Record 10M in weekend iPhone sales likely for Apple

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is poised for a record iPhone 5 debut and may not be able to keep up with demand as customers lined up in Sydney, Tokyo, Paris and New York to pick up the latest model of its top-selling product.

Global sales started at the Apple Store in Sydney’s George Street at 8 a.m., as about 500 people waited to buy the device. Sales also began in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and the United States. With a new wireless contract, the device costs $199, $299 and $399 in the U.S., depending on the amount of memory.

Keenen Thompson, 22, waited in line for three days to be among the first to snag an iPhone at Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Thompson, who works in fashion media. “It’s more about the experience and all the people I met and got to hang out with. We decided we might come stand in line even earlier next year.”

The crowds reinforce estimates from analysts that the iPhone 5 will be the largest consumer-electronics debut in history. Apple may sell as many as 10 million iPhones during the weekend sales rush, according to Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray. Because Apple generates about two-thirds of its profit from the iPhone, a successful debut is critical to fuel growth that has led investors to catapult Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to the world’s most valuable company.

Apple climbed less than 1 percent to $700.10 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 73 percent this year.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Digital Business. “It used to be that with tech products the nerds got them, obsessed about them, and talked about them, and the cool kids wanted no part of that conversation. That’s just not true anymore.”

Apple may have trouble keeping up with initial demand because of supply shortages of components such as in-cell screen displays, according to Barclays. Already, the company had to push out some deliveries to October after early online purchases topped 2 million in 24 hours, double the record set last year with the iPhone 4S.

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, was among those waiting at an Apple Store before the opening. He wrote on Twitter that he was in line in Australia to pick up the new iPhone.

In Sydney, the first 11 places in line were taken up by companies using the sale to promote their own business. Some of them were there since Sept. 18, and were paid as much as A$200 ($210) a day to stand and advertise for business. Apple employees in blue T-shirts applauded as the first shoppers got into the store while police tried to manage the crowd outside.

At the Apple Store in Tokyo’s shopping district Ginza, about 750 people had lined up by 8 a.m.

“I’ve been taking time-offs since Saturday and waiting,” said Mitsuya Hirose, 37, who was the first in line. “When I bought the iPad, I was the third person in line, so I am happy now,” said Hirose, who bought his first iPhone three years ago.

In Hong Kong, hundreds of people jammed the entrance of the Apple Store in Hong Kong’s IFC mall, chanting and cheering as customers waited to be let in. Police and security guards were standing by as the store opened at 8 a.m., two hours earlier than usual. Only those customers who registered online to reserve a handset were allowed in.

Among them was Michael Chan, a 29-year-old airline industry worker, who called in sick at work to be able to buy two 64 GB black-colored iPhones. Chan said he had bought all previous versions of the iPhone, since they were introduced in 2007.

At three outlets in western Japan’s Osaka, 191 iPhone 5s were stolen earlier Friday, Kyodo News reported, citing police at the prefecture. A resident near one of the outlets saw three men break into the store and then leave in a car, the news agency said. Thefts were also reported from Kobe City, Kyodo said, citing local police.

In central Paris, the crowd of about 500 people in front of the Apple Store near the Garnier Opera included protesting Apple retail staff demanding better compensation, perks and work conditions.

“We won’t block the sale of the iPhone and ruin the day,” said Thomas Bordage, a representative for the SUD union, which represents a minority of Apple Store employees in France. “We generate massive revenue for Apple and we’re just hoping for a gesture to show the company will share some of that with us.”

Jasmine Khounnala-Abécassis, an Apple spokeswoman in France, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

In London’s Covent Garden, a crowd of about 1,000 outside the local Apple store this morning received pastries from a local cafe chain and water bottles from Apple staff.

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iPhone 5 : Where to Buy iPhone 5 On Launch Day

If you missed out on the initial batch of sold out pre-orders and decided you don’t want to wait a couple weeks for iPhone 5 to be delivered to your door, your next option is to try and get one in a retail store. Sales start on the morning of September 21, if you plan on grabbing one on launch day you’ll probably want to aim for an early arrival and prepare to wait in a line. Below are your options for buying iPhone 5 in the USA.

