In a statement to CNBC, Apple says it is on pace to beat last year’s iPhone record with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus for opening weekend sales. This means Apple should exceed the 10 million unit record it set last year with the iPhone 6. Apple says that online demand for the larger iPhone 6s Plus is ‘exceptionally strong’ with the initial stock of units sold out globally.
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“Customer response to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world,” the company said in a statement. “We are on pace to beat last year’s 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale September 25.”
In addition, Apple says it will have more iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units available at retail when the phones launch so don’t fear if you missed out during the preorder rush. The China Apple Online Store has actually sold out of all iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models yesterday. It is worth pointing out that China was not included in the initial rollout last year. In general, it seems like sales have been more heavily skewed towards the larger 5.5 inch model.
Last year, Apple sold 4 million iPhone 6 devices in 24 hours of preorders with the total hitting 10 million in the first three days of availability. Apple has not announced 24 hour data for this launch but clearly seems confident in the iPhone debut, officially starting September 25th.
Analysts at BTIG Research believe Apple can sell 80 million phones in the December quarter, compared with 74 million a year ago. They believe that 3D Touch is a compelling reason to upgrade as well as reiterate the point that 70% of iPhone owners are using iPhones from 2013 and older and are likely due for an upgrade. Even if reception to the 6S is muted, the analyst believes the iPhone 6 will drive strong sales from these upgrades. It also suggests that Apple’s new iPhone Upgrade Program plays an important role here. Apple may want to constrain unit shipments to carrier stores in order to draw more people to its own retail stores and sign them up on its own monthly leasing plan. Apple will likely provide more color on iPhone 6s sales at its next earnings call as well as in a press release around the 28th September announcing opening-weekend sales.