Apple will start selling new iPhone 5 and multicolor 5c models in an additional 51 countries by the first of November, as the tech giant seeks to continue global momentum after record-breaking sales for the devices’ debut in September.
The company said it sold a record 9 million smartphones in three days after they went on sale Sept. 20 in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., China, Japan and six other countries.
Analysts attributed higher-than-expected sales to the fact that the new iPhones were available for the first time in China — the world’s biggest mobile phone market — the same day they launched in the States. Also fueling the initial bump was demand for the higher-end 5s models, available in gold, silver or space gray casings, which sold out over the first weekend.
“In our view, the criticism of the iPhone 5c as being too expensive versus expectations and thus demand would be muted were proven wrong with today’s strong weekend sales that required strong demand for the iPhone 5c because the iPhone 5s had limited availability,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White wrote in a research note last month. (He rates Apple’s stock a “buy.”)
Separately, Apple may be introducing new iPad models at an Oct. 22 event, AllThingsD reported. Perhaps not coincidentally, Microsoft will launch Surface 2 tablets on that date, after the first model last fall bombed spectacularly: Microsoft in reporting earnings in July disclosed a $900 million charge for excess Surface RT inventory; in an SEC filing, the company said the tablets generated revenue of $853 million for the fiscal year ended June 30.
Apple had sold 155 million iPads through the end of June; last month the company said it has sold more than 380 million iPhones since the smartphone’s 2007 introduction.
The iPhone 5s and 5c will be available on Friday, Oct. 25, in 35 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, French West Indies, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Island, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.
Apple will follow that a week later on Nov. 1 will rollouts in another 16 territories: Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Colombia, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, India, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
Both iPhone 5s and 5c models are currently available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K.