iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Were a Blowout and Double the iPhone 4S. Just over a week ago, Apple announced that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 exceeded 2 million during the first twenty-four hours of availability and well above the greater than 1 million pre-orders for the iPhone 4S last year. This number also exceeded our 1.3 million to 1.5 million projection. This equates to 100% YoY growth for the iPhone 5 compared to 67% growth for the iPhone 4S. Essentially, pre-orders are demand related and not reliant on supply and we believe the best indicator of the strength of the iPhone 5 cycle.
The iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Sell Out in an Hour Vs. Nearly a Day for 4S. Last October, we pre-ordered the iPhone 4S at 11:30 PM ET and received the device the following Friday. Shortly after our order was placed, the 4S pre-order window closed for one week delivery (i.e., nearly 24 hours after pre-orders began). This year, we pre-ordered the iPhone 5 on September 14 at 3:40 AM ET and received our device a week later on September 21. However, an hour into this year's pre-order period, the iPhone 5 was no longer available for shipment within a week and technically sold out. Essentially, the iPhone 4S took nearly a full day for pre-orders to sell out (i.e., ship within one week) versus approximately an hour for the iPhone 5.
iPhone 5 Reaches 3-4 Weeks After Pre-Order Tally Vs. 1-2 Weeks for 4S. The day after Apple announced iPhone 4S pre-orders last October, the shipping time for the new device was quoted at 1-2 weeks. By comparison, the day after the iPhone 5 pre-orders were announced last week, shipping time for the new smartphone was quoted at 3-4 weeks. The shipping time for the iPhone 5 remained at 3-4 weeks last night and another 22 countries are set to launch this Friday.
Most Apple Stores Sold Out of the iPhone 5 but Most Did Not for the 4S. Last year, the iPhone 4S was only sold out at certain U.S. Apple retail stores on the third day of the first weekend of retail sales. By comparison this year, our survey work indicates the iPhone 5 was sold out at approximately half of the U.S. Apple retail stores by Saturday (the second day) and 80-85% by Sunday evening (the third day). Additionally, the carrier stores sold out of stock quickly on Friday, and those that got new stock, were sold out again on Saturday.