Apple iPhone 5 breaks sales records
Apple surpassed $700 (€535) in late trading yesterday after announcing record first-day orders for the latest iPhone, fuelling optimism that the company will keep generating the revenue growth that transformed it from a niche computer manufacturer into the world's most valuable business.
Shares climbed as high as $701.79 after reaching a record $699.78 at the close in New York. The stock has advanced 73 per cent this year.
The iPhone 5, which features a bigger screen, faster chip and a lighter body, sold 2 million units in first-day orders, more than double a record set by the previous model, Apple said.
Since its 2007 debut, the device has become Apple's top-selling product, accounting for about two-thirds of profit.
Signs of robust demand reinforced expectations that Apple will withstand accelerating competition from Samsung and Google in the $219.1 billion smartphone market.
"It leaves me in awe," said Rex Ishibashi, chief executive officer of Callaway Digital Arts, which develops games for the iPhone.
"It's reflective of how important these devices and these digital technologies have become in our lives."
Apple's surge gathered steam September 14, after it began taking orders for iPhone 5.
Apple's website said new orders wouldn't ship until September 28, a week after the handset is due in stores, an indication that supply may be running thin.
The initial batch is sold out," Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee and Leach, said in an interview.
He raised his sales estimate for the quarter ending in September to 26 million units, from 23 million.
Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the biggest company in the world by market capitalization last year after overtaking Microsoft as the most valuable technology provider in 2010.
Before his death in October, co-founder Steve Jobs mastered a strategy of pushing Apple beyond its core business of selling computers into new markets, including digital music and mobile phones.