Apple Breaks Sales Records With iPhone 5

on Sep 26, 2012

By selling 7 million iPhone 5 handsets over the opening weekend of sales (5 million post-launch and 2 million pre-orders) Apple has beaten its own world record set by the previous instalment of the emblematic smartphone series.

According to the Financial Times, on the day of the release more than a thousand people queued at Apple’s Regent Street store to be one of the first to hold the newest trendy gadget in their hands. Similar crowds showed up in front of New York’s and Sydney’s stores, while in Singapore the iPhone sold out in less than an hour forcing the store manager to put up an “out of stock” sign for the rest of the day.

Apple’s management stated they could have sold even more copies if it wasn’t for supply constraints. Some customers who pre-ordered their iPhones have already been warned of possible week-long delays in delivery.
!m[](/uploads/story/463/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)“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…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. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone,” said Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, as quoted by The Times.

Despite the good news, Apple’s share price had a slight fallback of 1.3 percent on Monday and closed at $690.79. The drop could be explained with overoptimistic analysts’ expectations of larger numbers of sales – Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray had predicted Apple would sell up to 8 million units.
According to Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets, the sales figures were “at the lower end of expectations” but he later added to his statement: “We remain aggressive buyers of Apple on any weakness in the stock price this morning as we believe Apple has another blockbuster on its hands with the iPhone 5 and we expect the ‘iPad Mini’ to launch in the coming weeks.”

The supply problems of Apple have been exacerbated after a riot ensued in the Chinese factory, which produces the iPhone 5. On Monday about 2,000 Foxconn employees clashed with security guards for yet unknown reasons. The conflict ended only after 5,000 police officers intervened and put an end to the four-hour brawl.

Hon Hai, the parent corporation of Foxconn, has been under tremendous pressure to meet Apple’s rising demand. Citi analysts estimate that the company needed to increase its workforce in the Zhengzhou iPhone factory from 150,000 people in June to 250,000 in October. Hon Hai was forced to raise wages and transfer workers in order to fill its labour supply gap in such a limited time period.

Not everything went according to plan with the launch of the new iPhone. Apple has received harsh criticism from users and experts alike for its new mapping service – the company decided to break away from Google Maps and develop its own software – Apple maps, which was included in the release of iOS 6. What’s the problem? Multiple bugs in the application including bizarrely rendered bridges and facades, the Falkland Islands without a single road on them and an imaginary airport right on top of a farm near Dublin. But as Jean-Louis Gassée, Guardian columnist and general partner for Allegis Capital, points out, the bash Apple is getting for its mapping services is so rough mainly because of the company’s overconfident marketing descriptions – “the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever”. According to Mr. Gassée the new service doesn’t live up to the hype but works just fine in most cases and the few bugs will be eventually fixed.
Apple’s competitors Nokia, Samsung and Motorola did not waste a moment and launched mocking campaigns against Apple Maps. Regrettably for the phone manufacturers, none of these seem to have bothered buyers too much as the iPhone 5 is selling out and the only current concern of the most valuable company in the world is securing a steady stream of supply.