Thanks to China, Apple Sets Another iPhone Sales Record

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Apple sold a record breaking 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C models over the weekend, likely because of high demand for that gold iPhone 5S. Apple tends to break records over the first weekend its newest gadgets go on sale: Last year, Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5 devices in three days. So it's not really the record but the 9 million figure, bigger than the most optimistic analysts had predicted, that people are noticing. Even Apple seems surprised, increasing its predictions for next quarters revenue numbers: "total company revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter to be near the high end of the previously provided range of $34 billion to $37 billion, and expects gross margin to be near the high end of the previously provided range of 36 percent to 37 percent," the company said in an announcement on Monday morning.

It's hard to tell why exactly Apple sales did so well — the company did not break down figures further than the huge 9 million figure, but indicated that iPhone 5S sales did particularly well, as the company sold out of its initial stock. One analytics firm guesses that the 5S outsold the 5C three-to-one. And, indeed, all signs pointed to high demand for the 5S, especially the gold one, which quickly sold after it went on sale on Friday. Even in markets like China, where pundits had expected the cheaper device to sell well, the 5S fared better than the 5C.

In fact, the large figure might have more to do with Apple's push into new markets. This is the first time Apple made both of its new iPhones available in China on the first day of sales rather than the usual three-month delay after the U.S. debut. While analysts have cited the iPhone's high price for why Apple hasn't been able to dominate the Chinese market, with a mix of phone carrier subsidies, deals, and hype, the 5S drew crowds and, apparently, sales in China.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.