Overnight, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 notched up more than 2 million pre-orders in its first 24 hours, more than doubling the tally of the iPhone 4S last year.
The iPhone 5 vs. the iPhone 4S.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)
It's not a huge surprise that the number of pre-orders is so high; Apple's website was overwhelmed on Friday, and the carrier stores began to push back their delivery estimates toward the end of the day. The iPhone 5 is benefiting from pent-up demand among consumers who had sought a new design, bigger display and 4G long-term evolution (LTE) connection.
Based on the pre-order figure, Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley raised his estimate from 9 million to 10 million iPhone 5 units sold by 29 September, up from a prior forecast of 6 million units.
Early indications for iPhone 5 demand have been positive. AT&T earlier said that it posted record pre-orders of its own, although it declined to provide specific figures. The company said only that the iPhone 5 performed better than any previous iPhone over the first day and the first weekend.
Apple enthusiasts, meanwhile, have already begun to line up at the New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue, some having arrived as early as Friday.
Apple said that demand exceeded the initial supply. While a majority of the orders are expected to be fulfilled on 21 September, many are scheduled to be delivered in October, the company said. Both Apple and the carriers have already pushed back the shipment dates by several weeks.
"iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S, and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal," Philip Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, said in a statement yesterday.
Apple took some heat with the seemingly minor improvements to the iPhone 5, which retains a similar look despite a stretched-out design to accommodate the larger display. Samsung Electronics even took out an ad attacking the iPhone 5's minimal changes, although Apple's fanboys were quick to respond over the weekend.
The design change, as well as the faster 4G LTE connection, are seemingly enough to warrant even higher demand for the phone. Apple's products have long come out of the gate strong; the real test lies in how long the company can keep up its momentum.