Apple (AAPL) said it sold some 9 million new iPhones in the three days since the launch of its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Sept. 20, blowing away the previous record of 5 million sold for the iPhone 5 at that model's kickoff weekend last year.
Unit sales of Apple’s new iPhones were expected to exceed the prior highwater mark, but the 9 million figure is an outlier among most predictions. Apple typically refrains from breaking out individual sales for its various models and has stayed true to form, offering no specific data either for the iPhone 5s or 5c. At some point, financial analysts will cobble together information from their retail stores sources and figure out something that’s reasonably close to accurate, but for now there’s not much else to go on except what Apple says.
With Apple’s focus on China as a hot growth market—and that country having generated some 2 million of the iPhone 5 units sold during the first weekend of its launch—it will be interesting to see when and if the vendor elects to come forward with sales counts in China for the 5s and 5c.
At this point, the iPhone 5s has sold out at retail with constrained availability until October. The 5c model, on the other hand, is available in stock and shipping.
“This is our best iPhone launch yet―more than 9 million new iPhones sold―a new record for first weekend sales,” said Tim Cook, Apple chief executive. “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.”
Apple also said that more than 200 million iOS devices are now running iOS 7, making it the “fastest software upgrade in history,” according to the vendor.