In the first 24 hours that pre-orders were open, Apple processed an astounding 2 million iPhone 5 orders. In doing so, the iPhone 5 positioned itself to be the most successful iPhone launch yet, and some analysts are anticipating launch weekend sales to fall in the 8 million to 10 million range. Not too shabby for a device that some critics were quick to label a ho-hum upgrade.
During the iPhone 5 launch this past Friday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and his team took it upon themselves to visit Apple Stores in 3 major US cities for a little bit of on-the-ground reconnaissance. Upon gathering data, Munster reiterated a previous prediction that Apple, under the best-case scenario, would sell 10 million units this weekend. On the low end, Munster anticipates sales of 6 million iPhone 5 devices.
Specifically, Munster and his team observed the line at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in NYC and found that the line was 70% longer than it was last year for the iPhone 4S. On average, based on observations also done at Apple Stores in Boston and Minneapolis, Munster and his team found that lines for the iPhone 5 were about 83% longer than they were last year – and this in spite of the fact that Apple had already processed 2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders!
“Given the strength of the line for the iPhone 5,” Munster wrote, “we are incrementally more confident in Apple’s ability to sell 8 million phones in the launch weekend.”
For the December quarter, which will likely be yet another monster blowout quarter for Apple, Munster anticipates that Apple might move 49 million units, assuming of course that Apple can make them as fast as consumers seem to be snatching them up.
Of course, now we know that Munster’s estimates were a bit on the agressive side as Apple announced initial iPhone 5 sales of 5 million units early on Monday morning.