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Summary:

It was another banner opening weekend for Apple’s new iPhone. The company says 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c handsets were sold. One mobile analytics firm pegs the breakdown around 7 million of the 5s with 2 million of the 5c sold.

iPhone 5s M7 processor

Apple sold a combined total of 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c handsets during the first weekend of availability. The company announced the milestone on Monday, adding that more than 200 million iPhones are already running the new iOS 7 software; the most radical change to Apple’s mobile platform yet.


Supply is still scarce and Apple says that its stores will receive new stock regularly. Instead of calling an Apple Store or driving only to find no inventory, buyers can now check availability online. This confirms a weekend report that Apple would be adding the Personal Pickup service for its new iPhones.

iPhone 5s personal pickup

Although Apple didn’t break out sales by model, web analytics company Localytics thinks it has a good glimpse into sales, saying the iPhone 5s outsold the iPhone 5c by 3.4 times:

“In less than 3 days, the iPhone 5s and 5c combined now represent about 1.36% of the total numbers of all iPhones activated in the U.S. market across the top 4 carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile. From the data we are seeing, 1.05% of all iPhones in the United States are now iPhone 5s and just 0.31% are iPhone 5c.”

That makes sense to me. The newer handset would attract more existing iPhone owners that want the latest and greatest hardware that Apple has to offer. If Localytics is correct, Apple likely sold around 6.95 million units of the iPhone 5s compared to 2.05 million iPhone 5c handsets.

  1. So much for people thinking that sales would fall flat.

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  2. Now we know why they withheld 5Csales last week. they wanted to pump up the weekend.

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  3. I’m confused about that graph. If it is supposed to show the number of sales for the top-end iPhone each year then why do we have a combined 5c+5s for this year? Shouldn’t that be just the 5s? The 5c was last year’s model. So ofcourse the sales will be higher if you combine the middle and top-end phone.

    I’ll bet if you add the 2012 iPhone 5+4s sales they would beat this years 5s+5c

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    1. ? That doesn’t make sense. Did you read the article? Apple didn’t provide a breakout by style. The 4s was a half-year upgrade of the 4. The 5s and 5c ate half-year versions of the 5. The two newest versions also became available on the same day. I’m good with the graph.

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    2. The iPhone 5c came out this year

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  4. Might have been worth mentioning that this launch included more countries than ever too.

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  5. Kevin, 4 months ago, Erica Ogg pledged that GigaOm would start using the term “shipped” with Apple sales when Apple reports sell-in rather than sell-through. Can we assume then that when you say “sold” in this article, you interpret Apple’s announcement today to refer to 9 million units sold-through, not sold-in? I would have guessed they meant 9 million units *hipped,* as is their custom, but I don’t know for sure. Do you?

    http://gigaom.com/2013/05/09/what-apple-really-means-when-it-says-it-has-sold-a-product/

    “In order to present the clearest possible picture of how demand for Apple’s products stands in relation to its competitors, we will be referring to Apple’s announced numbers as “shipped” from now on.”

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    1. Good point but I don’t have an answer. We can only go by the info that Apple provides of course.

      In this case, they say sold. That, in conjunction with my own research of inventory at about a dozen Apple Stores leads me to believe they mean sold to actual end customers.

      I think there’s still wiggle room in their definition of sold though: There’s simply no way for them to account for every unsold device that’s NOT in an Apple Store. They’d have to be integrated with the inventory systems of Best Buy, WalMart, Target, Radio Shack and the carrier stores to name a few.

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      1. Kevin: “In this case, they say sold.”

        Apple *always* says “sold.” That’s the whole point of Miss Ogg’s article. “Sold” for Apple means they shipped a unit in exchange for payment, whether that payment comes from AT&T, Best Buy, or the man on the street. That’s their definition of sale, which makes sense in the context of a business that makes goods for sale. However, what you mean by “sold,” isn’t necessarily what they mean by “sold,” which is why Erica proposed that you all start “referring to Apple’s announced numbers as “shipped” from now on.”

        In some cases, shipped (sell-in) = sold (sold through). Probably for the majority of Apple’s announced launch numbers, that was the case, where channel inventory was light. But retailers are definitely fully stocked with 5C (and not for 5S). So there is room for a big discrepancy.

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  6. Are there any CFO out there? There is big trouble for over stating revenue at qtr end. My impression is that
    1, u have to ship it
    2. U can’t have substantial return rights
    3. U must be consistent from yr to yr
    Therefore , the 9 mil is on the same basis and can’t be substantially over stated due to sell in rather than sold.

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