Apple supply constraints seemed to limit new iPhone sales, while 100 million Apple devices got the new mobile operating system over the weekend.
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Only five million iPhones sold opening weekend? What a disappointment. Consumers obviously hate the new, boring smartphone from Apple, which announced Monday that people are in fact clamoring for the iPhone 5, which is sold out in some locations.
"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 Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.
The iPhone 5 went on sale Friday and was met with long lines at Apple Stores around the world. In the U.S., Sprint stores reported sellouts on the East Coast by about mid-day. Apple's retail partners, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, appeared to have limited stock of the device when compared to Apple's own retail stores, which received the lion's share of shipments.
Based on the official sales numbers from Apple, it looks like some analysts might need to fine-tune their forecasting methods. Earlier this month, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted that Apple would sell between 6 and 10 million iPhones 5's opening weekend.
Five million iPhone 5s falls well short of that estimate, but still represents a 25% increase in sales when compared to 2011's opening weekend for the iPhone 4S, which sold 4 million devices. One has to wonder if Apple could have met some of the analyst predictions if the initial supply had been larger. Apple took 2 million preorders for the device in just 24 hours when it became available on Apple's website.
For now, availability for the iPhone looks as though it will remain scarce for at least a few weeks. "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," said Cook. "We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."
The iPhone 5 is available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The iPhone 5 will launch in 22 additional countries on September 28.
Right now, the iPhone 5 is being sold by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless, but a number of prepaid carriers, including U.S. Cellular and C Spire Wireless, will sell the iPhone 5 starting September 28, too. According to Apple, the iPhone 5 will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of the year.
The other big number coming from Apple Monday is news of iOS 6. The latest version of its mobile operating system became available on September 19, and Apple said that more than 100 million iOS devices have already been updated to iOS 6. iOS 6 adds a host of new features to iOS devices, such as Passbook, and makes system-wide improvements to apps such as email, Safari, Siri, and iMessage. iOS 6 is a free download.
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