How Apple’s ‘record-breaking’ iPhone 6 pre-orders compare to past launches

Apple Inc. said some pre-orders of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus will be delivered as late as October after a record number of first-day pre-orders were made on Sept. 12 for its latest devices.

More than 4 million pre-orders were received for the two versions of the iPhone – one with a 4.7-inch screen and the other with a 5.5-inch screen. In what’s become a familiar story for Apple enthusiasts that look to own a product on day one, the demand for the iPhone can’t be met on launch day, coming up Sept. 19. While there will be a separate batch of smartphones sent to Apple stores, resellers, and carriers, available, you can bet on long lines and sell-outs at most locations. Some reports indicate the larger iPhone 6 plus sold out more quickly, while supplies the smaller iPhone 6 lasted a bit longer through the weekend.

While Apple hasn’t always released exact numbers around the pre-orders of iPhones past, here’s a look at what data it has shared:

  • The iPhone 5s and 5c models launched last year on Sept. 20 and sold 9 million units in the first three days, according to Apple.
  • In September 2012, Apple announced more than 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 being made in 24 hours. Similar to the current situation with the iPhone 6, Apple said it wouldn’t be able to meet demand for launch day and orders would be delivered into October.
  • The iPhone 4S was also a record-setting pre-order sales day for Apple in October, 2011. It made 1 million pre-orders in a single day.
  • Apple made a June 2010 launch with the iPhone 4 and collected more than 600,000 pre-orders of the device in 24 hours. However, the pre-order process didn’t go smoothly and many customers encountered errors trying complete pre-orders. Apple apologized.
  • The iPhone 3GS, sold more than 1 million devices in the first three days available.
  • Also for the first iPhone available in Canada, the 3G, Apple reached 1 million sales on its third day after launching to market.
  • For the first iPhone in September 2007, it took a bit longer, a full 74 days before reaching 1 million sales of the device.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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