Although sales of the iPhone 5 broke records over its launch weekend, the 5 million units sold by Apple came in below Wall Street expectations as the company’s limited supply wasn’t able to keep up with the considerable demand. Analyst Gene Munster wit Piper Jaffray said the sales shortfall is partially because and other analysts assumed that Apple’s sales figures would include all phones that were pre-ordered online. According to him, that number would add up to a million additional units to the total sales, as the company quickly sold out of launch day stock.
Munster continued by saying that Apple may have rationed some of its iPhone 5 supply for the device’s launch in 22 additional countries this Friday. Brian Marshall with the ISI Group also mentioned that Apple’s sales figures don’t take into consideration the units that are en route to customers already. He said Apple must have the signature of acceptance by a customer before the device can be counted as a sale. This being the cause, Marshall also believes there could be millions of iPhone 5 units in transit to customers which would further boost Apple’s sales.
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets is also not concerned about Apple’s sales in the first three days. He said the shortfall is due to supply availability and the fact that many customers opted to preorder online are still awaiting their handset. White wrote the following:
We remain aggressive buyers of Apple on any weakness in the stock this morning as we believe Apple has another blockbuster on its hands with the iPhone 5 and we expect the 'iPad mini' to launch in the coming weeks.
Regardless if the numbers matched analyst expectations or not, the iPhone 5 has seen the most successful launch of any iDevice to date and it is projected to do well going forward as well.