Recently, Apple reported that it sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s in its opening weekend. At first hand it does look like one whopper of a figure, but it comes as a surprise to you that industry experts and trade analysts are disappointed in it. This is because many trade analysts were expecting Apple to sell at least 6-10 million iPhone 5s in the opening weekend, given the popularity associated with Apple devices, particularly a new iPhone. The difference in the analysis and the sales figures is a good 1 to 5 million devices.
Moreover, if we compare the opening weekend sales of iPhone 5 to its predecessors, we will come out with disappointing results. The opening weekend sales grew 135 percent between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. But when you take into consideration the iPhone 5 sales and iPhone 4, it is a mere 25 percent. Now this is disappointing.
So, what can be the reason? Let’s find out through the following pointers.
Consumers are unwilling to wait in long queues nowadays
iPhone 5 is the sixth generation iPhone, with the first generation of the device launched way back in 2007. After 5 years, you can naturally expect consumers to become smarter. Perhaps this happened to iPhone users, who seem to have realized that waiting in long queues to be the first ones to own a shiny, new iPhone 5 isn’t just worth it.
So, they were probably waiting for all the hype to die down and then buy their iPhone 5 at their convenience and not during the first three days (rush hour).
Consumers are not fence sitters; they are simply waiting for the right time
Many consumers are taking the “wait and watch” route. This means that they don’t want to head straight for the iPhone 5 just because it is the latest device in the market; they are taking their own time to review other options available in the market (e.g. Samsung’s Galaxy SIII) and they’ll only go for the iPhone 5 if it gets favorable reviews and they believe that it’s the best option available on the market. (Right now, they are just evaluating, which smartphone is worth their money.)
iPhone 5 isn’t that different than its predecessor; so why the excitement?
If you go through iPhone 5 reviews, you will find that many of them are saying the same thing i.e. this new iPhone version is not much different than the iPhone 4S. This time round all Apple did was increase the display size, made it thinner and lighter and threw in a handful of ‘new’ features and functionalities. One of these features is the iOS 6 operating system. But then, when consumers can upgrade their iPhone 4S devices to iOS 6, why would they buy an iPhone 5 in the first place – especially when changing handsets (even in the same ecosystem) is a painstaking process!
Also, some of them are waiting for the time when Apple perfects its iPhone 5, particularly the much criticized ‘Apple Maps app’; as and when Apple is ready with a perfected iPhone 5, they will take the plunge and buy it.
The demand and supply problem
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply. He also added that the company is working hard so that it can provide an iPhone 5 to all the customers as soon as possible. This means, that the low pre-order sales figures are just a demand and supply issue and iPhone 5 will gain momentum soon enough, when there are sufficient devices in the market for all the users to buy.
So, the trade analysts did go wrong in anticipating the pre-order sales of iPhone 5. But this doesn’t say anything about the device’s future. There is still the holiday quarter to look forward to and the sales of iPhone 5 might just escalate exponentially then. Let’s wait and watch till January to find out what happens.
Alan Hall is a developer with PlavebApps and has worked on a number of Custom iPhone Application Development projects. Apart from programming various apps and debugging, he takes an active interest in searching for various topics of interest and writes on them for various guest blogging websites.