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Last year, Apple sold 5 million iPhone 5 models on its opening weekend. The year before that, it sold 4 million iPhone 4S models. Apple is selling two new phones this year, however, so pitting this year's numbers against last year's numbers isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. Even so, the combined sales outstripped analyst projections by a wide margin. Apple was expected to sell a combined total of 6 million devices. It beat that estimate by 50%.
"This is our best iPhone launch yet -- more than 9 million new iPhones sold -- a new record for first weekend sales," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we've sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone."
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The gold and white variants of the iPhone 5s were in short supply opening day, with most stores selling out in the first few moments the device was available. Reports over the weekend suggest that Apple has asked its manufacturing partners to boost production of the gold model by as much as 33% to meet demand. Orders placed through Apple's website show October shipping dates for all variants of the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5c appears to be in healthy supply.
Though Apple didn't say how many 5s units it sold versus the 5c, estimates place the ratio at 3.4 to 1 in the United States. Data from Localytics said that the combined sales of the 5s and 5c represent 1.36% of all iPhones in the U.S. According to its metrics, the 5s reached 1.05% of the iPhone installed base and the 5c reached 0.31%, giving the 5s a solid lead over the 5c.
"That means that the iPhone 5s outshines the 5c by a factor of 3.4x, a clear indicator that the early adopters are favoring the high-end 5s compared to 5c," said Localytics. "This makes sense since those who feel the need to buy a new device the very weekend it launches are most likely the power users who want the highest-end phone experience."
The iPhone 5s and 5c both offer a 4-inch Retina display. The 5s is made from aluminum and the 5c is made from polycarbonate. The 5s includes Apple's new A7 processor and M7 motion chip. It has an improved 8-megapixel camera. Both phones offer LTE 4G and are compatible with the networks run by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.
In addition to strong sales of the new iPhones, Apple saw incredible adoption of its new operating system. The company said that 200 million iOS devices have upgraded to iOS 7 since it was released on Sept. 18. iOS 7 is a complete redesign of Apple's mobile OS. It uses entirely new design language and adds hundreds of features to the platform. iOS 7 is installed on the iPhone 5s and 5c out of the box.
The iPhone 5c starts at $99 with a new contract, and the 5s starts at $199 with a new contract.