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iPhone 5S demand was double that of supply, analyst estimates

In its initial weekend on sale, the iPhone 5S had "real demand" of 6 million units, according to estimates from a Morgan Stanley analyst.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers
2 min read
The iPhone 5S had potential demand of almost six million, Morgan Stanley said.
The iPhone 5S had potential demand of almost 6 million, Morgan Stanley said. Apple

The iPhone 5S had "real demand" that was close to 6 million units, about twice the number of estimated sales during its opening weekend, Morgan Stanley said in a research note Tuesday.

Apple said on Monday that it had sold 9 million iPhone 5C and 5S units in the first weekend and that it sold out of its initial iPhone 5S supply. The company did not break out sales figures for the two versions, but said that the combined sales were an opening-weekend record.

Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty released the following statement on Tuesday.

We estimate the breakdown of the 9M [9 million] first three days' sales as: ~3M iPhone 5s sell-through (with real demand closer to 6M), ~4M iPhone 5c sell-through, and ~2M iPhone 5c non-Apple retail inventory build (representing 1-2 weeks of inventory).

Apple also said on Monday that more than 200 million devices are now running iOS 7 -- the company's latest mobile operating system. That makes iOS 7 the fastest software upgrade in history, according to Apple. Here's what Huberty said.

An impressive 2/3s of iPhone users now run iOS7 just five days post introduction, up from 45% a year ago and 20% in 2011.

She said regional sales dynamics are changing. "Our CY14 base case iPhone model assumes China/Japan drive half of new users with new users in other regions dropping 24% as the smartphone market matures."

Upgrade cycles are estimated to be a "consistent 2.5 year...cycle," with the iPhone 5C capturing the highest mix, at 47 percent, and the 5S making up 38 percent.

Huberty said she is upping her earnings-per-share estimate for Apple's fiscal year 2014 "by $2.47 to $44 on better iPhone 5c pricing and margins offset partially by weaker Mac sales due to DRAM constraints."

Morgan Stanley Research