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Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-lot-of-units dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple managed to sell nine million iPhones over the weekend, with the company claiming its initial supply of high-end iPhone 5S units completely sold out. Apple didn't sell out of the new iPhone 5C, its plastic-cased (and cheaper) alternative to the iPhone 5S; models are still available for shipment within 24 hours from Apple's online store. And the iPhone 5S selling out is no surprise: in the weeks ahead of the new iPhones' launch, rumors persisted that the initial production run of the device was relatively small in scope, which would make it far easier for Apple to sell out of its first batch. But how many iPhone 5C units did Apple actually manage to sell? In August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that Apple would produce just over 5 million iPhone 5S units ahead of the device's launch weekend; if that number's accurate, and Apple sold every single one, it would mean Apple sold roughly 4 million iPhone 5C units in order to reach that 9-million-sold figure for both models. That's an impressive figure for any smartphone, of course, and it could quiet some of the naysayers who have spent the past several months suggesting that Apple's best years are behind it."
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Apple Sells Nine Million iPhones Over Weekend

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:15AM (#44924139)
    The launch numbers for this phone are totally dwarfed by the news of GTA V's numbers.
    Yeah, yeah, different industry, but still, side by side Apple's numbers look weak.
  • by cyfer2000 (548592) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:23AM (#44924227) Journal
    Apple has been killed by IBM PC, Compaq, DELL, Palm, Nokia, RIM... Now, it will be killed by Samsung once again.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:28AM (#44924273)

    >> Besides the 9M people mentioned above?

    That's the weird thing to me. Within my social circle of a couple of hundred folks, no one is tweeting, facebooking, or otherwise announcing that they've run out and bought the new phone. In fact, I've seen a few folks writing about this being the first upgrade cycle they might sit out, e.g., "hoping the '6' gives us something to look forward to"

    I have to wonder if Apple is "channel stuffing" a bit here. For example:
    http://gigaom.com/2013/05/09/what-apple-really-means-when-it-says-it-has-sold-a-product/ [gigaom.com]
    http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-verizon-iphone-2013-7 [businessinsider.com]

  • Re:fragmentation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:31AM (#44924313)

    Are you kidding or what?! Android fragmentation (was) an issue with newly released devices and units that are less than a year old. Anybody that is able to keep a smartphone for four years today is a rare case.

    With the iPhone you get iOS 7 support for a 3-year old phone model (which granted could be purchased a month ago); the youngest phone sold new that is not supported by iOS 7 is the 3GS, which hasn't been available for a year, and when it was available it was free with contract.

    I got a kick out of the summary as well... why throw in analyst garbage like that. According to several analysis, the US sales of the 5S outnumber the 5C by 3.7:1, and in Japan it is closer to 5:1. Globally, it is likely that there were about 7MM 5S and 2MM 5C units sold... which is a hell of a lot more than the 5 sold on launch, and also a lot more than any other manufacturer has ever sold on launch.

  • Some perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 (917438) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:38AM (#44924387) Journal
    When Steve Jobs got up there and announced the first iPhone, he stated that Apple had relatively modest goals. Of the 1 billion cellphones in the world, Apple hoped to get the iPhone to represent just 1% - or ten million units. They completely blew that goal out of the water. Now they can hit that mark in a single product launch weekend.
  • by beltsbear (2489652) on Monday September 23, 2013 @11:57AM (#44924575)

    Good point except the article finds Apples greatest competitor to be worse. Also part of the test that hurt the new iPhones score is the 'slide' test which is totally irrelevant as almost everyone has these phones in cases which reduce sliding to almost nothing. I have owned every iPhone, put every one in a case and never broke them even after 5 foot falls onto concrete. I do not even use those super heavy duty cases like the Otterbox, just a simple rubber sleeve.

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:00PM (#44924597)

    Probably the same kind of people who buy Macs, even though Dell computers do the same thing for a fraction of the cost
    Or the people who buy a Mercedes Benz, even though a Hyundai does the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

    Of course, while all of these products do generally the same thing, the user experience can be quite different for people who notice this sort of thing.
    For example, Apple is very concerned about conveying a touch experience that creates the illusion that the user is interacting directly with elements of the display, so Apple puts a lot of effort into minimizing the lag between touch input and response. For example, the previous generation, the iPhone 5, has half the latency of the fastest Android device [appglimpse.com]. And the iPhone 5s is benchmarking twice as fast as the iPhone 5 for some functions.

    For some people, this sort of thing makes a big difference. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but they know that Apple's devices are more enjoyable to use than other devices that do the "same thing," just as a Mercedes is more enjoyable to drive than a Hyundai.

