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iPhone 5 Sales: When 5 Million Is a Disappointment (Update 1)

Apple bulls will claim this is more than iPhone 4S sales, and the Apple growth engine is doing fine. That is true, but what Apple bulls aren't telling you is that iPhone 5 sales have the same normalized growth as the iPhone 4S. Each previous iPhone has seen a jump in normalized growth when accounting for more carriers, but not the iPhone 5. This is something to worry about, at least in the short-term.

It's tough to look at one opening weekend when the phone is available in only nine countries and call it a disappointment, especially when Apple sold out of its initial stock. It could be a supply chain issue, it could be Apple is trying to manage supplies for the all important holiday quarter, it could be just that it's a shortfall, and the iPhone 5 isn't the must-have accessory anymore.

Either way, Apple shares were down roughly 1.3% this morning, and while 5 million units is still an exceptionally strong number, Wall Street was looking for more.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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