back to article Apple weekend iPhone 5 sales miss forecasts

Apple shipped just over five million iPhone 5s during the first three days of the handset's availability, rather fewer than one analyst forecast of eight million units, let alone another bullish prediction of ten million. "While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly," …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just popped into Vodafone to upgrade my handset from an iPhone 4 to a 5.

    Done in 15 minutes - and I had no preorder. There were also other people in picking there's up, but couldn't tell if they were preorders or not.

    When I asked, I was expecting them to be out of stock, but no.

    Sold out? Rubbish.

    1. hazydave


      Apple tries to have sellouts. They prep their fanbase for weeks, first with leaks, then teasers, then an Actual Lauch Event -- a week before you can buy online. Which is a week before you can buy in-store. They launch with a limited supply, intentionally so, and when the demand is higher than the supply, and they sell out, that's news. In other words, free publicity. But more than that, this doesn't happen with other devices, right? So when it happens with the iPhone, that's telling the public that there's something special about Apple products.

      What it should say, rather, is that other companies launch with ample supply of product, with online and in-store on the same day, with little danger of selling out even for a very successful product. Apple's oddly a little braver than the other guys -- Samsung wants you to get an SIII or a Galaxy Note as soon as you're ready to hand over the cash... before you maybe consider another phone or tablet. Apple's confident enough in their dominance to let their customers wait in line, wait for a week or so for the device even after the launch, put up with huge crowds, etc. in order to make a newsworthy event about what otherwise be just another product launch.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whoops - I meant "picking their's up"


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, you meant "picking theirs up".

    2. Randy Hudson

      Their is?

      Don't you mean "theirs". At least get it right the second time...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Their is?

        Yes, I did. I'm still /shamed.

        1. Fab De Marco

          Re: Their is?

          If you don't know the difference between there, their and they're then your an idiot

          *see what I did there

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Their is?

            "*see what I did there"

            You forgot to put an asterisk after "your"?

            1. Gob Smacked

              Re: Their is?

              You need to be an AC today if you're willing to happily announce that you're an iAddict...

            2. Anonymous Coward

              Re: Their is?

              > You forgot to put an asterisk after "your"?

              "?" is only used at the end of a question, not a statement of fact.

              Check and mate.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Their is?

                "> You forgot to put an asterisk after "your"?

                "?" is only used at the end of a question, not a statement of fact.

                Check and mate."

                I usually avoid picking in other peoples typo's, spelling and grammar errors, as I make so many myself, but when being so smug you should have least made a bit of an effort:

                1 - The other post referred to an asterisk NOT a question mark.

                2 - The reason was obvious, in that it was associating the "your" of the previous pedents statement with the reference to being “an idiot”.

                3 - For your benefit: it should have been "you're" not “you”, as in "you are an idiot".

                4 – "Check mate": .... hardly; you were playing draughts.

                Anon - as I'm certain to have made more than error for further pedents to pick on.

  3. johnnymotel

    analysts BS

    analysts, what a bunch of tossers.

    Let's see....this is the phone that people said 'meh, just a minor upgrade' 'won't sell like the 4s' etc etc.

    Galaxy S3, great selling phone....20 million in 100 days.

    IP5.....5 million in 72 hours

    What's the betting for IP5 in 100days? 30 million, 40 million?

    Sorry iHaters, just had to post this on el Reg where Apple haters love to congregate.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: analysts BS

      And why are you so fundamentally insecure that you felt the need to spout it to the world?

      Im a Apple Fan - and love their tech - as a combination of form and function I find it hard to beat for my particular uses.

      Whilst I read the Reg Apple stories with amusement and occasional disbelief Im not so attached to *any* piece of tech that I would find the need to broadcast a defense of it to the entire interwebs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: analysts BS

        He's just trying to address the imbalance...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: analysts BS

      Well there's numerous Android handsets and the largest market for Android handsets is the middle or low end. The premium handsets are for all the hardcore Internet users.

