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Where Were the Apple iPhone 6s Preorder Numbers?

Apple has released preorder iPhone sales numbers for each of the last five years -- except for the iPhone 5s and 5c. The iPhone 5s, which was less than a rousing success, was not offered for pre-sale.


Look no further than Monday’s market open to understand why Apple rushed out a press release declaring early victory in advance orders of the latest iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Apple shares jumped 2 percent on the company’s statement that it was “on pace” to beat last year’s first-weekend sales of 10 million units of the blockbuster iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

But where were the actual numbers? Last year, Apple quickly disclosed it logged four million preorders within the first 24 hours it made the iPhone 6 available. This year, not so much detail.

We’re not quite sure why. But here are two things to keep in mind.

First, beating those figures should have been easy. The launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus did not have the benefit of launching in the massive China market, the first market where it may have sold out its initial inventory.

“It’s therefore not surprising that sales would be up and should not be taken as strong evidence in support of our view that it can grow iPhone sales in this December quarter,” BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk wrote in an analyst note this morning. “We guess the next question will be whether Apple even reports first weekend sales on Sept. 29, as they have for every launch except for the first iPhone.”

Second, this is only the second time in five years that Apple did not disclose precise figures after the first weekend it has made the phone available. The only time it did not was in 2013 at the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c. The 5s, which was not offered for preorder, was less than a rousing success in the initial quarter. The modest refresh of the iPhone 5s boosted Apple’s smartphone sales by a mere 7 percent in the fiscal first quarter of 2014. In fact, these “s” generation iPhones typically perform less well than major updates.

Analysts expect pre-sales of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to do even better than its hot-selling predecessor in the first 24 hours, with advance orders reaching 4.5 million units, according to Reuters.


Apple declined to comment on its decision to withhold pre-sales numbers, referring reporters back to its statement.

“As many customers noticed, the online demand for iPhone 6s Plus has been exceptionally strong and exceeded our own forecasts for the preorder period,” Apple said in a statement. “We are working to catch up as quickly as we can, and we will have iPhone 6s Plus as well as iPhone 6s units available at Apple retail stores when they open next Friday.”

We’re waiting to hear more.

Update: A report from MacRumors suggests another reason why the waits are so long for the new iPhone 6s Plus. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote that a Japanese company that supplies a backlight module for the larger-screen smartphone is encountering production issues, contributing to the short supply of the model. Neither Apple nor the supplier, Minebea, could immediately be reached for comment.

This article originally appeared on

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