Sept. 23: For Apple, the release of two new iPhone models has already resulted in nearly double the sales of previous releases.
Apple said today that it sold nine million new handsets over the first weekend that the phones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, went on sale. That compares with five million iPhone 5 smartphones sold last year in that model’s first weekend.
Friday’s release marked the first time Apple released two new iPhones instead of one. It was also the first time it released iPhones at the same time in multiple countries around the world, including China.
“This is our best iPhone launch yet,” said Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, in a statement. He said the company had already sold out of the more expensive model, the iPhone 5S, but more shipments were on the way.
The company did not say how many of each model was sold, but it had expected the iPhone 5S to be the more popular. Apple allowed customers to place early online orders for the cheaper 5C but not the 5S because of expected supply constraints.
Sales of the new iPhones topped analysts’ expectations. They had predicted Apple would sell between five million and eight million.
The strong sales should give Apple a much-needed boost. Over recent quarters, its revenue has been flat and its profit growth has slowed. And its stock has taken a beating on Wall Street amid investors’ concerns that the company had lost its ability to innovate after the death of Steven P. Jobs. “Remarkable. The rumours of Apple’s demise are clearly wrong,” said Laurence Isaac Balter, chief market strategist at Oracle Investment Research.