iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c Release: Launch Weekend Sales Comparison, Analysts' Reactions

 @KukilBora
on September 24 2013 7:23 AM

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold a record-breaking 9 million new iPhones in the first weekend since the launch of its 5s and 5c handsets. In comparison, Samsung’s (KRX:005935) Galaxy S4, which is considered to be the top Android-powered handset and the toughest competitor to the iPhone, took a whole month to sell 10 million units.

One of the main reasons behind Apple’s successful iPhone launch this year is that its new phones were shipped to 11 markets around the world, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K.

Although Apple did not list the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c sales figures independently, reports said that based on current rumors about underperforming iPhone 5c pre-orders, the iPhone 5s might have outsold its less-expensive counterpart during the three-day period. And, while there is still some confusion about which new iPhone model attracted more customers, a comparison can be made between the collective sales figure of new iPhones and that of other smartphones currently available in the market.

According to a report from Pocket-lint, the S4’s predecessor, the Galaxy S3, reached the 10 million mark in 50 days after its launch in 2012. On the other hand, the HTC (TPE:2498) One, whose unibody aluminum construction was touted by many, took 30 days to reach the 5 million mark. According to another report, sales of the HTC One could have been higher if the company had not faced constant supply issues.

Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Windows Phone handsets, combining the whole Lumia range, took 90 days to sell 7.4 million units. In addition, in all of Lumia's history since 2011, Nokia has sold only twice the number of phones that Apple managed to sell in the first three days of its latest product launch.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), which recently announced it would cut 4,500 jobs worldwide to stem costs and has tentatively agreed to a $4.7 billion takeover deal, sold only 5.9 million smartphones during the last three months, Bloomberg reported.

Apple's latest record sales performance has generated a lot of positive sentiment among analysts, with many reviewing their recommendations and price targets for the company's stock. Here are some analysts' reactions, courtesy of Apple Insider:

Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray: "We had been expecting 5-6 million units as sell-through and note that the 9 million-unit weekend number includes sell-in of the 5C. Our adjustment for the sell-in implies opening-weekend sell-through of around 5.5 million units. We believe the 5.5 million sell-through number compares to the 5 million iPhone 5 units sold last year (Apple sold out of initial stock) and view the 5S/5C launch as a solid start.”

Price Target: $640.00

Rating: Overweight

Ben A. Reitzes, Barclays: “The announcement is quite positive considering supply of the iPhone 5S is also significantly constrained at this point… Apple also announced 200 million customers have migrated to iOS7 and the rollout has been the 'fastest software upgrade in history.' The new OS is clearly driving sales as well.”

Price Target: $525.00

Rating: Overweight

Steven Milunovich, UBS: "The 5c appears less popular than the 5s with its advanced technology, at least among early buyers… The response in China appears muted. In addition, pricing programs from China Telecom and Unicom are not as accommodative as originally thought.”

Price Target: $520.00

Rating: Neutral

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