Apple on track to beat 2014's iPhone sales record

Share price jumps as Apple says it is 'on pace' to beat last year's iPhone first-weekend record, but China is skewing the data

The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are ‘on pace’ to beat last year’s record of 10m units sold on the first weekend of in-store sales.

There had been some apprehension amongst analysts, claiming that Apple might not be able to sustain the eye-watering sales figures seen with the last iteration of the iPhone. According to the latest statement from Apple, it seems as though the naysayers will – once again – be silenced.

“Customer response to iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus has been extremely positive and pre-orders this weekend were very strong around the world,” the company said in a statement. "We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25."

Not everything is as it first appears

On paper, the pre-orders look great; but this is the first year in which customers in China have been able to pre-order the iPhone. By including the hottest regional market in the world and essentially doubling the number of potential customers, it’s no wonder pre-orders are on track to beat last year’s figures.

That being said, investors appear to be happy with the current state of affairs. The new iPhones fall into the “S” category of the release cycle, in that they have the same external design as the last iPhone, with refined features and improved hardware specifications. To be able to sustain the momentum gained with the major release last year is no mean feat.   

According to a blog which tracks pre-orders for the iPhone across all major regions, there is already a backlog of three to four weeks for all versions of the iPhone 6s Plus in the UK. The same can be said for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States.

“As many customers noticed, the online demand for iPhone 6s Plus has been exceptionally strong and exceeded our own forecasts for the preorder period," Apple said in response to the backlog. "We are working to catch up as quickly as we can, and we will have iPhone 6s Plus as well as iPhone 6s units available at Apple retail stores when they open next Friday."

The iPhone is by far and away Apple’s biggest cash cow; accounting for more than two-thirds of the company's $107bn in revenue during the first half of 2015.

As the news over pre-orders broke, Apple shares rose by much as 2.68%, before closing the day at $115.31.

Read more on Business Smartphones