Apple today announced first-weekend sales of 13 million new its iPhones, easily setting a new record thanks to the availability of the phones in China.
“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement. “Customers’ feedback is incredible and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos, and we can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”
The numbers were roughly in line with what many analysts had projected.
While officially a new record, something Apple is eager to tout every year, this latest number is a bit harder to compare. Last year, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were not available in China.
Apple rang up 10 million in iPhone sales on the first weekend last year. The new iPhones went on sale in China on Oct. 17, 2014, and as I can tell, Apple didn’t release first-weekend sales for China.
But, back in December 2012, when the new iPhone 5 went on sale in China, Apple announced 2 million units were sold in the first weekend. Since then, China has become Apple’s biggest market, making it a good bet that last year the company probably sold more than 3 million of the larger iPhone 6 models.
So, put those together with the 10 million sold the first weekend of September 2014, and the new “record” this year is not quite as solid.
Still, given that it’s a year when the iPhones had only incremental updates (yes, I know many reviewers were trying to convince us otherwise), that number is solid. The question now is whether it will soften concern among analysts who in some cases have projected that Apple might have its first drop in year-over-year iPhone sales during the first three months of 2016.