iPhone 5 sales above 5 million, Apple says, surpassing iPhone 4S

September 24, 2012

Apple announced Monday that it had sold more than 5 million units of its new iPhone 5 in the smartphone’s first weekend on the market.

The phone, which began selling Friday in nine markets across North America, Europe and Asia, is set to launch in 22 more countries on Sept. 28. Analysts had generally expected that the iPhone 5 would sell up to 10 million units by the end of the month.

But other analysts had higher hopes for the phone, estimating that it could sell between 6 and 10 million in its first weekend. Apple’s stock performance Monday may have reflected those expectations — shares were trading just under a percent down at 10 a.m., with shares trading in the low $690s.

The new sales figures still outstripped the four million mark set by the iPhone 4S, though it should be noted that Apple launched that phone in seven markets.

The company is already seeing demand for the phone outstrip supply, meaning that many units from this first rush of buying will miss the current quarter’s earnings report.

Retailers and carriers, too, are feeling the pinch of iPhone demand. Sprint said Friday that it was all but sold out of iPhone models. The Wall Street Journal reported that retailers such as Best Buy, Target and RadioShack had to e-mail customers who had pre-ordered, saying that they did not have enough stock available to fill those commitments.

Apple said in it Monday press release that many of its scheduled pre-orders are due to ship in October.

The company also reported that more than 100 million devices are now running iOS 6, the company’s latest mobile operating system.

That’s far more than the 25 million Apple reported last year — hardly surprising, as iOS 6 was already showing 15 percent of Apple’s mobile Web traffic a day after it was launched, according to reports from two data analysis companies, Chitika and Chartboost. After 48 hours, Chitika reported, the number was 25 percent.

Related stories:

Apple’s iPhone 5: Five observations

Apple’s iPhone 5: What does it cost to make?

Apple responds to Maps complaints

Wal-Mart, Apple, Amazon and Google: In corporate battles, customers may be casualties

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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