Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 Supply Exhausted Within 60 Minutes

September 15, 2012 9:40 am
Apple (AAPL) shares reached a new high on Friday after reports surfaced that the company had sold out the initial stock of its iPhone 5, forcing the tech giant to stop taking preorders for the sixth-generation iPhone.
Shares of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company gained 1.2%, or $8.30, to close at $691.28, extending gains for the year to more than 70% and giving the tech firm a market value of $648 billion.
Apple began taking iPhone 5 orders at midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, promising delivery by Sept. 21, when the new smartphone, Apple’s best-selling product, making up about two-thirds of its profit, goes on sale in stores in the U.S. and certain countries. Four hours later, Apple’s online store, at www.apple.com, said it won’t ship new orders until Sept. 28, indicating a sellout of available iPhone 5 units. The expected delivery time had grown to two weeks within an hour of presales.
“The initial batch is sold out,” said to Bloomberg Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., who raised his sales projection for the quarter ending in September for iPhone 5 handsets to 26 million, from 23 million, adding: “We think that could turn out to be conservative.”
While previous iPhone models sold out quickly online, “I don’t think it happened quite this fast,” Tavis McCourt, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates, said in an Bberg interview. “The speed here is unusual.”
McCourt is right. The iPhone 5 sold 20x as fast as previous models in pre-ordering. If you recall, last year, one-week delivery of the iPhone 4S was available into the afternoon of the first order day.
“Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said. “We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response.”
Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 at a special media event Wednesday in San Francisco. The much-anticipated handset features a 4-inch “retina” display, supports the high-speed 4G LTE wireless network, which means much faster browsing with a compatible network, and is thinner and lighter than its predecessor.
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