When Apple announced it sold 5 million iPhone 5s during the opening weekend, it was a bit of a shock.
Analysts were calling for 6-10 million iPhone 5s sold during the opening weekend, so Apple came up well short of those expectations.
Since then, analysts have been throwing out a few explanations for how they got it wrong. Rather than overthinking this thing, it seems like the simplest explanation is the right one.
In the release announcing iPhone 5 sales, Tim Cook said, "While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."
You catch that? He's apologizing for not having enough iPhone 5s for everyone.
When was the last time Apple apologized for not having enough iPhones during an opening weekend? When it sold the iPhone 4. In the press release announcing opening weekend iPhone 4 sales, Steve Jobs said, "This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”
Yesterday the market didn't freak out over Apple's lighter than expected opening iPhone 5 sales, so it seems to believe Cook. The market thinks its just a supply issue.
The truth of the matter is that we won't know the real of iPhone 5 demand and growth for another three months. Apple will report holiday quarter earnings in January, and then we'll find out if iPhone sales are still growing at a mind blowing clip, or if Apple's growth is finally coming back to planet earth.
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