    But while you'll spend a great deal more for a Mercedes, you can buy the iPhone 5s at nearly the same price as top-of-the-line competitors. This Apple's big achievement with the iPhone, and Apple continues to reap these huge sales numbers year after year--the ability to deliver a premium quality product at a price that is competitive with the knock-offs.

  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:08PM (#44924725)

    Declared dead 63 times since April 1995 [google.com]

    It's funny because the early quotes don't sound that much different than the recent ones:

    1995

    Unless somebody pulls a rabbit out of a hat, companies tend to have long glide slopes because of the installed bases. But Apple is just gliding down this slope and they're loosing market share every year. Things start to spiral down once you get under a certain threshold. And when developers no longer write applications for your computer, that's when it really starts to fall apart.

    1996

    These facts were summed up by Stan Dolberg of Forrester Research who said, "whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it, is cooked." [Article found through David Pogue's column "The Desktop Critic: Reality Check 2000" in Macworld Magazine, where the quote still resides.]

    One day Apple was a major technology company with assets to make any self-respecting techno-conglomerate salivate. The next day Apple was a chaotic mess without a strategic vision and certainly no future.

    1997

    I'm a Mac lover, but last year I switched over completely to Windoze because Apple couldn't build a reasonable laptop. I really want it to succeed, but I think the company's finished. Software vendors aren't turning out enough code to keep the Mac as a really good platform, even for family and school stuff. This whole NeXT decision seems to be a waste of time. It should have been sold to HP for $35 per share a year and a half ago.

    2000

    Steve Jobs can't run companies, but he has proven that he is a genius at motivating teams of people to produce extraordinary products. In fact, he may be the greatest project team leader in the history of high tech. That is no small achievement. But it does not translate to being the CEO of a giant corporation. Jobs failed the first time running Apple, failed at Next and only succeeded at Pixar because the company worked around him. He succeeded in the short term during this, his second, Apple tenure because he ran the whole company as a product team. That only works so long. Why is he a poor CEO? Because he's mercurial, insufficiently engaged by the more boring (but crucial) operations like distribution and, ultimately, because he's a pretty nasty piece of work. In the best of all scenarios, Jobs would hire a competent CEO and focus on product development, but his ego would soon lead him to undermine his replacement. Steve Jobs is Apple's Alcibiades: the company can't live without him, or with him.

    Investors may be asking themselves what Apple can do to revive its fortunes. The likely answer, unfortunately, is that Steve Jobs has no white rabbits left in his hat. Apple appears to be facing a dead end in its business growth, the victim of mismanagement and unmitigated hubris. Apple lovers are a loyal bunch, and they'll probably stick with the company. But Jobs's dream of becoming the world's biggest computer-maker will likely remain just that -- a dream.

  • Re:Feeble minds. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:21PM (#44924919)

    People forget when Microsoft injected cash in Apple when it was going nowhere.

    Actually, Apple didn't need Microsoft's money. It was instead a very cavalier move that was meant more as a signal to developers than anyone else - that if Microsoft was investing in Apple, they should too. Microsoft sold their shares a few years later, making a tidy profit from it.

    And it worked because developers jumped on the Apple bandwagon again. It was the only way to avoid the death spiral of developers leaving, which force users to switch, which cause more developers to leave, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention that during this time, Office for Mac became a much preferred version of Office (over the Windows version) because Microsoft wasn't screwing around with stuff as much (it was way more Mac-like an application than Office Windows was a Windows application).

    Proof: people wanted a phone just because it was golden. That is not innovation, is hype, sooner or later the bubble will burst and all the chickens will come home to roost.

    Actually, it is innovation. It's not technological innovation. In fact, Apple does not do technological innovation. They do practical innovation. And by that, I mean by making technology appropriate to the customer. There was nothing new in ANY Apple product that could not have been done by anyone else. Other than the fact that anyone else didn't do it.

    The iMac proved form factor and colors were what people wanted - they wanted a PC that wasn't just a beige box that looked ugly - they wanted a PC that looked stylish and would fit just fine in the living room and not hidden away in a den or "computer room". They wanted a PC they could show off with.

    And in a way, it really broke out from the PC modding craze where PC modders would add lights, windows and other bling to their computers to turn them from beige boxes to flashy things that Did Important Stuff. Just a bit more tasteful, though.

    People wanted something different, Apple's experimenting with that - colorful phones, and a color few have ever seen in a phone. Which will pan out? Who knows, who cares. If the 5C sales a dismal, it means people didn't want color, so Apple won't bother trying to make colorful phones anymore. (If you don't try, you don't know).

