Apple's iPhone 5 Sales Are Actually a Big Letdown: 2 Charts Spell Out Why

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Iphone 5 a let downBy Nicholas Carlson

Apple just reported that it sold more than 5 million iPhones over the iPhone 5's opening weekend.

This is a very disappointing number.

It's below top Apple analyst Gene Munster's estimate of 6 million to 10 million
. Worse, it indicates that growth may be slowing at Apple.

Take a look at this chart.

Opening weekend sales grew 70% between the 3GS and the iPhone 4, and then an astounding 135% between the 4 and the 4s. That's acceleration. iPhone 5 sales, meanwhile, grew only 25%. That's massive deceleration.
iPhone 5 Sales and growth opening weekend

Nicholas Carlson/Business Insider

Digging deeper into the numbers, we find more bad news. Check out this second chart.

Apple sold the iPhone 5 in 9 countries over its opening weekend. It sold the iPhone 4S in 7. It actually sold fewer iPhones per country this year than the last. That's not just deceleration, that's shrinkage:

iPhone Sales per country

Decelerating growth is not good for a company like Apple, which despite a modest P/E ratio, has one of the most generous trailing 12 month revenue multiples of any hardware company on the public markets.

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