Apple sold a record 9 million iPhones during the opening weekend for the 5S and 5C devices, surpassing analysts’ expectations by several million phones. Sales of the latest versions of the highly sought smartphone – the iPhone 5S and its cheaper cousin the iPhone 5C – equaled first weekend sales of the previous two iPhone iterations (the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5). This better than expected opening weekend resulted in a jump of 6% for shares of $AAPL, which is good news for long term investors and especially Carl Icahn, given his recent large purchase of Apple stock.
The iPhone 5S touts a twice as fast processor chip, an improved camera, and an innovative fingerprint scanner that can be used for security purposes. In addition, the iPhone 5S is available in three colors, including the highly desired gold, which is reported to be in such high demand that Apple has already ramped up production of this color.
Apple also confirmed longstanding rumors of an budget version of the iPhone when it unveiled the iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5C is cased in a durable plastic that comes in five different colors and is not as advanced as the full 5C version. However, the price is still quite high for an unlocked phone, though with a 16 GB version starting at $99 (with a two-year contract), Apple may still be able to penetrate developing markets like China and India.
Because of the higher than expected sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C, Apple is reporting that revenue should come in closer to $37 billion than its lower range estimate of $34 billion. Additionally, since iPhones are the highest margin hardware Apple sells, the largest portion of Apple’s profits comes from iPhone sales, which should mean increased profits for the company. This could push shares of Apple back in to the $600 range, which would be welcomed by all Apple investors.