    Likewise, fingerprint sensors are old hat - they've been around for decades. But Touch ID is somewhat different - it puts the sensor on a surface people touch anyways so at the same time you're using the button, it's reading your fingerprint. It's somewhat "magical" in that most fingerprint sensors require you to use them explicitly - to unlock my PC, I need to slide my finger over the sensor. Here, I do a motion I'd do anyways, and it automatically reads and unlocks. It's like how in the movies the computer would recognize the user when they approach.

    Siri wasn't new either. Just Apple put it in a "fun" form factor that most people were not aware of.

    Touchscreens, ditto - but add a proximity sensor and it suddenly gets a whole lot more useful that you're not accidentally pushing onscreen objects. And you can do a "magical" thing and put a big fat "End Call" button on the screen so when they remove the phone from their face, it shows up and the user wonders if the phone is psychic. (It happened to me the first couple of times I used an iPhone. Then logic set in and the wonder goes away).

    Too much technology is tied up in shit UIs and poor UXes because they're often invented by engineers (who are not designers or user interaction researchers), so they just toss crap up and expect people to know. For someone in the field, yes, great, but for the common user, they want to know if they can use it, and how useful it would be to them. Apple excels at that - where an engineer would go "Why would you do that? A user might need that option!" Apple goes "Well, our research shows that 90% of users don't care about it and amon

  • by war4peace (1628283) on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:24PM (#44924965)

    I wouldn't underestimate the huge inertia of sheepish customers who were actually "trained" to run out and buy the next phone iteration even if they don't need it.
    This has nothing to do with intelligence, by the way. It's impulse-shopping, or, rather, compulsive shopping. The driving forces are varied:

    - social status competition: Jack has bought the new thing, Jill must too.
    - planned obsolescence perception: "the new phone appeared, therefore my current phone is OLD".
    - bragging rights: "I bought this FIRST in my 'hood!"
    - endorphin-inducing activities: "you DESERVE this phone, you will be HAPPY with this phone".
    - hype (pretty much an ingredient for of all the above)

    This is generally valid; it's not only for Apple products. However, Apple managed to perfect this method and instruct their customer base better than many others did. Besides, they were first to mass produce touchscreen phones and market them successfully.
    Statistics *might* show (I am too lazy to research) that Android-based customers don't exhibit this behavior just as much, but there are reasons for it:

    1. Some successfully resisted the iPhone fever when the first iPhone was released;
    2. Some managed to uproot themselves from the Apple veggie garden and switch to another device (which is another form of resistance);
    3. Some got pissed by some Apple decisions post-sell or simply didn't like some of the limitations (castrated BT stack, non-removable battery, lack of SD Card, etc) so moved to the next thing.

    Therefore, the Android crowd is less "sheepish", so-to-speak. Again, this has little-to-nothing to do with intelligence, but mostly emotion and zeal.

    To me, it's amazing that Apple's iPhone failed to establish a near-monopoly in the long term; they had all the prerequisites met, the touchscreen market was practically virgin at the time, all the world was theirs to invade and keep. My personal, maybe subjective opinion is that they failed in locking in the near-monopoly because:
    - they kept the prices absurdly high;
    - they inflexibly kept their walled garden shut;
    - they ignored independent crowds which hate (by principle) to be locked in (aka "You HAVE to use iTunes" or "you HAVE to have a jailed phone");
    - furthermore, they endlessly fought crowds' attempts to liberate the iPhone, alienating people more and more until many of them just said "fuck this, i'll switch".

    Their very recent attempts to enter the cheaper market will probably be mildly successful, but I think it's a "too little, too late" attempt. They will likely grab a few % off the top (aka people who nearly could afford an iPhone 5S but were not quite there yet, financially), but the much larger "cheap smartphone" market will not care.

  • Re:Feeble minds. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday September 23, 2013 @12:55PM (#44925349) Homepage

    People forget when Microsoft injected cash in Apple when it was going nowhere.

    Actually, Apple didn't need Microsoft's money. It was instead a very cavalier move that was meant more as a signal to developers than anyone else - that if Microsoft was investing in Apple, they should too.

    It wasn't even that. Jobs called Gates up and said the UI lawsuits were bloody distracting for both companies. Jobs said - you know we will win in the end. Why don't we just call it quits, you throw in some change, a 10 year commitment on Office for the Mac, and we both move on.

    Gates thought it over, said OK, and the deal was done.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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