Smart phone sales soar: Apple iPhone tops 9 million in opening weekend

Apple's smart phone sales for the iPhone 5S and 5C reach a combined 9 million units, smashing sales records.

Adrees Latif/REUTERS
Customers shop at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2013.

Rocky iPhone 5C pre-order numbers were quickly forgotten as Apple announced record-breaking first-weekend smart phone sales for its new generation of iPhones.

Apple sold a collective 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C devices in the first weekend the two new iPhones were available.

Apple did not release separate sales numbers for each device, but Web analytics firm Localytics found that the iPhone 5S accounted for more than three times the amount of activated phones as the iPhone 5C. In addition, the iPhone 5S has been backordered online since it went on sale Friday morning and many retailers reported a low supply or sell-outs. 

"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," Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook said in a statement Monday. "We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone."

This is a record-breaking weekend for Apple. Previously, the iPhone 5 sold more than 5 million devices the first weekend it was available and the 4S topped 4 million sales. The iPhone 5S and 5C officially went on sale in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. This is the first year the iPhone has been available for sale in China the first weekend it is released, signaling Apple’s focus on emerging smart phone markets.

But record-breaking iPhone sales wasn’t the only good news Apple announced. Apple’s new software update, iOS 7, is now running on more than 200 million devices after its launch last week, the fastest software update ever. Despite download issues reported on Mac forums around the Internet, the hype outweighed the bugs leading to this massive download spree.

Due to the spike in iPhone sales and iOS 7 downloads, Apple is growing more optimistic on the financial side. After weekend sales numbers were released, Apple’s stock jumped 6 percent, rising to $485 per share. The company also readjusted its Q4 outlook to somewhere between $34 billion and $37 billion sales because of the unexpectedly high demand and sales. The iPhone accounts for about half of all of Apple’s sales.

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