How Fast Did iPhone 5's Popularity Decline?
At an upscale mall in Metro Detroit, roughly one to two hundred people lined up to purchase an iPhone 5 Friday morning. The level of enthusiasm was exceptionally high. From the moment shoppers entered the mall, it was clear that the iPhone 5 was a product that people were eager to buy.
Still, after surveying one local crowd, it was hard to imagine that Apple could sell 10 million units in one weekend, as some analysts predicted. It turns out that Apple was only able to sell five million units.
Apple has been saying for months that it believes its future is in China -- not just in manufacturing (where Apple already makes its products), but in sales. The company hopes to use the nation's enormous population to sell a growing number of products, year after year.
Worldwide, the iPhone 5 may very well break records. Domestically, it is another story. While there are some fans who say that they will buy every iPhone produced, even if they are all exactly the same, Apple may be unable to generate the level of retail sales that it achieved online this week.
At 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, just one hour before retailers were set to open across the country, there were still some iPhones left at the Apple Store located at the Somerset Collection in Troy, MI. This was an unusual sight for the retailer, which was unable to meet demand when the iPad 2 was released. The iPhone 4S proved to be even more popular, albeit with additional stock to spare. The same could not be said for the third-generation iPad, however, since Apple had more than enough units to sell to consumers.
Still, considering the success of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, and the immense hype for the iPhone 5's release, it was strange to discover that there were still some units available Friday morning.
After all -- it only took Apple one hour to sell out of its initial stock of iPhone 5 units online. Consumers had more than a week to prepare for the device's retail debut. At most outlets, shoppers were allowed to get in line the night before it was released. Some allowed consumers to line up a full week in advance.
On Saturday, Benzinga reported that some models were still in stock at an Apple Store in Garden City, New York.
This contradicts with another report, which claims that the iPhone 5 lines were 83 percent longer than those for the iPhone 4S. How can Apple simultaneously enjoy larger crowds and record-breaking sales figures while battling a supply shortage?
One might argue that the shorter lines and apparent supply surplus were isolated events. Maybe they were. That does not change the fact that the iPhone 5 failed to captivate the buying public on the level that was expected last weekend.
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