On Monday, Apple announced that it had sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 smartphones during its first weekend of availability. That tops the first weekend sales record set by the iPhone 4S by more than 1 million.
In a statement, Apple said, “Demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply.” CEO Tim Cook reassured Apple fans, saying, “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.”
Despite the strong showing, the first weekend sales figures fell short of many analysts’ predictions. Cnet reported, “Wall Street had higher expectations, with estimates as high as 10 million units sold over the first weekend. The company could sell as many as 50 million units in the fourth quarter, according to J.P. Morgan.”
Similarly, Bloomberg BusinessWeek quoted analyst Brian White from Topeka Capital Markets as saying, “The number is lower than what people had expected.” He added, “This seems to be driven more by availability than demand.” White had forecast sales of 6 million to 6.5 million iPhone 5s over the weekend.
USAToday noted, “While the phone is hard to come by, many early shoppers found a few things to complain about.” The biggest of those complaints was the new mapping capabilities. The article continued, “Corporate warfare had Apple replace Google Maps with its own maps feature, and many users said the new Maps is inferior. Chief complaints: wrong directions and the lack of local transit information.”