Where to Buy iPhone 5 On Launch Day

Where to Buy iPhone 5 On Launch Day

Stores That Sell iPhone 5

Check the store locators and find which retailer works best for you:

  • Apple Retail Stores – Apple Stores are likely to have the most stock, but they’ll also probably have the longest lines. Get there early enough and you’ll almost certainly get one though.
  • AT&T Retail Store – All AT&T retail stores should have a decent stock of iPhone 5′s but they’re also likely to sell out quickly. Get there early!
  • Verizon Retail Stores – Verizon retail will have iPhone 5 on hand but they may be the fastest to sell out due to the popularity of Verizon’s vast LTE network, as with others expect lines and get there early
  • Sprint Stores – Sprint is the only carrier left to offer unlimited data for iPhone 5, making the their LTE network a very attractive offering. That also means they will be selling out quick, so you know what to do. Line up!
  • Walmart – Walmart will have iPhone 5 in stock but the quantity will likely very greatly based on location, you’re best off calling the night before and making sure they’ll have some in stock. Ask to transfer to electronics/cell phones and try to speak with someone knowledgable. Walmart is also $10 cheaper than Apple!
  • Target – Same story as Walmart, quantity of devices available is going to vary on location. Call ahead of time and speak with the appropriate staff. Not many people know they sell Apple gear, so Target is traditionally a great place to get otherwise sold-out Apple gear on launch days.
  • Best Buy – Some people swear by Best Buy for launch day purchases, but the availability of iPhone 5 is going to vary greatly based on store locations just like the other retailers. Get there early and you’ll probably get one.
  • Radio Shack – RadioShack is a bit like Target in the sense that not many people know they carry iPhones and iPads, therefore you can often get Apple gear here when everyone else is sold out. Call ahead and make sure your local store will have what you want, then show up and enjoy!

Each store will probably carry a variety of iPhone 5′s right away, and if you’re not picky on the precise model you get you’ll have a better chance of walking away with one sooner than later. We generally recommend buying the base 16GB model because it’s the cheapest at $199 ($189 at Walmart) and holds its resale value incredibly well, but they also tend to be the most popular option and sell out quickest.

Finally, don’t expect the pricey unlocked iPhone 5′s to be available right away at anywhere other than Apple Stores, and because of their ginormous resale value in locations around the globe they tend to get purchased right away by scalpers looking to flip them overseas for healthy profits.

Apple: iPhone 5 orders topped 2M in 24 hours

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. EDT on 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 Cupertino, Calif. company’s stock added 1.2 percent, or $8.50, to close at $699.78 on Monday.

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 (10.16 centimeters) 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 (8.89-centimeter) 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 and as the iPhone 4S went on sale, scores of Apple devotees were still mourning him with candlelight vigils and impromptu memorial ceremonies outside of Apple stores across the globe.

The iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s 356 U.S. stores starting Friday. 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.

Apple takes orders for 2 million iPhone 5s; shares hit $700

Apple says iPhone 5 orders were more than double the previous record of 1 million iPhones ordered the first day.

If record pre-orders are any indication, expect some huge lines when the iPhone 5 hits stores Friday.

Apple takes orders for 2 million iPhone 5s; shares hit $700

Apple takes orders for 2 million iPhone 5s; shares hit $700

Apple Inc. obliterated its single-day sales record for iPhone pre-sales, announcing that it took orders for more than 2 million iPhone 5s last Friday. That was more than double its previous mark of 1 million iPhones ordered the first day of pre-sales in October for the iPhone 4S.

The massive iPhone 5 numbers pushed Apple’s stock past $700 a share for the first time in after-hours trading Monday. The shares closed at $699.78, up $8.50, or 1.2%. The world’s most valuable company is now worth nearly $656 billion — about six times its value in June 2007, when it released the first iPhone.