      1. L.B.

        @AC 13:19

        "The premium handsets are for all the hardcore Internet users."

        Are you suggesting all iPhone users are pron addicts?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: analysts BS

      Does buying Apple make up for your lack of personality?

    4. Zombie Womble

      Re: analysts BS

      "Sorry iHaters, just had to post this on el Reg where Apple haters love to congregate."

      At least outside the mutual appreciation echo-chambers of the fanboy forums you can appear a tiny bit like an individual.

    5. Select * From Handle

      Re: analysts BS

      Search online for SGS3 Pre orders which from what i could google was 9 million. a little more than the 5 million in 72 hours (thats if that figure includes pre orders)

      All i see is the usual apple hype (OMG we sold out again, Damn) that makes people go gaga for the iPhone.

      1. Euchrid

        Re: analysts BS

        "Search online for SGS3 Pre orders which from what i could google was 9 million. a little more than the 5 million in 72 hours (thats if that figure includes pre orders)"

        From looking myself, that number appeared to be from an unamed Samsung executive - might be accurate, from what I found, it looks unverified.

        Also, from what I read – and I’m happy to be corrected, if I’m wrong – that 9 million figure includes the amount that carriers had ordered for future sales rather than just 9 million punters pre-ordering the phone.

        According to this Telegraph report - - there were three million pre-orders for the Galaxy SIII and it took nearly two months to reach the 10 million sales mark.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: analysts BS

          FWIW - The nine million (nearer ten actually) SIII pre-order figure Samsung quoted was the pre-orders by carriers prior to release.

          It's kind of pointless comparison anyway, Samsung smartphones will outsell Apple's numerically at least ten-fold over the next 12 months. Historically anyway, with their margins being much slimmer, Samsung's profits from phones will be much lower.....

          ...not sure they're losing much sleep since Samsung also make pens, watches, fridges, cars, air craft engines, oil tankers, cruise liners, telecommunication satellites and gas turbines. They build sky scrapers, hotels and shopping malls - they own large chunks of international banks, one of the world's largest insurance companies and very much else.

          Apple of course also make the iPad, iPod and a range of computers - almost all of which rely on Samsung components and all of which have equal and often better Samsung equivalents for less.

      2. Gob Smacked

        Re: analysts BS

        Pre-ordered 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 2's just yesterday :) . Let's see how that goes...

    6. Shagbag
      Thumb Up

      iHaters, just had to post this on el Reg where Apple haters love to congregate

      I resent that remark.

      You can call me a hater, but I have no favourites. I hate them all.

    7. solidsoup
      Thumb Up

      Re: analysts BS

      Brilliant strategy by Apple. Rather than face disappointing results, create artificial scarcity. It's a win win. You get to sell more phones, because now there's a perception of limited supply, increasing the perceived value AND if you sell fewer of them than analysts expect then it's due to short supply (implying that sales would've been better had there been no shortages, which is patently* false).

      As to comparing S3 numbers to iPhone 5 - direct comparison is rubbish. S3 is but one of many Android phones, many with competing or comparable features. Apple is the only one in its ecosystem and so iPhone 5 has no competition within it. If you believe iPhone 5 is a huge success, won't you do us all a favor and buy Apple stock.

      *- pun intended

      1. ThomH

        Re: analysts BS

        It doesn't sound like artificial scarcity because, as a poster noted above, there are several places where it wasn't scarce.

        It's also valid to compare the iPhone specifically to the GS3 because Samsung do so in their own advertising. It's only false to draw wider inferences.

        1. micheal

          Re: analysts BS

          They limited teh supply of "Sim Free" iPhone 5's so most shops still have plenty of "Contract" stock.

          1. Craig 12

            Re: analysts BS

            ^This, and it sucks.

            Every phone shop in Birmingham, and the bullring apple shop, has iphone 5 stock, but won't let me buy it sim free. Regardless of whether you think I'm stupid for buying one, it's more stupid they don't want my £599 at all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better title

    "Apple weekend iPhone 5 sales misses ONE hopeless analyst's forecast"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Better title

      I still don't get how a company's fortunes can possibly be tied into what someone "guessed" 9-12 months previously - even given a company's previous results, it's all still a guess.

