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Apple sells 5 million iPhone 5s in three days, number lower than expected

White and black iPhone 5 phones are shown in this photo taken at an Apple conference held in San Francisco on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (Joanna Stern)

September 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Apple has sold 5 million units in sales of the iPhone 5 since the exalted smartphone and its new features were unveiled to the world three days ago. Although the sales tally beats last year's iPhone 4s launch, the sale units are less than what some analysts had expected.

The company saw its shares slip on Monday. Apple shares were off 0.9 percent to $693.49 by morning trades. The stock had reached an all-time high of $705.10 on Friday, Sept. 21 when the iPhone 5 went on sale in the US, Germany, France, Japan, and five other countries.

According to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Bryan White, the initial launch number is lower than expected for the iPhone 5's opening weekend. White, who projected Apple to sell between 6 million to 6.5 million units, maintains the reason for the sales shortfall was the supply constraint. The iPhone 5 was sold out at 80 to 85 percent of the U.S. Apple stores he contacted Sunday evening.

Online deliveries have also stretched out to October which could also account for the new device's low weekend sales.

The latest iPhone, which features a 4-inch screen and runs on the brand new iOS 6 operating system, will go on sale in 22 more countries on Friday and in more than 100 countries by the end of the year.