Opening weekend iPhone 5s/5c sales top 9M units, 200M people upgraded to iOS 7

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It may have taken longer than expected (rattling Wall Street investors in the process), but the official numbers are now in: Apple has managed to move a combined nine million new handsets during the opening weekend. Analysts were expecting thirteen million iPhone 5s/5c units during the first ten days of availability so clearly Wall Street has reasons to celebrate.

Indeed, investors have given the stock a much-needed boost as $AAPL inched toward $500 in pre-market trading. In addition, Apple said that 200 million people have upgraded their devices to iOS 7 since its public release last Wednesday, September 18. During its September 10 keynote, Tim Cook said Apple will ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month…

By the way: that’s sold, not shipped.

The company did not provide an update on when to expect the second wave of iPhone launches the world over. The press release calls iPhone sales “a record-breaking” figure while dubbing iOS 7 “the fastest software upgrade in history”.

Indeed, that’s an 80 percent increase compared to last year’s opening weekend sales of the iPhone 5, which moved five million units during its first three days of availability. Note that today’s number excludes sales of older iPhones such as the iPhone 4s – it’s nine million combined iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c handsets.

I guess Tim Cook & Co. get to keep their job.

Apple quotes its chief executive as saying:

This is our best iPhone launch yet―more than nine million new iPhones sold―a new record for first weekend sales.

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.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.

Last Friday, Cook made a surprising visit to Apple’s Palo Alto store to mingle with customers.

Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 001

He also sent out his first tweet to tell the world that “seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do”.

Both new iPhones are currently available in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK.

Some pundits are criticizing the company for not breaking down iPhone sales by model, forgetting Apple has never provided a per-model count for iPhones, iPads or iPods.

iOS device launch performance (Horace Dediu 001)
iOS device launch performance vs Samsung Galaxies via Horace Dediu.

Apple acknowledges that demand for iPhone 5s “has exceeded the initial supply”, with many online orders scheduled to be shipped “in the coming weeks”. Indeed, in less than 72 hours after launch Apple sold out of all of its initial iPhone 5s supplies, with shipping estimates for all configurations in the US slipping from 7–10 days to the vague date of ‘October’.

Another data point: Over eleven million unique listeners have tuned in to iTunes Radio since its arrival as part of last Wednesday’s iOS 7 launch.

The most listened to song?

“Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.