      We don't pay a fortune to those who calculate horse racing odds, so why do we do so for those who make exactly the same kind of predictions for companies?

      1. O RLY

        Re: Better title

        The horse-racing oddsmakers have a direct correlation between their predictions and their income (and do make a fortune); tech analyst projections don't have to have a basis in reality.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do analysts really know anyway - Apple do not give them any 'special' access to information so it's their guesses. My 'guess' is people can't be ar$ed queueing and they are generally more available - 5m is still a bucket load of phones to shift in a weekend.

    The number of iOS updates in a weekend is more telling - remember all these new iPhone 5's shipped with iOS 6 so the 100m is based on actual phones in use and just the first few days. There is no real reason to 'upgade' a single phone so in reality that number is huge and relative to the actual number of phones in use.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have quite a few friends with various iPhone handsets - many are not at the end of their contracts or wanted to avoid any initial iOS 6 and new hardware 'bugs' so are holding off a few weeks. End of the day it's in Apples interest for them to be more available - sold old may make a few people think 'oh it must be good' but will make many others buy something else - there is a lot of instant purchases.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite a lot of places are sold out. Vodafone online have 64Gb in white (in stock) but all other models 3-4 weeks.

    Would not be surprised if 5m was all the initial iPhone 5 stock - there were reports of slight delays getting the screens done quick enough. First quarter sales / 6 month sales will be more telling.

  8. Silverburn

    I know exactly how this analyst did this, because I just did it myself.

    1. Look around office, and shout out "so who's getting a new iP5 then. once it's announced?"

    2. Count number of responses. Count both the "yes" and "meh"'s as YES

    3. Faint surprise when the "meh"'s don't buy once phone spec is actually announced

    4. Rationalise the "meh" responses down to the reason that since most are 4/4S users already and probably running IOS6, there's no real reason (aka killer new feature) to upgrade for.

    Where do I send my analyst invoice to...?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But then their production will be slowed down a bit:

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    supply constraints spin

    surely. It's so popular, we sold out of our initial stock, spin blah blah blah.

    Not the reality of course, many consumers have woken up to the fact that fruity devices are overpriced and under-spec these days compared to flasgship Android handsets.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: supply constraints spin

      The ONLY good thing ever really is the slick user interface. No Apple phone was ever good value or a good phone if your main interest was simply phone calls,

      Not posted from my myPhone, but from my 1600 x 1200 laptop.

      In general there seems to be a lot of fondling the [smart] phone to waste time or be rude while in company. Maybe when the novelty wears off people will be a bit more polite in their [smart] phone usage.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phoned Orange this morning to sort out one of our phones and they actually had "we're receiving lots of calls regarding the new iPhone 5, which is available blah blah..." as their bloody hold message. I double-checked and yep, I had dialled support, not sales.

    Is it broken or something, or are Orange just a wee bit clueless?

    1. skipper
      Thumb Down

      Orange, clueless

      Orange customer services have been in decline for many years now. You used to be able to speak to a (UK based) human within seconds and be all sorted shortly after. Now there's hours of menu's etc and the support when you're finally connected can be very trying.

      1. Simon Harris
        Thumb Down

        Re: Orange, clueless

        Someone from Orange called me the other day, ostensibly to get me to upgrade my contract.

        She asked me how I was getting along with the service, so I told her about all the places I was having problems getting reception. She hung up on me!

        Think it's time to find another phone company.

        1. Lallabalalla

          Re: Orange, clueless

          We are still getting great customer support from Virgin - real people who answer the phone relatively quickly, and everything. And very good pricing to boot, and great coverage (TMobile, basically). Shame about their cheapo phones, but we just bung their sims in whatever we've got (currently 3GS, iPhone4, an old Samsung of some sort and a cheap Nokia) They all work great.

