Apple sells out of iPhone 5 stock during first 24 hours of India launch

As we previously reported, the iPhone 5 went on sale in India over the weekend. And apparently it was quite the success. According to a new report, the handset sold out in the country in just 24 hours.

This is a pretty big deal for Apple, as India buys over 200 million handsets per year, but they’re typically of the low-end, low-cost Android variety due to the country’s larger prepaid wireless market…

The Wall Street Journal reports (via MacRumors):

““We were sold out within 24 hours of launch. It’s all gone,” said Himanshu Chakrawarti, chief executive of The MobileStore Ltd., a retailer that stocks iPhones and which has 900 outlets across India. Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone officially launched in India on Friday, more than a month after it hit major markets elsewhere.”

Analysts expect India to buy more than 200,000 iPhone 5s by the end of the year. And while this is nothing compared to sales figures in the US and other countries, India only bought 50,000 iPhones last quarter.

If Apple wants to continue to grow its iPhone business, it’s going to have to make inroads into large population countries where it has little marketshare, like China and India. A lot of folks thought the company would have to release a cheaper handset to do it. But if this launch is any indication, that may not be the case.