And with shoppers already beginning to line up at an Apple retail store in New York City, the device’s official release Friday could break even more records.

“The customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

The Cupertino, Calif., company said demand for the phone quickly exceeded the initial supply, so although the majority of pre-orders will be delivered Friday, many will be delayed for shipment until October.

The demand was so overwhelming that it intermittently crashed Apple’s website and sites of retail partners in the first few hours after the phone became available for pre-sale. In just one hour, Apple.com sold out its release-day stock. AT&T and Verizon also announced their own shipping delays.

The hoopla over the new phone — which features a 4-inch retina display screen, 4G LTE high-speed connectivity, better cameras, iOS 6 and a smaller dock connector — is unprecedented, analysts said.

“The challenge will be for folks to calibrate their expectations,” said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. He’s predicting that Apple will sell 58 million iPhones in the holiday quarter.

The iPhone is Apple’s premier product, with more than 244 million sold since its debut five years ago, not including pre-sales of the iPhone 5. Sales of iPhones and related products and services accounted for 46% of Apple’s revenue in the most recent quarter and 58% in the previous quarter; about 60% of Apple’s profits are estimated to come from the iPhone.

In its last fiscal year, Apple reported revenue of $47.1 billion from iPhones and related products and services, up 87% from the previous fiscal year.

Every year, the race to be among the first to get the newest iPhone spurs Black Friday-like lines at Apple stores around the country. Southern California mall operators are expecting an onslaught of Apple customers camped outside Apple stores starting Thursday.

The iPhone 5 will go on sale at 356 Apple retail stores in the U.S. at 8 a.m. local time Friday. It will also be sold at wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, and retailers including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target and Wal-Mart.

The phone rolls out to 22 more countries Sept. 28.

Which iPhone 5 Should You Buy?

Wondering which iPhone 5 to buy? We’ll help you answer that question with some common sense, featuring two use cases that will cover the vast majority of iPhone owners.

Which iPhone 5 Should you Buy?

Which iPhone 5 Should you Buy?

Average iPhone User – iPhone 5 16GB

The average iPhone user and anyone on the standard upgrade cycle should go with the base-model iPhone 5. Why? It’s the most reasonably priced at $199 with a two-year contract, it holds it’s resale value the best for when you go to upgrade again at the next release cycle, and with iCloud, 16GB is a more than adequate amount of storage for the vast majority of users needs. For just about every average iPhone 5 user, the base model 16GB iPhone is the way to go.

iPhone Photographer – iPhone 5 32GB

Planning on using your iPhone as your primary camera? You should get the 32GB model. Even with iCloud and Photo Stream to help relieve the space burden, the iPhone 5 has a 8MP camera and that means file sizes are often 4MB per picture, which will quickly take up space. Add in a handful of great apps, a music collection, and the occasional 1080p movie recorded from the iPhone 5, and you’ll max out the base models 16GB capacity quick once you start snapping lots of photos. The 32GB model is the most reasonable solution you won’t have to constantly delete photos to free up space, and it doesn’t cost too much more at $299 with a contract. Yes if you’re on the rapid-upgrade cycle, you will lose most of that $100 price difference, but if your iPhone 5 is going replace your point-and-shoot camera, it’s well worth the difference and sure beats cluttering your pockets with a separate digital camera.

What Color?

Which color is entirely personal preference. The black model is extremely sleek with it’s slate back, and a black screen border tends to make colors pop. Meanwhile, the white model has a beautiful aluminum backing that matches the iPads and MacBooks, and looks extremely clean. You’re on your own here!

Which Cellular Carrier is Best for iPhone 5?

This is the hardest question to answer because it largely depends on where you live, where you go, and your monthly budget. The iPhone 5 supports true LTE networking, which is much faster than 3G, but not all areas have LTE coverage yet. Your best bet is to use the carriers coverage maps, find the areas you most often visit, and check coverage based on those requirements, and then use Apple’s excellent iPhone plan comparison tool to determine the best plan for your budget.

