Apple iPhone 6 Pre-Orders Exceed 4M In First 24 Hours

The first-day order number for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is twice as big as the 24-hour sales figure Apple announced last year after it introduced the iPhone 5C and 5S. And that might may understate the strength of the initial demand: The data don’t provide, forgive me, an apples-to-apples comparison. Last year, Apple unveiled its new products about two weeks before taking preorders. The 2013 figure also encompassed all iPhone sales, not just the new models.

The company curiously didn’t offer a full-weekend iPhone sales number to compare with last year’s 9M. Nor did it use the sales figures to raise its Q4 revenue projection, as it did last year. Apple shares are up less than 0.1% in afternoon trading today, and are +3.4% since just before last week’s unveiling. Last year, the post-weekend sales announcement sent the stock up 5%.

Still, CEO Tim Cook crowed today that he’s “thrilled customers love [the new iPhones] as much as we do.” He adds, “We can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.” Apple notes that demand exceeds preorder supply, which means that “many iPhone preorders are scheduled to be delivered in October.”

Last week Cowen and Co’s Timothy Arcuri said Apple’s decision to maintain high pricing for its new iPhones — starting at $649 for the 4.7-inch screen model and $749 for the 5.5-inch one without a phone provider’s subsidy — means they “could be a vehicle for Apple to maximize profitability during what is almost certain to be a substantial, multi-quarter upgrade cycle.”

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