A few quick thoughts:
1) That’s a shit ton of phones in three days.
2) We’re already seeing a meme about the record sales being “disappointing” because, as usual, some analysts shit the bed in making their Apple predictions.
3) The subsequent stories about the “disappointing” iPhone 5 sales are even more laughable. Repeat after me: “Demand of iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply…”
4) Anecdotally, some local stores remained in stock of the iPhone 5 this weekend, but elsewhere this wasn’t true. This was the story at many outside retailers, which were especially constrained by Apple (presumably to ensure that Apple could meet demand in their own stores). Also, pre-orders that haven’t arrived yet do not count in these sales. Again, anecdotally, that’s the situation with about half the people that I know.
5) Reports around slowing growth of first weekend sales are perhaps the most ridiculous. Newsflash: iPhone sales, even if they weren’t constrained, cannot go to infinity. Apple sold an absolutely insane 37 million iPhones in Q1 of last year, jump started by the iPhone 4S initial sales. Did people really think Apple was going to sell 70-100 million iPhones this next quarter? If you extrapolate out the 8-10 million initial sales numbers some were hoping for, it sure seems like it. Did people expect Apple’s quarterly revenue to hit $100 billion (as it would with such sales)? It’s absurd.
6) Now that we’ve calmed down, some perspective from Benedict Evans: Apple sold more iPhone 5s in a weekend than Nokia sold Lumias in a quarter.
7) The truly staggering number is that over 100 million iOS devices have already been updated to iOS 6. That’s roughly one quarter of all iOS devices in a few days. Google released Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) just about a year ago. It still doesn’t have 25% penetration.