          Might have a problem with the 5 but 1 guy at the office cut his simcard down by hand and it seems to work OK.

          Second-best IMO goes to O2 ... provided you call them up and don't rely on whoever is on the other end of their webchat lines - they are clueless.

  12. Andrew James

    Surely we can't consider 5 million phones sold in 72 hours to be a failure on the basis that some bloke guessed it would be double that? Now, if Time Cook had said during his presentation that they estimate 10m units to sell in the first weekend, yes, it would be a let down... but still impressive in of itself.

    Five MILLION iPhone 5 sold in a few days is amazing really.

    I personally know someone who was in a queue for five and a half hours to get his hands on one on launch day... an interesting experience, apparently, but not one he will repeat.

    Any product that causes millions of people around the world to queue outside stores for hours to get hold of it is not a failure. And those people are, by default, idiots, just because they choose to join that line. The person i know who did so is a very clever guy, and is tech savvy. And he knew he could have pre-ordered and had it on launch day (just like his brother did), but he wanted to experience the whole thing ... and apparently many people around him in the queue said they were there for the same reason.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      No they are idiots

      It's getting widespread. But in fairness to Humanity only a tiny proportion (< 1%) are prepared to worship it and queue for it..

      It's just a "smart" phone. Not penicillin or sex

      1. toadwarrior

        Re: No they are idiots

        Who queues for penicilin or sex? If you're queuing for sex then I can only assume you're outside some skanky whore house. Tbh, I'd queue for a windows mobile phone before that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No they are idiots

          My wife makes me queue for sex.

          1. Toothpick

            Re: No they are idiots

            She makes me queue as well :)

  13. fishman

    It's simple

    They loaded IOS6 onto their iPhone 4, and then couldn't find the Apple Store because of the broken maps.

  14. GotThumbs

    The real question many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?

    Seriously though,

    The whole situation is kind of childish. If you want to own and IProduct and have the it. It's your choice to enter Apples walled garden. Just understand there are other individuals on this planet that will not be interested in owning one. There are many reasons for this...but they will be personal choices and should not be taken as an insult to your decision.

    Just make sure you fully understand that Apple runs a closed ecosystem where you are helpless and restricted to their every whim. You do not even have the choice to shop for content from another market places. Android OS allows each individual owner to CHOOSE on their own.... if I want to allow downloads from other markets other than Google's market. There are at least six markets I can choose to purchase from.

    You should also know that Apple also had 100% control/right to wipe all the content from any IProduct and any ITunes account at their discretion and you have zero input on that. It's in the ITunes agreement. You should read it.

    1. Euchrid

      Re: The real question many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?

      You mean like the Android kil switch?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real question many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?

        "You mean like the Android kil switch?"

        You mean the one that only works if you register with Google and the Play Store? If you do not register a Google account and choose to use another market, that does not apply - so GotThumbs point still stands, it's the user's choice.

    2. LPF
      Thumb Down

      Re: The real question many ISheep are out there only to be counted in the popular group?

      Remind me, how many trojans are on the Apple Istore?? you wanna download from alternative google markets , feel free to go ahead! and this is coming froma person with an HTC HD2 with android loaded on!

  15. Joerg

    The bashing Apple nonsense ..with fake predictions...

    Fake stats. Fake predictions in order to bash Apple.

    First some analysts forecast a very high number in 72hours..10million.. then it obviously doesn't happen and "just" 5million in 72hours is claimed being a failure.

    That's rather silly.

    Wait 3 months and let's see how many iPhone5 Apple will have actually sold and activated to real actual customers all over the world.

    Yeah, now some analysts will tell "200million in 3 months" and then Apple sells "only" 40-50million in 3months maybe...

    So they will claim that Apple is declining...

    What a lame stupid trick.

    I wonder how many of these analysts are paid by Google, Microsoft and Samsung...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The bashing Apple nonsense ..with fake predictions...

