Apple have flogged 2 million, Telstra are sold out, and Optus may not be far behind. But is the iPhone 5 “sell out” a stunt?
And is Australia (and maybe the world) facing an iPhone 5 supply shortage?
Apple announced its hyped-up iPhone 5, announced last week, had sold over 2 million on global pre-sale in 24 hours, it has been confirmed.
“iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing.
“iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet, the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, and we hope customers love it as much as we do.”
Demand for i5 kitted out with 4″ screen, 4G modem and 8MP camera, was more than double the previous 1 million sales record held by the iPhone 4S, despite the fact it has received a watery reaction from reviewers and consumers alike who say it lacks the wow factor and is playing catch-up to a slew of Samsung and HTC Androids already on the market.
Some are even saying the iPhone 5 sell out claim may be an elaborate stunt by Apple to drive demand for the device with a cult following.
“By doing the allocations this way, Apple gets two stories – ‘pre-orders sell out’ and ‘queues around the block on launch day’,” Apple expert Matthew Powell told SMH. “If it isn’t deliberate, it’s awfully fortuitous.”
“Demand for iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders will be delivered to customers on 21 September, many are scheduled to be delivered in October” Apple said.
Telstra confirmed to us yesterday they had indeed sold out of i5 stock within around 18 hours of pre-sales opening on its website and is looking at how to meet mass demand.
However, Telstra is no stranger to iPhone shortages, having sold out of 4S models just days after it went on sale, last October.
A spokesperson told SmartHouse it was currently examining what its next step will be.
Optus also confirmed to SmartHouse it has indeed suffered iPhone 5 shortages after it sold out of 32GB and 64GB models due to massive demand on pre-sale, but said “we don’t have a timeframe we can confirm just yet” for when stock will be replenished.
Telco No.3 Vodafone also confirmed demand for the new Apple was “strong” and have sold out of certain models already, while Virgin has also sold out of pre-order stock.
However, Voda aren’t in the midst of a supply crisis just yet, as have an allocated amount of pre-order and instore stock, which should be sufficient to meet retail demand on Friday, a spokesperson confirmed, although admitted it can be “hard to tell ..as the appetite for i5 certaintly appears to be there.”
Voda aren’t holding a midnight launch for iPhone 5 either and will start selling the device at 8am Friday morning, nationwide, as are the other telcos.
Analysts expect the iPhone 5 to sell millions, especially in Q4 prior to the Christmas rush and Gene Munster from US analyst Piper Jaffray is predicting 8 million will be sold when the i5 hits stores on September 21, or at worst, 6 million.
“While we continue to believe an 8 million launch weekend figure is achievable, we believe that the 2 million preorders suggest that the worst case weekend sales figure is likely to be 6 million,” the bullish analyst told CNet.
The iPhone 5 will be available at Apple retail stores and the telcos at 8 a.m.Friday, 21 September.
And to sweeten the deal and ensure overnight vigils prior to September 21, Apple is luring fans to its retail emporium by offering free Personal Setup service for every iPhone 5 sold.