Apple has officially announced sales of its wildly popular iPhone 5 device to number 5 million units. During its launch weekend, the device sold out at retail and easily toppled sales of the iPhone 4S debut from last year but falling short of many analysts’ expectations. While 5 million units is nothing to be disappointed about, it is being reported that millions of iPhone 5s are still in transit.
In a period of 2 days, Apple iPhone 5 pre-orders tallied a whopping 2 million units and analysts figured the device would sell in the 6-1o million unit range. They based their answer on the undeniable demand for Apple’s device but millions of pre-orders are still on their way to consumers.
ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall stated that many of those first-day pre-orders, as well as ones made after that date, have yet to be delivered, and thus Apple can not yet count them as sold. Marshall stated:
[R]ecall the 5mil+ iPhone 5 reported sales only takes into consideration: 1) what was sold into partners (e.g., retail outlets, carriers, etc.), 2) sold in AAPL retail stores, and 3) direct to customers only if they signed for the device. Importantly, this doesn’t take into consideration units in delivery direct to customers (i.e., AAPL must have signature of acceptance by customer before it is counted as a sale) and we estimate units in transit could be in the millions currently.
When the dust finally settles, it looks as though the iPhone 5 will be the most popular smartphone of all time.