Apple's senior VP of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, says: “iPhone 5 pre-orders have shattered the previous record held by iPhone 4S, and the customer response to iPhone 5 has been phenomenal.”
The iPhone 5 features a four-inch Retina display, an A6 chip, LTE support and a new thinner, lighter design. According to Apple, the majority of pre-orders will be delivered to customers this Friday; some will only be delivered in October as demand for the handset has exceeded the initial supply.
In a new research note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has said based on the strong pre-order numbers, he predicts Apple will achieve sales of between six million and 10 million units during the opening weekend. The iPhone 4S sold four million units during its first weekend of sales.
“Given the two million pre-orders, we remain confident that Apple can deliver eight million (range of 6-10 million) iPhones in the launch weekend. The reason we are confident in the eight million is two-fold. First, initial 24-hour pre-orders for the iPhone 5 were up 100% year-on-year from the iPhone 4S. Last year, pre-orders accounted for 25% of total weekend launch unit sales. Assuming the same initial pre-order/retail distribution, the pre-order total would suggest eight million launch units,” says Munster.Arguably the iPhone 5's biggest competition, the Samsung Galaxy S3, sold 10 million units in two months, after its launch earlier this year.
The iPhone 5 comes with the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 6. According to Apple, the OS offers 200 new features, including Facebook integration, and an improved version of Siri and the new Maps app. The new OS will be available as a free update on Wednesday for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, fourth-generation iPod Touch, iPad 2 and the new iPad.
Apple has provided a breakdown of exactly which iOS 6 features will be available in different regions. The new Maps app will be available in SA, including support for satellite imagery, local search, directions and live traffic. According to Apple, turn-by-turn navigation will be available in SA in October.
Support will not be provided in SA for dictation, iTunes content and new Siri-related features including local search, sports, restaurant and movie information as well as Facebook and Twitter integration (which allows users to post updates via Siri).