Analysts expect Apple to sell up to 6 million iPhones this weekend or more, if inventories last. The gold model of the new iPhone 5s has been especially popular: It quickly sold out on Apple’s online store, which now lists October for availability, while the 5s in silver and grey finishes are listed as available to ship within 7 to 10 business days.
Then there’s this: Police detained three people after a fight erupted outside an Apple Store in Pasadena, Calif., where dozens had camped out overnight for the new iPhones, the Associated Press reported. According to officials, one of the men may have been among several homeless men at the location who were hired to buy iPhones for other customers.
In New York, there may not have been fisticuffs but the lines of Apple faithful were equally long. On Friday morning, Apple sold out iPhone 5s models with the gold and silver casings at its 5th Avenue store in Gotham less than an hour after going on sale at 8 a.m., according to Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes.
“We believe real demand could actually support over 7 million if Apple had enough supply,” Reitzes wrote in an investor note.
Apple’s iOS 7, which the company has called the biggest overhaul since the iPhone’s intro in 2007, is also getting “better than expected reviews,” Reitzes added, while and the fingerprint-reader technology in the iPhone 5s also “seems to mean more to consumers than the investment community.”
On Friday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook swung by a store in Palo Alto, Calif., to chat up customers:
Visited Retail Stores in Palo Alto today. Seeing so many happy customers reminds us of why we do what we do.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 20, 2013
Apple lost $34 billion in market cap value over two days following the announcement of the new iPhones, as investors were expecting cheaper phones for emerging markets like China and possibly a new product line like a TV. Apple shares closed at $467.71 on Sept. 11, the day after the announcement, down 7.6% from the opening price the day prior. On Friday, the stock was down 1.1% for the day, closing at $466.98 per share.
In the U.S., the new iPhones are available through Apple Stores, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless outlets, as well as select Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart stores.
AT&T — while it didn’t cite the new iPhones specifically — said Friday it expects third quarter smartphone upgrades to be higher year over year, growing its smartphone base by more than 1 million in the period.
The iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver and what Apple calls “space gray,” for list prices of $199 for the 16-gigabyte model, $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64 GB, with a two-year wireless contract. The iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white, priced at $99 for the 16 GB model and $199 for 32 GB, also with a two-year plan.