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Apple iPhone 5 Sales Disappointing on Release Weekend? Try 'Epic'

By Craig Galbraith
September 27, 2012 - News

**Editor's note: Please click here for our list of August's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone stacked up against the competition.**

How would you like to develop a product, sell 5 million units in the first three days, and have it be called a "disappointing" launch?

OK, you might be blown away. But for Apple, the numbers came in well under the unbelievably lofty expectations set by many analysts who guessed upward of 10 million might be sold. That's a big reason that Apple's stock price has actually fallen since last week's iPhone debut.

Perhaps the only reason Apple didn't sell that many was due to the fact the company didn't have that many to sell. Expect those production lines in China to keep on churning to meet demand.

Not everyone, however, is down on sales. In a note to investors this week, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White called the first weekend of sales "epic," throwing in some stats from sales of 2011's iPhone 4S to back up his claim.

“We believe indicators such as 24-hour pre-orders for the iPhone 5 vs. the 4S, along with pre-order sell out time, post pre-order shipping time and time to sell out at retail stores are more indicative of the strength of the iPhone 5 cycle than [Tuesday's] three-day sales number that we believe was held back by supply constraints," White wrote, as quoted by BGR.

Specifically, White points to how pre-order inventory for the iPhone 5 sold out in less than an hour on; iPhone 5 pre-orders were double that of the 4S in the first 24 hours of availability; and one day after the new iPhone became available for pre-orders, shipping delays reached three-to-four weeks.

White's numbers show the iPhone 5 was out of stock at more than four in five Apple Stores as of Sunday night.

Apple says the iPhone 5 comes with a larger screen (four inches) than its predecessors, is compatible with 4G LTE networks, sports a better camera and improved battery life. The launch, however, hasn't been without some bugs: Apple's new mapping program has some flaws and some have complained of issues with how the Wi-Fi works.

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