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Apple’s 4 million iPhone 6 pre-orders in context

Apple iPhone Line
AP Photo/John Minchillo
Apple says it set a new record.
By Dan Frommer
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple sold 4 million of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in 24 hours—a record, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). How does that compare to other iPhone launches—and its normal sales rate?

  • Over the past year, through the company’s June quarter, Apple sold 163.7 million iPhones. That’s about 449,000 per day.
  • The Christmas period, Apple’s December quarter, is typically the busiest. Last year, Apple sold 51 million iPhones in 91 days. That’s about 560,000 per day.

How will this year’s opening weekend sales tally up? They actually may be smaller than last year’s for two reasons. First, supply—Apple quickly sold out of its first wave of iPhone 6 pre-orders. It’s not known how many units are being saved for walk-up customers, but it would be surprising if it was enough for the company to get close to last year’s opening weekend sales tally. And second, it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison—the iPhone lineup is broader and priced differently this year.

Still, compared to other phone launches, and launches of consumer electronics in general, 4 million in 24 hours is pretty impressive. For example, Microsoft boasted last year that its Xbox One set a new record by selling more than 1 million units in its first 24 hours.

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