  • AT&T coverage map
  • Verizon coverage map
  • Sprint Coverage map
  • Apple’s plan comparison tool

Currently, Verizon has the most LTE covered areas, but AT&T and Sprint are rapidly catching up and expanding their networks. If you live in a major US city and spend most of your time in that city, Verizon very well could be the best bet for consistent LTE speeds, but Verizon plans often cost a bit more than AT&T. Meanwhile, Sprint offers true unlimited data – even on LTE – and the cheapest plans. An important thing to remember when checking coverage also is the distinction between what AT&T calls 4G and LTE, LTE is the superfast network that the iPhone 5 is designed to take advantage of, while 4G is just a slightly faster 3G. Ultimately, LTE is what you’re looking for to take advantage of the crazy mobile broadband speeds that will forever change mobile usage.

For me, I live in an area without LTE coverage on any carrier, and I still have an ancient grandfathered unlimited data plan on AT&T. For that reason, plus the eventual SIM card unlock, I’ll be sticking with AT&T for iPhone 5. That said, if I lived in a major city with LTE coverage, I’d probably go with Verizon because their LTE is very fast, you usually get the Personal HotSpot feature bundled with their data plans, and because you can use FaceTime over the VZ cell network. Meanwhile, if I wanted the cheapest monthly bill for using huge amounts of data, Sprint would be the obvious winner. As you can see the decision will vary based on your needs, and that’s why spending a few minutes looking at each option is worthwhile.

Unlocked iPhone 5 Prices: 16GB for $649, 32GB for $749, 64GB for $849

Want a contract-free iPhone 5? Buying an unlocked iPhone 5 doesn’t come cheap, but the good news is the price hasn’t gone up and the cost has remained the same as the prior unlocked iPhone 4S model.

Unlocked iPhone 5 Prices

  • iPhone 5 16GB – $649
  • iPhone 5 32GB – $749
  • iPhone 5 64GB – $849
Unlocked iPhone 5

Unlocked iPhone 5

These prices come from directly from Apple’s Online Store. Both black and white colors are the same price, as are the out-of-contract prices on any carrier network.

Obviously with the hefty prices, it’s much more economical to pay the in-contract prices which start at just $199. Whether you’re going contract-free or signing an agreement, we still recommend buying the iPhone 5 16GB for most users,.

One important thing to remember is iPhone 5 uses an all new nano-SIM card, so it won’t be a matter of just cutting an existing sim and popping it in there to work on a different network. Because of the new nano-SIM requirement you’ll need to find a carrier that offers compatible sim cards.

For those who own the older iPhone 4, 4S, 3GS, and 3G models, it will be much more economical to unlock existing iPhones through AT&T by phone or through the web.

Start Time for iPhone 5 Pre-Orders is 12:01AM PST on September 14

Start Time for iPhone 5 Pre-Orders is 12:01AM PST on September 14

iPhone 5 pre-orders are starting at 12:01AM Pacific Standard Time (3:01 Eastern) on September 14 – midnight tonight. The pre-order date was previously announced for Friday, September 14, but the beginning time was uncertain until now. Since then, MacRumors notes that both Verizon and Sprint have come forward to announce the midnight ordering, and presumably AT&T will follow suit.

Apple has now confirmed the midnight pre-order time, and earlier they were previously suggesting the 12:01AM PST time when asked through online representatives and phone sales reps:

Phone 5 Pre-Orders

Phone 5 Pre-Orders

You may want to set an alarm clock or reminder for your appropriate time-zone if you’re interested in pre-ordering an iPhone 5 for arrival on release day on September 21. Typically the initial batches of pre-orders sell out fairly quickly, and shipping times slip a few days once this occurs.

Alternately, waiting in line at any Apple Store or reseller remains a perfectly viable option on release day as well, and is almost always a guaranteed way to get your hands on any hot Apple device right away. Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T each will offer iPhone 5 immediately on release day.