iPhone 6s, 6s Plus sales off to a great start

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are now on sale, and all evidence points toward another home run for Apple. Lines are forming as folks wait to get their hands on the latest Apple smartphones. And IHS Technology forecasts a 22% jump in the number of iPhone shipments in 2015 compared to 2014. 

The research group says sales of the iPhone 6S should do better than past iPhone initial sales because of wider country availability early, especially China. IHS forecasts Apple will ship 236 million iPhones this year.

"The biggest innovations that Apple has done have typically been on the S series. On the surface the product looks the same, but under the bonnet it’s totally different," says IHS. "The key differentiator this year is the 3D Touch, which is strongly differentiated from every other smartphone maker's phones. 3D Touch will power new apps, which will be exclusive to the iPhone because Android smartphones lack the hardware support needed for a pressure sensitive screen.”

The research group says that next year is "the big one" for Apple. In 2016, Apple will have to sustain iPhone 6S sales throughout the year in a mature smartphone market and it must find a way to redesign the iPhone look radically, to continue to drive upgrades, according to IHS.

Also, NTT Docomo's iPhone 6s pre-orders have surpassed last year's iPhone 6 by 20%, according to the Japanese language Nikkan Sports, citing Docomo CEO Kaoru Kato at the product launch conference. Around 20 people waited in line in front of Docomo's direct-sale outlet in Tokyo's Chiyoda district at 8 am, when the doors opened. 

What's more, around 40 people waited in line in front of the Apple Store in Shibuya this morning, according to the Chines language publication, RBB Today (as noted by BrightWire, a global investment newswire).  Last year, the launch of the iPhone 6 drew more than 1,000 customers at the same store, more than half of whom were Chinese shoppers, the article notes.

By the way, Retale, home to location-based shopping info, has posted a data visualization webpage that displays iPhones sales from around the world in real-time. Included is an iPhone simulator feature and accompanying mock apps where you can learn more about how smartphones affect our everyday lives and more.