A First iPhone 5 Sales Estimate: 10 Million in a Week
“We’re reading the same rumors and speculation that you are about a new iPhone, and we think this has caused some pause in customers purchasing.”
— Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, July 24, 2012
Whatever iPhone sales Apple forfeited to “rumors and speculation”-delayed purchases in its disappointing second quarter, the company will likely make back in spades come the launch of the next-generation iPhone it is expected to unveil on Sept. 12. Already, analysts are predicting that pent-up demand for the device could generate some massive early sales.
Wall Street currently expects Apple to report sales of between 22 million and 23 million iPhones during the September quarter. But if Apple ships its next-generation iPhone on Sept. 21, as expected, sales could be even higher.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, iPhone sales for the period could range between 26 million and 28 million units, with the bulk of that increase occurring the week of Sept. 21.
“We believe that if the 21st is the actual ship date, Apple could sell six million to 10 million iPhone 5s in the final week of September barring supply issues,” Munster speculates.
Six million to 10 million iPhone 5s sold in a week.
Those are some big numbers. And to hit them, the device would have to have a very big opening weekend, which is certainly possible. Historically, first-weekend sales of new iPhones have ramped up significantly with the debut of each successive model. The iPhone 3GS sold more than one million units during its first weekend at market. The iPhone 4 sold more than 1.7 million. And the iPhone 4S sold more than four million.
So, are sales of six million to 10 million iPhone 5s in a week plausible? It would seem so, as long as Apple’s supply chain isn’t too constrained. But with reports of delays in iPhone screen manufacturing at Sharp, that remains an open question.