‘Very hot’ iPhone 5 sees sales slump

In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, file photo, Noah Meloccaro, right, compares his older iPhone 4s to the new iPhone 5 held by Both Gatwech, outside the Apple Store in Omaha, Neb. Apple Inc. said Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, that it sold more than 5 million units of the iPhone 5 in the three days since its launch, less than analysts had expected (AP)

It’s may be the world’s hottest selling smartphone in more than one way.

Sales of the world’s most hotly anticipated device may be slowing down as the initial excitement gives way to more rational demand, Apple data shows.

Simultaneously, early adapters have begun complaining that the iPhone 5 becomes too hot to handle after just a few minutes of browsing, and some users have also highlighted issues with its battery life.

First, the official news: Apple today announced it has sold more than five million of its new iPhone 5, three days after its launch on September 21, and more than 100 million iOS devices have been updated with iOS 6.

However, the catch is that despite it being a record, it falls about 50 per cent below market expectations and even below the worst-case scenarios painted by Apple-watchers.

Gene Munster, an analysts at Piper Jaffray, had reckoned that the iPhone 5 would sell as many as 10 million units during the first weekend. Minster said that, In the 'worst-case scenario,' the new smartphone would sell six million units. That was based on the hype and the first-day pre-order numbers announced by Apple. The company had announced that it received 2 million pre-orders within 24 hours of throwing open the lines – and plain arithmetic says that it sold another 3 million in the next two days, which shows that sales are rationalising as expected.

Apple though acknowledged that it underestimated the demand for its new product in a media statement this morning. “Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

At the same time, however, concerned consumers are seeking help from Apple on what they say is overheating that they’ve noticed in the iPhone 5. In a discussion thread posted on the Apple website, a user who goes with the moniker dm254 says that s/he has owned an iPhone 5 for two days now, and has noticed that the back of the phone becomes “really quite hot” within 5 minutes of usage, and also states that “the battery seems to be running down fairly rapidly”.

Another similar thread on Apple’s discussion board raises the same issues, with users trying to give each other advice on what to do and what to avoid with the iPhone 5.

Nevertheless, sales of the new smartphone have hit the 5-million-mark, with Apple saying that demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, many are scheduled to be shipped in October.

“While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone,” Cook added.

The new smartphone is now officially available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on September 28 and more than 100 countries by the end of the year, Apple confirmed.

Unofficially, though, the iPhone 5 seems to have reached many more countries, including the UAE, Oman and India. The iPhone 5 will be available on September 28 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


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