Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

iPhone 5 Sales Break Record — And Disappoint

Apple says it sold more than five million iPhone 5s over the last three days, which sets a new opening-weekend sales record for the company.

But that number is unlikely to please Wall Street, which wanted Tim Cook to do more: Many analysts thought the company would top six million, and Piper Jaffray’s Apple bull Gene Munster was looking for as many as 10 million. Shares are down 2 percent in pre-market trading.

Remember that each time Apple rolls out a new phone, its geographic reach has increased: This time, Apple says its handsets will be available in 100 countries by the end of year. (Asymco analyst Horace Dediu illustrates what that means in this simple chart.)

Apple’s press release suggests that it couldn’t keep with demand, which might assuage some investors. On the other hand, supply chain stuff is supposed to be Cook’s specialty.

iPhone 5 First Weekend Sales Top Five Million
CUPERTINO, California — September 24, 2012 — Apple® today announced it has sold over five million of its new iPhone® 5, just three days after its launch on September 21, and more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. iPhone 5 is available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on September 28 and more than 100 countries by the end of the year. Demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, many are scheduled to be shipped in October.

“Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone.”

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina™ display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology*—all while delivering even better battery life.**


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work