      It's like when they claimed sales were disappointing when they were comparing one quarter to the next rather than one quarter to the same quarter a year ago (as anyone would realistically do). Products have cycles - imagine firework sales drop off quite a bit after early November?

      Analysts eh.

  16. Youngdog

    Put me down for a 'meh'

    The only thing the 5 release did for me was to finally give in to my corporate overlord's 'suggestion' that I trade in my 4 for a company 4s. Compatible peripherals and cheaper ones in future to boot!

    Saw my first one in the flesh today and it had the unfortunate luck of being owned by someone who I've never really had a lot of time for. As soon as he said the screen 'looked better' I began my informed response that lasted 5 minutes and finally got around to that, while it was slimmer, it was overall about the same size as my 4s in its Mophie pack just slimmer - until 'How is the battery life anyway?' ended the conversation there and then.

    Yes, I've seen the benchmark tests that rate it as 'off the scale' but when using it didn't really notice any difference.

  17. Alan Denman

    Whats this hate squirm?

    Don;t they mean 'leave me alone you bully'

    Can't the 5 million stand up for themselves?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In summary

    Some people bought a phone. Not as many as some other people predicted.

    Next story ...

  19. Chad H.

    Only on the Register can a new record for iPhone, and 5 Million sales in a weekend, be considered a flop.


    that all

    just 5 million iPhone 5 sold haha are what a shame poor little apple or maybe people are sick and through it back at apple saying I have had enough of your patent crap and consent excuses over a crappy map app lol. still dont beat samsungs galaxy s 3 which sold 20 million plus.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: that all

      20 million in how long - a weekend - thought not... you mean in EVER.

      The (more likely) reason it was ONLY 5m was due to getting enough of them made quickly enough and getting them to the stores. Let's compare sales after 1 month, 3 months and 6 months?

    2. Toothpick

      Re: that all

      I think I have deciphered your post.....

      You are comparing the sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3 against the Apple iPhone5? But over what period of time?

      The iPhone 5 has sold 5 million in 3 days. The S3 has sold 20 million in 100 days. Here's a link:

      If the iPhone continues to sell at this rate, it will overtake the S3's sales about a week on Wednesday. I don't think it will sell at this rate, but I am sure it will overtake the S3 well before 100 days.

      haha lol

  21. Steve Knox


    ...let alone another bullish prediction of ten million...

    You'vegot your i in the wrong place, and you're missing a t.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just had a go on one in the Apple shop.

    The long screen is very awkward. Why did they do that? They should have made it bigger in the same ratio.

    A longer screen is no improvement for reading - wbe pages, emails or ebooks. Nor is it good for maps or photos.

    Only for watching films in widescreen, which is just about the only thing I have never done with my old iPhone.

    I guess Apple just couldn't accept the fact that the market has settled on, and customers have voted with their feet for, a slightly larger screen size for smartphones than they originally came up with. Therefore they had to do something different to spite their customers.

    That stuff about "being able to use it with one hand" is a load of crap.

    Also ios6 isn't much of an improvement.

    Otherwise it is very nice.

  23. toadwarrior

    Analysts are a joke. I have way more respect for someone with a job title of "dirty dick sucker". It's like that guy guy that predicted Nintendo would release a HD wii nearly every year of its life. Eventually you'd think people would realise how many times you're wrong and ignore you.

  24. David Kelly 2

    AT&T waiting

    AT&T could not/would not commit to a ship date for my very first iPhone, a new number added to an existing account, but insisted my service charges would start the moment the order was placed. Might take weeks to arrive. So I'm waiting until the 5 is available over the counter, or until I change my mind, whichever comes first.

  25. Dropper


    I'm not really a fan of Apple, but who really cares if financial analyst can count. These are the people who bring us global recessions every 5 years, so we really should know by now not to pay any attention to anything they tell us.

  26. Lord Zedd
    Thumb Down

    Only 5 million in the first weekend?

    How will they recover their capital investment at that rate?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 Million is still...

    ...a lot of damn idiots!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like