance numbers. As noted at the end of our iOS 7 ecosystem report last week, buy Apple. It's worth repeating.
This morning Apple officially announced that it sold a record-shattering nine million new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models over the launch weekend. Both iPhones went on sale on Sept. 20 - and as much as Samsung might want to spoof those iPhone fanatics waiting on line to get their hands on them, Samsung can only wish that they had the same sort of thing to advertise.
The lines were back big time for the new releases, and while it is true that the "rampant fervor" of the past isn't quite the same today there was a clear new round of excitement in the air as far as "desire to acquire" is concerned. Both the iPhone 5S and 5C are now available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. The coordinated global launch has been successful.
Apple notes that demand has in fact exceeded supplies, limiting the total number sold - it likely would have surpassed 10 million at the least had supplies been adequate. Apple adds that many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks that simply cannot be met at this point.
Apple CEO Tim Cook notes for the record, "This is our best iPhone launch yet, with more than nine million new iPhones sold, and a new record for first weekend sales. 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."
It is worth noting that demand for the new champagne (gold) color has far exceeded demand. Some folks have speculated that the ultra-limited supply was purposefully crafted by the crafty marketing team at Apple in order to create pent-up demand. It may indeed be a case of turning lead into gold if this is true! There may prove to be a secondary market for creating iPhones made of real gold - the Asian markets, as we've noted elsewhere at various times, love their gold mechanical watches - a real gold iPhone 5S may find entirely new avenues for revenue!
It is also worth noting that a number of carriers and Apple are offering trade-ins for older iPhones. In many cases this will make the upgrade process almost painless from a dollar perspective. In fact, we may end up seeing a higher percentage of 32 and 64 GB iPhones sold as a result. It will be interesting to track these numbers.
Apple also notes that in the very few days since iOS 7 became available - last Wednesday, Sept. 18 - more than 200 million iOS devices have now been updated and are now running the completely redesigned iOS 7, making it the fastest software upgrade in history. We ourselves fully believe that there is no reason to wait upgrading - do it now and reap the myriad benefits. There is no downside.
We do need to note that the new Touch ID finger scanning capabilities on the iPhone 5S might be hackable. Is this something that may come back to haunt Apple sales? It depends - if you plan to use your iPhone 5S for serious spy-level work we might be concerned. Otherwise, think of this as nothing more than tech media noise that truly means nothing to the rest of us not in the serious spy business game.
We'll also note that the iPhone 5S brings something to the game that is far more important from an integrated ecosystem approach - the eventual integration of the Mac OS and iOS. We'll come back to that story under separate cover but for us this is the biggest hidden news underneath all of the very visible UI goodies of iOS 7.
TechZone360 Senior Editor
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