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Pre-orders for iPhone 5 soldout globally; Apple 'blown away'

updated 09:30 pm EDT, Fri September 14, 2012

Store stock available in nine countries on September 21

Pent-up demand from existing iPhone users, along with those who have patiently waited for the latest iPhone combined to play havoc once again with the pre-ordering systems of the major US carriers and Apple itself. Earlier today Apple said that its pre-order allotment was already sold out, less than 12 hours after it opened sales at 3:01AM ET, with other carriers following suit. All three major US carriers now list the iPhone 5 as shipping in two to three weeks, though in-store units will still be available on September 21.

Apple issued a brief statement saying that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 have "been incredible" and that "we've been completely blown away by the customer response." Analysts expect Apple to be able to sell between five and 10 million units on its opening weekend, numbers that may be revised upwards in light of the remarkably quick sellout of pre-order allotments. It was a given that the iPhone 5 would do well, as millions of iPhone 4 and earlier models are now off contract or eligible for an early upgrade from their providers, but exactly how well the new model will do won't be known until after the first full weekend of retail sales.

Apple has not revealed pre-order allotments of its own stock or that of other carriers, but last year when the iPhone 4S came out, AT&T and Sprint both reported pre-orders of over 200,000 units had sold in the first 12 hours. Apple is likely to have provided far more units for pre-orders this time, as the iPhone 5 is said to have been in production for months (which consequently led to frequent leaks of parts, to the point where leaders could build nearly-complete units weeks before the official announcement). Apple eventually reported sales of four million units for the first full weekend of the iPhone 4S, double the number of iPhone 4 models sold the year before.

Stock levels at stores are expected to be constrained and sell out quickly on launch day, given the popularity of pre-orders. It is expected that fans will camp out in front of Apple and other provider stores as has been the case previously. While there may be shortages in the earliest days, Apple will have planned for a large rollout and should be able to replenish supplies quickly once the initial demand is met.

Apple has already stated that unlocked, contract-free iPhone 5 units are not likely to be available in the US for several weeks, a concession to US carriers. A quick check of online Apple stores in other countries shows that pre-orders in the countries where the iPhone 5 will first arrive appear to be pushed back to 2-3 weeks availability, though outside the US the factory-unlocked option remains available.

The iPhone 5 introduced a taller, thinner and lighter design with an especially sleek new bezelled edge. While not any wider than the previous model, the unit retains all the features of the iPhone 4S and adds LTE compatibility, an improved camera, a new processor that's said to be twice as fast in both CPU and graphics tasks, improved 802.11n frequencies, redesigned earbuds and a new dock connector, better battery life and will come with the latest version of iOS included, which adds some 200 new features.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    whatever; expect at least half of them to be resold.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Translation: "I got nuttin'."

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-21-05

    Does it matter how they sold or resold. Apple sold it. blah blah

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Actually, it does.

    Samsung routinely cites "shipments", rather than customer sales.

    That means it's likely that the majority of those devices are sitting on store shelves, and may never actually be sold at all, but returned to the manufacturer eventually.

    Apple, by contrast, usually only reports actual sales. It wouldn't make a difference in this case, though, because for the first six or ten months, Apple will have trouble keeping shipments up to actual sales demand anyway.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    you know, I don't think crApple really wants the 6 or 10 months outlook. Global Economy should crash by then so the early earnings will matter more than anything. I can see a bunch of floating mac devices in circulation only because by the time the "stuff" hits the fan, again soon, these devices will not be an absolute necessity at their current costs...

    And of course, $700 to 850 USD for a phone... most folks rather go in debt to get one of these not knowing the device will actually cost them $1200 USD in 2yrs time on contract by the end of the contract. Show this number up front and see what people actually think about their purchase. I bet they will make sound decision after knowing the details before signing anywhere.

    General public is sadly misled and baited. Seriously, finance your phone?? What's next, your bag of groceries? Food prices will go up, expensive phones will be resold after that since they will start in the hands of the less fortunate and then end up back in the market.

    And don't ignore the used market, just like the video game market is flooded with used games... so will the igarbagephones be eating up new sales in the end. Here it comes, in slow motion...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Be sure to call us when that happens.

    No, wait - don't call us. Call your therapist.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    Your name is appropriate because what you posted is just blah, blah, blah.
    Reality has seemed to elude you, along with the whole gang of irrational and jealous iHaters.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    It hasn't eluded him. It merely doesn't concern him.

    He's only here for trolling.

  1. Wiskedjak

    Posting Junkie

    Joined: 06-04-02

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    whatever; expect at least half of them to be resold.


    ... for a significant markup on kijiji and ebay.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Actually, it does.
    Samsung routinely cites "shipments", rather than customer sales. ... Apple, by contrast, usually only reports actual sales.



    All companies cite "Sales". But sales for a company are "We sold it". All companies also cite shipments "stuff going to stores but not bought by the stores until they're sold". However, Apple doesn't do much of the latter (their own stores, of course, but third-party sellers actually have to pay up-front and then hope to resell).

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Blown away? Seriously apple?

