iPhone 5: 4 Million Sold in First Weekend, Galaxy S3: 9 Million Before Launch

Update: People have come to me suggesting that Apple did not include devices that are yet to be signed off on. While I do not know where they are getting this information from, I do know that Apple never included that kind of information in their press release. Enlighten me in the comment section below if you know where this is coming from.

Update 2: A reader has directed my attention to a document that states that Apple does not count devices still in transit into their sale numbers. This means that the 5 million iPhone 5 sales over the weekend is a mixture of iPhones sold in store as well as iPhones that were pre-ordered and delivered already. As usually, this makes Apple’s numbers ambiguous. Analyst suggest that an extra million iPhone 5′s may have gone unaccounted for.

Finally! Apple has released some numbers relating to their iPhone 5. When the iPhone 5 first went up for pre-orders, Apple announced that they pre-sold 2 million iPhone 5s in just the first 24 hours. This record breaking number for Apple caused analyst to believe that Apple was on track to selling 8 million iPhone 5s. However, according to a release by Apple themselves, the Cupertino tech giant was unable to meet analyst predictions and was unable to come close to the Samsung Galaxy S 3 which remains the fastest selling gadget in history.

I prematurely did an article in which I compared the 2 million iPhone 5s that were pre-sold to the 9 million Galaxy S3s that were pre-ordered from Samsung. It was premature because I assumed that Apple had capped off the amount of iPhone 5s that could be pre-ordered as it has done in the past with previous iPhone launches. A few readers pointed out my mistake and I responded by letting them know I would readdress the topic once Apple released some more numbers, and here they have.

To reiterate, for those of you who are unaware, Samsung was able to obtain 9 million pre-orders for their flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S3. That 9 million in pre-orders caused the Samsung Galaxy S3 to be the fastest selling gadget in history that was previously held by the iPhone. Samsung would later to go on to announce that they have sold 20 million Galaxy S3 in just 100 days; a feat I just do not see the iPhone 5 accomplishing.

To be honest, if someone had asked me yesterday if I thought the iPhone 5 would out sell the Samsung Galaxy S3 in a 100 day time period, I would have said yes. However, that was when analyst believed that the iPhone 5 would have 8 million in sales during the first weekend. The first weekend of a device launch, including the pre-orders, is probably the point in a devices life time where it is sold the fastest, with sales declining throughout the rest of the devices lifespan and only seeing a short lived spike during the holiday season.

I already hear the rebuttals: “but Apple sold more iPhones in a shorter time span than Samsung” – that is irrelevant. The reason why Samsung was able to procure so many pre-orders is because they built a “hype” for the Samsung Galaxy S3 long before it even launched. That was their marketing strategy. Apple, on the other hand, announced the iPhone 5 3 days before it would go on pre-sale, and 9 days before it would actually go on sale. Though Apple’s marketing is usually held to a high standard, I believe that Samsung did the right thing when they decided to announce a product and give people and carriers time to pre-order the device. Not only would that help initial sales, but it allowed Samsung to prepare and adjust production based on their demand and supply needs.

It will be interesting to see how iPhone 5 sales progress. Let’s see how many iPhone 5s Apple will be able to sell in a 100 time period and then compare that to the 20 million that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has already sold in a 100 day time period

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