Apple sells over 5 million iPhone 5, supply constraints loom

Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:50pm EDT
 
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By Poornima Gupta and Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - Apple Inc sold over 5 million iPhone 5 smartphones in the three days since it hit stores, but shares sagged as the company struggled to meet demand.

While sales were solid, the company said on Monday it had run out of its initial supply and many pre-orders were scheduled to go out in October.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company is "working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."

Expectations for new Apple products were so high - some analysts forecast Apple selling as many as 10 million phone over the weekend - that Wall Street was not wowed by the latest numbers. The stock was down 1.7 percent at $688.64 in afternoon trade.

Given the demand, Apple, the world's most valuable company, is being closely watched for any supplier problems that may slow down the smartphone production.

"We believe that sales could have potentially been much higher if not for supply constraints," William Power, an analyst with Baird Equity Research, wrote in a note.

Supply limitations are likely to weigh on Apple as the iPhone 5 is launched in another 22 countries on Friday.

To complicate matters, Apple's largest contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology closed a factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan after a riot broke out among 2,000 employees.   Continued...

 
An Apple employee distributes iPhone 5 shortly after the device went on sale in San Francisco, California, September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Noah Berger