Last update: 11-Dec-2013 3:23 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Apple’s sales of new iPhones off to fast start
SAN FRANCISCO—Gadget lovers still can’t resist the iPhone. Even as investors fret that Apple’s smartphone is losing its allure amid a bevy of enticing lower-priced alternatives that offer similar features, the iPhone’s call remains seductive. In a Monday announcement, Apple Inc. said it sold nine million units of its top-of-the-line iPhone 5S and less-expensive iPhone 5C during their first three days on sale. That trounced the performance of last year’s model, the iPhone 5, which sold five million units in its opening weekend.
The initial sales figures for Apple’s latest iPhone models provided the latest testament to the product’s enduring appeal more than six years after the debut of the first iPhone triggered a mobile computing revolution. The iPhone 5S and 5C’s quick start also surpassed analyst forecasts that predicted Apple would sell somewhere from six million to eight million models during the first weekend.
As part of the company’s effort to drum up interest in its most profitable product, Cook made an early-morning appearance at an Apple store in Palo Alto, California, on Friday, when the new iPhones first went on sale. Monday’s positive news helped generate more interest in Apple’s stock.
The shares gained $24.35, or more than five per cent, to hit $491.76 in afternoon trading. Despite that rally, Apple’s stock price remains slightly below where it stood before the Cupertino, California, company’s September 10 unveiling of its latest iPhones.
The downturn reflects concerns that the new phones won’t be enough to reverse a slowdown in Apple’s revenue growth that has been brought on by tougher competition from Samsung Electronics and others. Apple’s rivals have been gaining market share by selling less expensive phones running on Google Inc.’s free Android software. Those nagging worries are the main reason that Apple’s market value has sagged by about 30 percent, or $200 billion, since last year’s release of the iPhone 5.
Part of this weekend’s higher iPhone sales volume stemmed from Apple’s decision to make the latest models available on a broader scale than in past years. For instance, this marked the first time that a new iPhone has gone on sale in China at the same time that the product also launched in the US.
In another sign of the intense interest in anything new from Apple, the company also said more than 200 million devices have already embraced its latest mobile operating system. The software, called iOS 7, is the most radical makeover of Apple’s mobile operating system since the iPhone came out in 2007. Apple released iOS 7 as a free update last Wednesday for iPhone models dating back to 2010, iPads dating back to 2011 and the last iPod Touch that came out last year.
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