Apple's Blockbuster Weekend by the Numbers

After the back-and-forth over the weekend about how long Apple Store lines were, the numbers are finally in -- and they show Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) certainly doesn't have a case of the Mondays.

Here's a quick breakdown of the iMaker's iPhone sales and iOS 7 upgrade rate.

Apple's iPhone history
Apple's been known to set record sales after iPhone launch weekends, and this year didn't disappoint. The company said today it sold more than 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c units, compared to 5 million for the iPhone 5 last year and 4 million 4S units in 2011.


iPhone 5s. Source: Apple.

But there are two differences to sales this year compared to iPhone sales in years past. The first is that obviously Apple is selling two iPhones now -- as opposed to one -- and the other is that it started selling the devices in China on the first day. Last year the iPhone 5 launched in Hong Kong a week after it was available in U.S. Both have a positive impact on sales numbers, but even if the sales aren't a one-to-one comparison from previous years, investors shouldn't be too concerned with that. Apple has moved China up in its release schedule and added an additional device to its iPhone lineup. Both have increased initial weekend sales, which is what investors should focus on.

iOS 7 upgrade mania
Apple said 200 million users are now running iOS 7, "making it the fastest software upgrade in history." Over the weekend, devices running iOS 7 surpassed iOS 6 devices just 72 hours after is launch, according to data from Mixpanel.

The speedy upgrades further prove that Apple needn't worry about the fragmentation that plagues Android. Another report by Chitika showed that 32% of North American iOS web traffic was on iOS 7 in just 48 hours, compared to the three days it took iOS 6 to surpass the 30% mark.

Apple is alive and well
Overall, the iPhone sales numbers and the upgrade figures are both huge wins for Apple. The adoption rate for iOS 7 proves Apple still has very loyal customers who are interested in its offerings, and the company is giving additional value to customers who bought phones more than two years ago -- a benefit for both.

Hitting 9 million iPhones sold in one weekend is obviously good news for Apple investors as well. Even though two phones are being sold, you could theoretically add initial weekend sales of the iPhone 5 from last year and the 4S from two years ago and reach the same 9 million in sales. Using that logic, Apple would have at least matched what it's done with its previous two device sales.

One of the biggest takeaways from this weekend is that Apple just launched a mid-product cycle phone with the 5s. It's not an iPhone 6, which will have more upgrades and could potentially create more demand. If Apple can pull in these numbers without releasing an entirely new flagship phone, then hopefully we can expect better results when the 6 comes out. Along that same line, although there are upgrades to the 5c over the iPhone 5, much of the device is the same. So Apple has managed to sell 9 million phones that have great features, but aren't technically "revolutionary" new products. Regardless, investors should be happy to know the iMaker can indeed still sell a lot of phones.

What's next for Apple?
Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products... and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On September 23, 2013, at 7:27 PM, pmvflyer wrote:

    Another rehash of previously available information attached to a thinly veiled advertisement for Motley Fool services. When you title an article "Apple's Blockbuster Weekend by the Numbers" how about putting in new information? Maybe you could do a calculation of how much the weekend numbers will convert to in revenue? I don't need a rehash of information already widely distributed.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 12:11 PM, OceanJackson wrote:

    I've been using the new iOS7 for the last 4 days...it's a leaps & bounds improvement in my view over iOS6.

    Not just a marginal one, which people confuse with the word 'incremental'.

    Rather there are so many incremental improvements that the cumulative result is huge.

    Jony Ive needs to get the credit he deserves. He just saved Apple.

    When Apple says it's considered every detail, every little design choice - it's obvious that they have. One can see the reasoning behind a design detail with iOS7.

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