September 22, 2014: Apple notches a new sales record with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, selling an astonishing 10 million units in the first weekend the handsets go on sale.
The eagerly anticipated smartphones bring a redesigned form factor that will persist for years. The most obvious change? Larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays built to lure phablet fans. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus also boast an A8 chip, improved iSight and FaceTime cameras, and — significantly — Apple Pay.
“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the time. “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.”
iPhone 6 launch sets record despite challenges
Although Apple toppled the iPhone 6 sales record just a year later with the iPhone 6s, that device benefited from going on sale in China on launch day. Regulatory delays made that impossible for the iPhone 6 launch.
Supply constraints also put a crimp on iPhone 6 sales.
“While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply,” Cook said, “and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”
Still, the iPhone 6’s opening weekend sales of 10 million units represented substantial and sustained growth. The iPhone 5s and 5c racked up 9 million sales a year earlier. And the iPhone 5 hit 5 million before that. By comparison, the original iPhone recorded first-weekend sales of “just” 700,000 units in 2007.
iPhone 6 launch: The end of an era for Apple
In some ways, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus represented the peak of Apple’s launch-weekend frenzy. Today, Apple no longer makes a big deal about topping its opening-weekend numbers each and every year. Extensive online sales now take the place of long lines snaking outside Apple Stores around the world. And, with smartphone sales leveling off, Cupertino doesn’t even reveal how many units it sells anymore.
However, after a typical weekend of iPhone launch fun, we kind of miss the milestone sales announcements if we’re totally honest! Even if it does make sense for Apple, which simply cannot keep setting new, nigh-insurmountable sales records each year, to divulge that data.