Apple on Monday said iPhone 5 sales topped 5 million units for the first three days the device reached retail last Friday and was available to customers. The phone hit stores on September 21st and it took just three days to move the massive lot. This is by far the best iPhone launch based on early numbers.
Last year, more than 4 million iPhone 4S device breezed through the weekend. iPhone 4, however, recorded sales of 1.7 million in its first three days of retail availability. The early iPhone 4S sales were four times the number of iPhone 3GS devices sold in the same period in 2009. The number follows the company’s earlier announcement of the most successful product launch in the company’s history with a blockbuster sale of 2 Million in just 24 hours.
“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”
Apple also said that more than 100 million users of its iPhone, iPod touch and tablets had upgraded to iOS 6, the mobile operating system refresh that the company delivered last Wednesday. The operating system iOS 6 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was released as a free download on September 21, two days ahead of the iPhone 5 launch.
Apple’s blow-out weekend was not completely unexpected: Earlier last week, AT&T said it had activated a record number of iPhone 5 on its network surpassing all pre-sale records from the past five years by a wide margin.
The iPhone 5 will hit even more countries in the coming weeks. It will be available on September 28 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
A short supply is the primary problem Apple has wrestled with in new iPhone launches. After the big sales weekend: Apple currently lists the iPhone 5 as backlogged three-to-four weeks. Even AT&T, for example, is telling customers that an ordered iPhone 5 will ship in 21-to-28 business days from the order date.