If you're wondering whether Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest iPhone models are a hit with customers, wonder no more: The company just announced it handily beat all previous launch-weekend iPhone sales. Over the weekend, 13 million iPhones were sold -- 30% more than its previous record set in 2014.
An easy win?
Ahead of its Monday announcement of record iPhone sales, it was almost certain the tech giant would set a new record. After all, Apple basically said it would.
"Customer response to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world," the company said in a statement to CNBC shortly after preorders began. "We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25."
Of course, it was largely expected even before this statement from Apple that it would be able to set a new record for launch-weekend sales. The company had one unfair advantage this year compared to last year: China was included on the list of countries that rolled out the iPhone during its first weekend of sales. As one of Apple's biggest markets, its decision to include China in its initial rollout displayed its confidence in both its ability to ramp production and expected customer demand for the new devices.
More evidence new iPhones will do well
The evidence that the latest iPhone models are poised to continue to help Apple grow its smartphone business is mounting.
In addition to the good news for shareholders that launch-weekend sales this year were significantly higher than last year's, it's also worth noting that this year's launch-weekend record for iPhone sales was set even as estimated ship dates of all iPhone 6s Plus models had slipped well into October ahead of the weekend. And all rose-gold versions of both iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6s had slipped into October. So, many of the customers who ordered iPhones ahead of the launch weekend still haven't even received them -- and Apple doesn't count iPhones that have not been shipped as sales. So, 13 million isn't a perfect representation of demand for iPhone during the launch weekend.
It's normal, of course, for Apple to run out of available online inventory for many of its iPhone models ahead of its launch weekend. But the fact that it was able to beat its previous launch-weekend record by 30% and still have a significant backlog of orders is quite impressive.
Also suggesting this will be a good year for iPhone, demand for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, based on current shipping times for different models, continues to look positive. At the time of this writing, a few of the silver iPhone 6s models are showing shipping date ranges of October 5 to October 12 on its website. But most are pushed out to a range of October 13 to October 19. And all iPhone 6s Plus Models are showing a ship time frame three to four weeks out.
More notable evidence of a good start for the latest iPhone models came last week when T-Mobile CEO John Legere said preorders for iPhone ahead of the launch were up 30% compared to the year before.
With iPhones accounting for nearly 70% of Apple's revenue, this optimistic start for the newest iPhone is good for the stock, which trades at a wildly conservative valuation in relation to its recent growth.