iPhone 5C grabs 2.2 million preorders, estimates analyst

Apple hasn't released preorder figures for the 5C, but analyst Glen Yeung pegs the number at more than 2 million during the first 24 hours.

Apple's iPhone 5C.
Apple's iPhone 5C. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple may have snagged around 2.2 million preorders for its iPhone 5C during the initial 24 hours last Friday, projects Citi analyst Glen Yeung.

That number tops the 2 million preorders scored by the iPhone 5 over the first 24 hours last year. However, the iPhone 5C preorders include those from China and Japan's NTT DoCoMo, which were not part of the initial rollout phase for the iPhone 5 in 2012.

Apple typically provides preorder numbers but has so far been mum about the 5C figures. That silence may have been responsible for pushing down Apple shares in early morning trading on Monday.

Both the iPhone 5C and 5S go on sale this coming Friday. What does Yeung predict for the upcoming weekend?

Combined, the two phones are expected to ring up sales of around 7.75 million for the entire weekend, Yeung said in an investors note released Monday night. The 5C will account for more than 4.5 million, leaving the 5S with around 3.2 million. In comparison, the iPhone 5 racked up sales of around 5 million during its first weekend in 2012.

Overall, Yeung isn't too optimistic about the prospects for the 5C, at least not in emerging markets.

In a report entitled: "So Much for a Low-Priced iPhone to Penetrate Emerging Markets," the analyst expressed surprise at the price for the unlocked 5C.

"At this level, we do not expect the iPhone 5C to meaningfully penetrate emerging markets without substantial subsidy, noting that phones priced above $300 account for just 13.7 percent of the global handset market and the average price of a premium phone in China is 23 percent below the US (and the gap is expected to widen)," Yeung said.

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