Apple on Monday announced record sales of its new iPhone models over the launch weekend. The firm says it sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets in the first 3 days of availability, the fastest iPhone rollout ever. And it was able to hit this mark without offering the handsets in China, the world's biggest smart phone market.
"Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn't be happier," Apple CEO Tim Cook is credited with saying in a prepared statement. "We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible."
Apple is currently only selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K., which makes this achievement all the more noteworthy. It will arrive in 20 new markets this coming Friday, September 26, and will be sold in over 115 markets by the end of 2014.
Key among these, of course, is China, which is the biggest smart phone market in the world and is responsible for over 20 percent of all smart phone sales worldwide. Apple was forced to delay the China release at the last minute, presumably because of regulatory requirements there, so it's not yet clear when that market will come online. But the Chinese is particularly fond of large-screen handsets like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, so these new devices should sell like gangbusters there too.
By comparison, Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C smart phones over their opening launch weekend last year. But those sales did include China.
Apple's claims about availability issues are also interesting, and are borne out by the long wait times for devices. If you didn't get an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus on opening weekend—the latter in particular seems very popular—you may need to wait until October or even November before manufacturing catches up with the demand.
Indeed, the iPhone is like Microsoft's Windows, Office and Windows Server all rolled up into one product, and it accounts for roughly 70 percent of Apple's profits. So a launch of this magnitude is a big deal for Apple, and for a user base that has been itching for larger-screen devices for years. Thanks to the demand, some analysts feel that Apple could sell as many as 60 million iPhones in the holiday 2014 quarter.