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Apple iPhone Sales Break Record

More than 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices were sold over the weekend.
 Apple's Next Chapter: 10 Key Issues
Apple's Next Chapter: 10 Key Issues
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Apple's iPhone still has it. Apple said it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices in the past three days, a new record for the company.

CEO Tim Cook in a statement said sales have exceeded expectations: "We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible."

Investors evidently had higher expectations: Apple's stock was down slightly by mid-afternoon Eastern Time. Nonetheless, the reception for Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus bodes well for the company, which has been under pressure to keep pace with the growing worldwide popularity of mobile devices running Google's Android operating system.

Apple's share of the worldwide smartphone market, 11.7% during the second quarter, has declined during the same period for the past three years, according to research firm IDC. Apple's second-quarter share of the smartphone market was 13%, 16.6%, and 18.8% in 2013, 2012, and 2011, respectively.

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But Apple's share of smartphone industry profits during the fourth quarter of 2013 has been estimated to be about 87%, according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, or 76%, according to Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. Either way, Apple's mobile business looks healthy.

The company's iPhone sales record is twice what it was in 2012 and a million more than in 2013. In September of that year, Apple said it had sold 5 million iPhone 5 models three days after launch. Last year, with two models, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the company sold 9 million in three days.

Apple's iPhone 6 launch this year will reach 115 countries by the end of the year, compared to 100 countries in 2012.

Financial analysts, however, consider early sales figures far less meaningful than sales over an extended period of time.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have larger screens than previous iPhone models, sporting 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. Both run on Apple's 64-bit A8 processor and feature iSight and FaceTime cameras with image stabilization improvements, faster wireless networking, and Apple Pay, an NFC-based payment system that's scheduled to be available next month.

Both devices come with Apple's iOS 8, which provides several significant new API frameworks for developers and will allow Apple's devices to function more seamlessly with devices running OS X Yosemite, an update to the company's desktop operating system that's expected next month.

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