The much anticipated iPhone 5 made its appearance on Friday, exciting buyers and sellers as it was whisked off the shelves by the thousands.
The new Apple offering is not an astounding technological breakthrough, but just a bit better in many of the ways the customers already love their old iPhones: like a super-model, its thinner, taller and lighter, and that’s about it.
This is the first product launch since Tim Cook took over Steve Jobs’ position as head wizard at Apple, and it seems his skills might not quite be a clone of Jobs’ special magic, but Cook seems to have a bit of magic of his own up his sleeve.
“We are positively surprised regarding the pace of the rollout, since we had expected a bigger impact from component constraints,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said.
And what at pace it’s been, and is going to be. On Friday the iPhone 5 went on sale simultaneously in New York, Japan and Hong Kong, and a few other hot spots. By next Friday expect to see this hot-selling phone in 31 countries, and by December 31st of this year, in more than 100. That exceeds by 30 the number of countries the iPhone 4s , the 5’s predecessor, was launched from during a similar time-frame.
“His skills fit the time period and the flow of product,” said Raymond Miles, professor emeritus at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He added that Apple may be at a stage where it needs “someone with a production vision.”
Cook’s magic seems to be working: He was able to supersede Jobs’ sales record as preorders for the 5s climbed to 2 million within 24 hours, twice the speed with which the 4s was pre-sold. Analysts and observers/investors are anticipating a similar successful launch of the smaller iPad mini in October.