    Let's call it for what it is, since you do this every year. You come up with some mythical small number of phones to sell at the outset, even though you KNOW the demand will be much higher. That way you can say you 'sold out' by the time the weekend is over, and then have the press bask you in the limelight of the 'best selling device ever!'. And, of course, you now have to do this, just like you'll have to put up cordons outside your store to put people in line who want to buy the phone (because we all know you just can't walk in and buy a phone - nope, got to stand in line, and make sure they're outside, so everyone can see them). For if you didn't 'sell out' or have 'lines of people', then the negative barrages will start from stupid bloggers, and then the Defenders of the Faith will then respond and the next thing you know, there's a new holy war starting. [Don't believe me, then google up the egyptian uprising last year, obviously started by the lack of LTE on the iPhone 4S]

    So, basically, Apple keeps initial stock really low in order to keep peace in the world.

    Of course, it isn't that meaningful of a number or occurrence, since the faithful will always win out in the beginning. It's at the end of the quarter, so they can easily discount the low iPhone sales numbers by the fact people were waiting for the iPhone 5 and then the low supply. And gives them time to deal with any sales issues that might come up for the holiday season.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by testudoView Post

    [QUOTE=Spheric Harlot;4190793]Actually, it does.
    Samsung routinely cites "shipments", rather than customer sales. ... Apple, by contrast, usually only reports actual sales.



    All companies cite "Sales".[/quote]

    No, they don't.

    "Shipments" include return policies for unsold inventory, which end-user sales don't.

    Originally Posted by testudoView Post

    Of course, it isn't that meaningful of a number or occurrence, since the faithful will always win out in the beginning.



    This doesn't parse for me.

    Are you desperately trying to put a negative spin on this? Somehow ignoring that it just took less than twenty-four hours to sell two million phones. SELL. Not "promise shelf space to".

    It is, of course, "the faithful" that have somehow allowed each iPhone to sell more than all of its predecessors combined. Naturally. It's just the blind fans. Oddly, there were only six million of us fifteen years ago.

    And my iPhone contract isn't up until next fall, so it warn't me, mkay?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    This doesn't parse for me.
    Are you desperately trying to put a negative spin on this? Somehow ignoring that it just took less than twenty-four hours to sell two million phones. SELL. Not "promise shelf space to".
    It is, of course, "the faithful" that have somehow allowed each iPhone to sell more than all of its predecessors combined. Naturally. It's just the blind fans. Oddly, there were only six million of us fifteen years ago.
    And my iPhone contract isn't up until next fall, so it warn't me, mkay?



    No, what I'm saying is that the faithful will buy the next great iPhone unseen, untouched, unsmelt, untasted. They know it exists, see some specs (and here we thought the apple folks were above just looking at specs!) and wake up at 3am to order it.

    The real crux is the long-term sales. Week one sales are a sideshow. If Apple reports fewer sales than expected in Q1 or Q2 (than wall street expects, not what apple says, since we know all companies low-ball their info just to make sure they don't get sued), wall street isn't going to go "Well, look, they had great week one sales!". They'll go "Uh-oh, sales are flat. People aren't buying."

    Do I expect that? No. I'm just pointing out that early sales numbers for Apple stuff are generally just spikes from the line standing community.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    No, they don't.
    "Shipments" include return policies for unsold inventory, which end-user sales don't.
    This doesn't parse for me.
    Are you desperately trying to put a negative spin on this? Somehow ignoring that it just took less than twenty-four hours to sell two million phones. SELL. Not "promise shelf space to".
    It is, of course, "the faithful" that have somehow allowed each iPhone to sell more than all of its predecessors combined. Naturally. It's just the blind fans. Oddly, there were only six million of us fifteen years ago.
    And my iPhone contract isn't up until next fall, so it warn't me, mkay?

    Listen, when will you wake up to accept that this is an engineered experience??.... much like McDonald's is an engineered experience. Testudo just made it clear to you, and you still a blind eye for everyone on the forum to see. Incredible how some really are "blown away"... haha

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by blahblahbberView Post

    Listen, when will you wake up to accept that this is an engineered experience??.... much like McDonald's is an engineered experience. Testudo just made it clear to you, and you still a blind eye for everyone on the forum to see. Incredible how some really are "blown away"... haha



    Oh. So NOW your tack is "Ha-HAH! I'm so smart, I understand how press releases work!"

    If this was your point the entire time, it seems odd to me that you were randomly blustering about with completely unrelated bullshit in your posts above.

    But then, everything about your presence here seems odd to me. I'm not sure why it would seem appealing to put so much effort into looking like a complete idiot and a total asshole.

    At least you're mostly consistently predictable.

    Have a good day, blahblahbber.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    Oh. So NOW your tack is "Ha-HAH! I'm so smart, I understand how press releases work!"
    If this was your point the entire time, it seems odd to me that you were randomly blustering about with completely unrelated bullshit in your posts above.
    But then, everything about your presence here seems odd to me. I'm not sure why it would seem appealing to put so much effort into looking like a complete idiot and a total asshole.
    At least you're mostly consistently predictable.
    Have a good day, blahblahbber.

    I made my point whether related or not. I was just clearing the air so you can understand Testudo since you have shown much effort to prove otherwise. Get over yourself. Sorry for the "haha" if it bothers you so much. Still, I felt like you needed a hand to walk you through this particular issue. Your Welcome by the way...

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