CUPERTINO, Calif. — Orders for the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in their first 24 hours, more than double the amount of its predecessor over the same period.
Since Apple started taking iPhone 5 orders on its website at 3 a.m. Friday, buyers who have a two-year service agreement with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon Wireless have been able to order the phone for $199 (16 gigabyte model), $299 (32 GB) or $399 (64 GB model).
Apple said Monday that while most orders will be delivered on Friday, demand for the iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply. As a result, some of the devices are scheduled for delivery in October.
The iPhone 5 represents the first major revision of the iPhone’s screen size since the first model was introduced in 2007. The new iPhone has an elongated screen — 4 inches measured diagonally — that allows room for another row of icons and lets widescreen movies fit better. The calendar will now show five days at a time instead of just three. Previous iPhone models had 3.5-inch screens. The new phone is also thinner and weighs less than previous models. It can operate on LTE cellular networks and sports a new processor and updated software.
T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, said he believes the iPhone 5’s “differentiated form factor versus the iPhone 4S” and other improvements should drive strong iPhone 5 sales. The record advanced orders on Friday and through the weekend caused Walkley to revise his previous prediction that Apple would sell 6 million of the new iPhones by September 29. He now believes “Apple could ship 9 million to 10 million” in that time, he told investors in a note on Monday.
Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi said Apple’s announcement Monday “suggests iPhone 5 is running well ahead of iPhone 4S.” In a note to investors, Choi reaffirmed his earlier expectation that Apple will sell 7 million to 10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September.
It won’t be easy for Apple to top the breakneck sales pace set by previous iPhones. Apple said last year that it sold over 4 million iPhone 4Ss just three days after its launch on October 14. That launch occurred less than two weeks after the death of Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs. The iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s 356 U.S. stores starting Friday, including its King Street location in downtown Charleston. Each customer who makes a purchase at an Apple store will be offered free personal setup service, which will help them customize their device.
The phone will be available in more than 22 countries on Sept. 28.
Aside from Apple stores, the iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s website as well as through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, some Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart stores and certain Apple authorized resellers.
Earlier Monday AT&T Inc. said it set a sales record for the iPhone 5, with customers ordering more of them than any previous iPhone model on the first day of orders and over the weekend.