The 21st of September 2012 saw the worldwide release of the latest instalment in Apple’s market leading iPhone series. The iPhone 5 was as eagerly anticipated as every previous version has been, perhaps even more so due to the iPhone 4S’ status amongst fans as a stop-gap rather than a full upgrade. As with previous releases, the launch of the iPhone 5 saw long queues outside Apple stores of people desperate to get their hands on the new technology.
A Real Upgrade
Perhaps this level of excitement can be attributed to the fact that this is a brand new iPhone. With the exception of the addition of Siri, the iPhone 4S was effectively no different to the iPhone 4. The look and feel of both phones was virtually identical. The iPhone 5, however, has been redesigned. It is thinner, lighter, more powerful, and has a larger screen.
What this means is that people who were reluctant to upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the 4S will be more willing to spend their money on the iPhone 5. This is borne out by the initial sales figures released by Apple. The iPhone 4S sold approximately four million units in its first three days on sale last year. This is a very impressive amount, but is substantially less than the five million units of the iPhone 5 sold during its first weekend of release. It should be noted that the iPhone 5 was launched in nine countries, whereas the 4S was only launched in seven. There were, however, twice as many pre-orders for the iPhone 5 compared to the 4S.
Stock Level Concerns
Not all of those pre-orders have been fulfilled, however. The huge level of demand for the new iPhone has resulted in Apple being unable to supply stores with all of the stock they needed. They quickly took steps to maximise capacity, and with production increased analysts estimate that over ten million units of the new iPhone will have been shipped by the end of September. There is no estimate for how many sales were missed due to these initial supply issues. Despite this, the sales achieved by the iPhone 5 on its first weekend on release have broken all previous records. It is already another huge success for Apple at a time when the company faces strong competition from rival smartphone manufacturers. This competition, combined with the fact that Tim Cook has overseen this launch after the death of Steve Jobs, has meant that Apple is under constant pressure to release innovative and market leading technology. Perhaps as a result of this pressure some analysts have argued that initial sales of the iPhone 5 have not met expectations. There were claims before the launch that first weekend sales of anything less than six million units would be disappointing, and some sales predictions were as high as ten million units. Whether such expectations were unrealistically high to begin with is a matter for debate. Apple certainly appear to be happy with the sales figures they have released, and it is important to point out that it is very early days for this new iPhone. With over five million units sold in its first weekend on sale alone, it seems very likely that the iPhone 5 will be considered a success within the technology industry.
A guest post by Bristol IT Support.