Apple Predicts Record-Breaking Sales of New iPhone 6S

Apple has predicted that it will beat its previous record with sales of the iPhone 6S that was released last week, largely with help from China. The company expect first-weekend sales to exceed the 10 million handsets sold over last year's launch-weekend.

Apple said that pre-orders for both the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were "very strong" and that the latter had already sold out online following high demand, particularly from China. This was the first year that the country was included in the list of those who could sell the handset before it hit stores on September 25, highlighting how important the Chinese market is for Apple. An analyst at the Piper Jaffray investment bank told Business Insider that he predicts 13 million units will have been sold over the opening weekend and that China will account for about 2 million of these.

Even before the launch of the iPhone 6S Apple's chief executive Tim Cook had already emphasized the company's focus on China. In October 2014, Cook announced plans for Apple to increase the number of stores in the country from 15 to 40, saying it was "just a matter of time" before Beijing became the biggest contributor to Apple's revenues.

iPhone sales account for more than 60 percent of Apple's revenue in recent quarters and so maintaining demand is crucial for the company. In the third fiscal quarter of 2015, iPhone revenue was up 59 percent, while sales had increased by 35 percent, with 47.5 million iPhones sold.

The launch of the iPhone 6S was much anticipated, and Cook began the presentation by noting the huge sales of the handset. "iPhone 6 is the most popular iPhone ever. In fact, these are the most popular phones in the world. But more important to us, they are the most loved phones in the world...So how do you follow a success like this?" The new camera has an improved camera with built in GIF maker, a new feature called 3D Touch, and comes in a new color—rose gold.

Prices for the iPhone 6S begin at $199, while the 6S plus starts at $299.