- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2015

Apple says pre-order sales of its soon-to-be-available iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus have put the company on course to shatter records set by last year’s model.

In a statement Monday, Apple said advance sales of its latest smartphones have already surpassed predictions made ahead of last week’s product launch in San Francisco.

“Customer response to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been extremely positive and pre-orders this weekend were very strong around the world,” the company said. “We are on pace to beat last year’s 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25.”

Precisely, Apple said that the online demand for the iPhone 6S Plus, the larger of the two devices that are otherwise nearly identical, “has been exceptionally strong and exceeded our own forecasts for the pre-order period.”

The iPhone 6S and the 6S Plus were unveiled towards the end of a two-hour event last Wednesday in which CEO Tim Cook announced several new offerings from the Cupertino tech giant, including its latest tablet, the iPad Pro, and a new Apple Watch. Pre-order sales for the phones started Saturday morning.

Mr. Cook said he planned to have the new phones available in over 130 countries and across more than 400 carriers by the end of the year. Though Apple is only accepting pre-orders in 12 countries, analysts have said the inclusion this year of China on its early list has already led to millions of devices being reserved.

Last week’s unveiling came barely a year after Mr. Cook introduced the smartphones’ predecessors, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have since proven to be Apple’s best-selling smartphones ever. This time around, the company claims the newest models boast better processors, built-in cameras and integration with Apple’s “3D Touch” feature, among other enhanced specs, but the devices otherwise largely resemble last year’s models.

“While the iPhone 6S does not carry the excitement of getting a larger form factor that customers had with the launch of the iPhone 6, we note that additional launch countries and changes in carrier plans could help pre-orders,” analysts at Piper Jaffray predicted last week.

One of the analysts, Gene Munster, told USA Today he projects Apple will sell 12 to 13 million iPhones during its launch weekend. The company has yet to release specific sales numbers. 

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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