Apple has announced that it sold nine million new iPhones during the launch weekend of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, and claims that more than 200 million iOS devices are now running iOS 7. Analysts have reacted positively to the news, which exceeded many of their expectations.
In a press release sent out on 23 September, Apple revealed that it has sold "a record-breaking" nine million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models within three days of their release on 20 September. The company hasn't revealed how this figure is divided between iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, though.
Also in the press release, Apple says that "more than 200 million iOS devices are now running completely redesigned iOS 7, making it the fastest software upgrade in history."
According to MixPanel data, there are now more iOS devices running iOS 7 than any older version of iOS, with more than 60 per cent of iOS devices running the new update as of 27 September.
Prior to the release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, analysts predicted 5-8 million new iPhone sales for the launch weekend. Last year, Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5 models within the first three days. Compared with previous years, Apple's opening weekend figures are significantly bigger. The company sold 4 million iPhone 4S units within the first weekend, but in 2010, only 1.7 million iPhone 4 units were sold within the same period.
The iPhone 5s sold out very quickly, and Apple admits that "demand for iPhone 5s has exceeded the initial supply," adding that "many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks."
Apple CEO Tim Cook says: "This is our best iPhone launch yet – more than nine million new iPhones sold – a record for first weekend sales. The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone."
Additionally, Apple has revealed that 11 million unique users in the US have tuned in to iTunes Radio since it launched on 18 September. The most listened to song on the music streaming service is "Hold On, We're Going Home" by Drake. There's still no word on when Apple will launch iTunes Radio in the UK.
Following the announcement, analysts have shared their reactions to the news that Apple has sold 9 million new iPhones over the weekend. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that, while Apple didn't specify how many of those sales were attributed to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5s demand throughout the opening weekend appeared to be stronger than iPhone 5 demand last year.
He did note, however, that he believes only 5.5 million of those iPhones made it into consumers' hands. He believes that the remaining 3.5 million were sold to customers such as carrier stores as "channel fill". While, in previous years, devices sold out on the day both in Apple Stores and in carrier stores, the iPhone 5C is still readily available from carriers now, so not all of those devices have been purchased by consumers.
Similarly, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek expects that, of the 9 million units, 4 million were iPhone 5s units while 5 million were iPhone 5c, with 2.5 million of those going in to inventory.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an impressive Apple prediction track record and expected Apple to sell 8 million iPhones within the three days, estimates that Apple sold 3.5 to 4.5 million iPhone 5s models over the launch weekend, leaving 4.5 to 5.5 million to iPhone 5c sales. He did note that iPhone 5c sales exceeded his low expectations.
Barclays analyst Ben A. Reitzes takes the announcement as a signal that Apple is "back on track". He says that, considering the supply constraints that the iPhone 5s is currently suffering, the announcement is quite positive. He believes that iOS 7 is "clearly driving sales well."
Cowen & Company analyst Timothy Arcuri has said that Apple's sales figures exceed expectations and "validate Apple's decision to maintain focus on profitability vs market share."
Bill Schope from Goldman Sachs says: "Overall, we believe the first weekend sales figure was a significant positive surprise for the Apple story."
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty expects that Apple sold 3 million iPhone 5s models over the launch weekend, but that demand for the device was closer to 6 million. Meanwhile, she expects that Apple sold 4 million iPhone 5cs and 2 million iPhone 5c models as carrier inventory.
Global Equities Research analyst Trop Chowdhry has said: "We're not surprised... below is what we have been saying for almost 2 weeks. "New iPhones will be massively successful, and this is just a start."
Updated 27 September with more analyst reactions and new iOS 7 adoption data.