Apple 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.
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