Peter Kafka

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Apple Sells Nine Million New iPhones, Tells Investors to Expect a Nice Quarter


Some analysts thought Apple might sell five million new iPhone 5c and 5s models this weekend. More optimistic estimates topped out at around eight million.

So, this is a nice surprise, at least for Apple shareholders: The company says it sold nine million of its new devices since they went on sale on Friday.

Apple feels good enough about the sales to tell investors that they should have high expectations for the quarter. In a filing with the SEC this morning, the company told investors that it “expects total company revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion, and expects gross margin to be near the high end of the previously provided range of 36% to 37%.”

Apple shares are up more than six percent in premarket trading.

Bonus chest-beating stat: The company says users have downloaded 200 million copies of its new iOS 7 software.

The nine million opening-weekend number is a new record, and a big leap up from Apple’s previous record, set last year, of five million. Two big differences between this year and previous years:

  • This year, Apple is selling two “new” iPhone models (you can debate how “new” the iPhone 5c is, but it is getting counted as a new model for these purposes).
  • This year, Apple is selling new iPhones in China.

Relevant press release excerpt:

First Weekend iPhone Sales Top Nine Million, Sets New Record
CUPERTINO, California — September 23, 2013 — Apple® today announced it has sold a record-breaking nine million new iPhone® 5s and iPhone 5c models, just three days after the launch of the new iPhones on September 20. In addition, more than 200 million iOS devices are now running the completely redesigned iOS 7, making it the fastest software upgrade in history. Both iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK. Demand for iPhone 5s has exceeded the initial supply, and many online orders are scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks.

“This is our best iPhone launch yet — more than nine million new iPhones sold — a new record for first weekend sales,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we’ve sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.”

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