The Biggest Tech Product Launches Of All Time

tokyo iphone 4s line

Photo: AP Images

Apple sold more than 4 million iPhone 4Ss over the weekend.The phone went on sale on Friday, so that’s about 1.3 million phones per day.

We wondered where that fit in with other fast-selling tech products, so we did some digging into other spectacularly successful product launches.

Here’s what we found.

14: Amazon Kindle Fire, Nov. 15, 2011: 50,000 per day (pre-sales)

Early leaked screenshots of Amazon's internal sales database suggest that Amazon was taking 50,000 preorders per day when it went on sale back in September. At that rate, Amazon will already have sold more than 2.5 million by the time it becomes available on Nov. 15.

13. Samsung Galaxy S II, May 2011: 55,000 per day.

Samsung reported sales of more than 3 million in its first 55 days on the market, which averages out to about 55,000 per day.

12. Nintendo DS, Nov. 21, 2004: 70,000 per day.

The DS sold more than 500,000 on its first week, for an average of about 70,000 per day.

11. Nintendo Wii, Nov. 19, 2006: 75,000 per day.

A week after the Wii debuted in the U.S., Nintendo announced it had sold more than 600,000. Sales were even faster when it launched in Japan a few weeks later -- 370,000 over two days.

10. Sony PlayStation 3, Nov. 11, 2006: more than 80,000.

The PS3 launched in Japan first and sold more than 80,000 units in 24 hours.

By the way, if you're wondering about Microsoft's Xbox 360, it doesn't make the list -- sales over its first two days came in at just over 60,000, or 30,000 per day.

9. Xbox Kinect, Nov. 4, 2010: 100,000 per day.

Microsoft didn't release first-day or weekend sales figures for Kinect, but said it had sold a million units in 10 days, and 2.5 million after 25 days, so that averages out to about 100,000 a day.

8. Sony PSP, Dec. 12, 2004: 100,000 per day.

Sony's initial run of 200,000 in Japan sold out in two days.

7. Windows XP, Oct. 25, 2001: more than 100,000 retail copies per day.

According to NPD, Microsoft sold more than 300,000 boxed copies of Windows XP in its first three days of launch. But that doesn't include all the new PCs that shipped with XP preinstalled, so actual sales were probably quite a bit higher.

6. Windows 7, Oct. 22, 2009: more than 130,000 retail copies per day.

Microsoft never officially reported early sales figures for Windows 7. However, NPD found that it sold 234% faster than Vista, which itself sold 60% SLOWER than Windows XP. Back in 2001, NPD reported that Windows XP sold 300,000 units in its first three days. So doing all the maths, we come up with a sales figure of about 130,000 retail copies per day.

That does not count all the PCs that were probably sold around the same time.

5. Nintendo 3DS, Feb. 26, 2011: more than 185,000 per day.

The 3DS launched strong in Japan, selling more than 370,000 units in its first two days. But interest died quickly, and Nintendo was forced to cut prices to spur sales.

4. Original iPad, Apr. 3, 2010: 300,000 in one day.

Apple boasted about these one-day sales statistics. At an average price of $600, that's $180 million in a day.

The iPad 2, which launched in March 2011, might have sold as well or better -- some analysts put single-day sales at 500,000. But Apple did not release official one-day or weekend sales figures, and supplies were constrained at launch.

3. Sony PlayStation 2, Mar. 4, 2000: about 330,000 per day.

The PlayStation 2 rode the success of the original PlayStation to a huge debut in Japan, selling 980,000 units over three days.

2. iPhone 4, June 24, 2010: 560,000 per day.

Apple reported selling 1.7 million iPhone 4s during its first three days on the market. The numbers could have been higher but Apple sold out quickly.

THE WINNER! iPhone 4S, Oct. 14, 2011: 1.3 million phones per day.

Assuming an average gross sales price of $500, that's more than $2 billion in revenue over the weekend. Nice.

There is one type of tech product that's consistently sold even faster, though...

UNLESS YOU COUNT GAMES: Activision Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Nov 9, 2010: 5.6 million.

If you count video games as tech products, a lot of them have sold faster than the iPhone 4S.

For Call of Duty, Activision reported $360 million in one day sales -- that's sell-through to consumers, not just sell-in to stores. That amounted to about 5.6 million units.

The previous Call Of Duty sold about 4.7 million copies in 24 hours when it launched in 2009, and Halo 2 sold almost 2.4 million copies on launch in 2004 -- particularly impressive because it was only available on the Xbox.

But for every smash success, there are equally horrific failures....

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