Apple “Completely Blown Away” by iPhone 5 Pre-Orders

| Analysis

Blown AwayApple made it official—the company said on Friday that it has been "completely blown away" by iPhone 5 pre-orders. Announced during a media event on Wednesday, Apple sold out of its initial inventory for the device in only one hour Friday morning when it went on sale at midnight.

In a statement issued to AllThingsD, an Apple spokesperson said, "Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response."

There's more to that statement than it being simply PR-speak making a big deal about selling out of its pre-order stock. Apple keeps a tight rein on all official communications, and what this statement really means is, "Yes, we sold out in just an hour, but we made a ton of these things ahead of time. No, seriously, it was a lot—more than we've ever made for another iPhone rollout—and our quarterly results are going to reflect that."

Apple can't just come out and say that, however. Well, it could, but that's not what Apple does. Nonetheless, the message will be loud and clear for analysts and investors alike. This way Apple gets to deliver its message without actually saying it.

This is especially important because Apple has seen earlier declines in iPhone sales ahead of product refreshes as leaks have proliferated and consumers have paid attention to Apple's scheduling. By making a lot of iPhone 5s for the official launch on Friday, September 21st—and selling them—the company will book this initial wave of sales during its fiscal fourth quarter.

In comparison, last year's iPhone 4S was announced on October 4th, and all of the initial wave went into the December quarter. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Apple CEO Tim Cook at that time blamed a sales shortfall in the third quarter on rumors and leaks. By moving the launch date back three weeks and building a ton of the new models ahead of time, Apple has sort of solved that particular issue, at least for the last quarter before said refresh.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Comments

Lee Dronick

Might as well get this out of the way.

“When the Nokisungrola phone goes on sale it will trounce the iPhone. Apple is all but but dead, they don’t innovate, they copy, stop drinking the FlavorAid phanboiz.”

We now return serious discussion of Apple and Apple products and services.

John Dingler, artist

The iFon is a success, a too huge success so I am suspicious. This can only mean that Apple will be unable sustain this level of success for the near term so the stock will tank soon, very soon. You can hold your breath on this valuable insight. Trust me. I make my analysis available for a huge fee to my subscribers to my popular Insight Tech Newsletter to which even other market analysts subscribe, and with unparalleled devotion. This is how high level my level of reliability and technical prescience has proven to be, and I am sure that I am right now about the demise of the iFon.

wab95

Bryan:

My first thought when I saw this graphic was of the pet pooch, noted for its outside of the car riding escapade, and belonging to a certain US politician (you know, the one who insulted the UK just prior to the Olympics - that one).

I find the pre-launch sales performance of the iPhone fascinating, if for no other reason, than that it contradicts the pronouncements of not a few pundits who proclaimed the iPhone 5 as unexciting, disappointing and lacking in meaningful innovation. Okay, but it just out-sold (in terms of units/time) every other smartphone on the planet without even hitting the market. May it continue to so disappoint.

As for those competitors, what they wouldn’t give to generate that kind of demand and excitement around their smartphone releases. In my opinion, this more than any other feature, distinguishes the iPhone amongst its competitors.

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