Apple Devices iPhone 5S News, apple, BlackBerry corporation, iphone, iphone 5C, iphone 5s, Mobile phones, Nokia, samsung, smartphones, Software — September 26, 2013 21:32 — 0 Comments
iPhones 5s and 5c sell 9m in record weekend as Apple shrugs off doubters
Data suggests 5s outsold 5c two to one as high-end smartphone market still shows promise and 200m upgrade to newer iOS 7 software
Apple shrugged off its critics, and analysts who said the high-end smartphone market was saturated, by announcing it has sold nine million iPhones in just three days.
The company’s share price jumped more than 5% to $492 in response, adding $4bn to its value in minutes – though it remains well below its all-year high of $543 from January.
The figures are nearly double the record figure of five million in 2012, when it introduced the iPhone 5.
Though the company did not release a sales breakdown between the new iPhone 5s – which incorporates a fingerprint reader – and the cheaper, and coloured, 5c, data from Mixpanel, a mobile analytics company, suggests the breakdown was 2:1 in favour of the pricier devices. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the new “gold” iPhone 5s – deemed ugly by some – was the most popular model.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive who under Steve Jobs drove the operational side of the business – and built up its supply systems so that it could cope with colossal spikes in demand like the weekend’s – expressed his delight.
“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,” Cook said in a statement. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.”
The sales figures put the struggles of rival phone makers Nokia and BlackBerry into sharp focus. The value of iPhones sold was calculated at more than the enterprise value – the price minus cash – of Nokia’s handset business, sold to Microsoft for €5.4bn earlier in September. And BlackBerry, which is preparing to formally announce a $1bn loss on Friday, managed to ship only 3.7m phones in the past three months.
The sales come despite a German hacker group claiming to have fooled the fingerprint reader on the iPhone 5s with a scanned version of a fingerprint captured from glass, and reports of security vulnerabilities on some features.
Apple also said that its new iOS 7 software has been installed on 200m devices since its launch last Wednesday – which it called “the fastest software upgrade in history”.
That means it may be only a few days away from reaching as many users as Google’s Android 4.1.x, which has 287m users.
The higher figure is in part due to the new phones going on sale in many more territories than in 2012 and preceding years. The phones were available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK – whereas in 2012 the list did not include China and Puerto Rico. China alone is reckoned to have contributed 3m sales. In 2011, the then-new iPhone 4S sold 4m in US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.
“It’s an impressive opening weekend, but unsurprising because older models [were] still selling well immediately prior to the launch,” said Ian Fogg of IHS. “But a great logistical achievement.”
Apple’s gigantic sales figure also turns a spotlight on Samsung, whose launch of its Galaxy S4 in spring. The South Korean company said that it sold 10m of the new phones after 28 days – and 20m after two months – but soon afterwards financial analysts marked down its stock because they felt the sales were slow, and indicated that the top end of the smartphone business, which the S4 targets, was tapped out.
That in turn led to renewed focus on Apple’s strategy, and speculation that the cheaper 5c would have to be priced at around $400 SIM-free in order to compete in the middle market.
But Apple ignored that trend and priced the cheaper 5c at $549 for an unlocked handset.
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