Apple's "Record-Shattering" iPhone Weekend Wasn't Quite That
The world changed forever on Friday. OK, not really, but you may have heard of a little (actually, quite big) new phone that Apple released on Sept. 19. The company reported Monday that its weekend sales of the iPhone 6 topped 10 million, setting a new record. But for all of the hyperbolic talk about breaking records, the massive screen size may be the biggest achievement for the newest iPhone.
Don't get me wrong — over 10 million in sales is a lot of phones. People camped out for days leading up to the release of these phablets, eager to snag a phone that looks a little more like an iPad mini than a phone. But if you look at their past hyped-up releases, 10 million for the weekend doesn't really stack up to all of the pre-iPhone 6 hoopla — and isn't a whole lot more than previous sales weekends.
If you build a new iPhone, people will camp. That's the real thing that we can take away from this weekend. Take a moment and reflect back to when you were all excited to snag the now-decrepit iPhone 5 and 5s. In the first three days the company sold nine million phones to the people of the streets, who effectively became homeless up to its release.
In a statement Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the phone sales "exceeded our expectations." He continued:
We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.
Alright, Tim. "Shattering" is a pretty generous verb for a one-tenth sales increase. But, hey! I like the humblebrag that you snuck in there. "Ooooh, we could have sold more phones, but we were like, nah. Let's just keep them fiend-ing for the crisp white Apple box that has become more exciting than a tiny Tiffany blue cube."
Apple knows what it's doing. It rolled out the iPhone 6 in limited (although huge) markets such as the U.S., U.K., and Japan, and apparently made only enough phones to exceed its last product debut by one million. They're making the iPhone more glamorous by pretending that by the end of next year we won't all be toting around a phone that is only slightly less cumbersome than the ancient mobile phones that had to be carried in their own bag. And it's worked.
Apple, you beautiful geniuses. It's yet another way to keep us baited and ready to fork over the last our funds for a device that will be obsolete as soon as you bless us with another updated version. I'll say it once, and I'll say it again: We are all Apple zombies.