Analysts believe over 40 million phones could be in the public's hands by year end
Did you rush out and buy a new Apple iPhone 5 on Friday, or did you have one ordered online in time for first-day delivery? If so, you're in good company: Apple estimates that it sold over 5 millions iPhone 5 devices this past weekend, a number limited only by the quantity of units the company could produce.
Lines and hype aside, it turns out that Wall Street was a bit disappointed with Apple's opening-day sales. Some analytics firms were expecting sales to reach nearly double that. But those "disappointing" sales were simply a matter of demand outstripping supply — countless customers are still anxiously awaiting their phone delivery. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 4S units on that device's opening weekend, with 1 million people pre-ordering a device the first day it was possible to do so. Comparatively, 2 million iPhone 5s were sold within 24 hours. Brian Marshall, an analyst with ISI, suggests sales of the iPhone 5 will reach as high as 41 million by the end of the year.
Even non-Apple retailers were quickly selling out of iPhone 5 devices on Friday. Long lines at Apple stores are always the norm, but lines even formed outside select carriers' mini-mall outposts. And a quick check of the local Best Buy had all AT&T iPhone 5s sold out within minutes of opening; only three Verizon phones were left after 15 minutes of sales.
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