The company beat its previous record of 10 million in sales for the previous generation of iPhones in its first weekend in 2014. This year’s results benefited from the inclusion of the Chinese market, where regulatory problems delayed the gadget’s debut last year.
Analysts had expected the company to sell 12 million to 13 million phones this past weekend.
“Customers’ feedback is incredible, and they are loving 3D Touch and Live Photos,” Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in a statement. “We can’t wait to bring iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to customers in even more countries on October 9.”
Analysts had said Apple was virtually assured to set a new record for iPhone sales with the inclusion of China, which many expect will soon be the company’s largest market.
But the figures announced on Monday suggest Apple’s iPhone sales were up overall, said FBR Capital Markets senior analyst Daniel Ives. He said the sales figures should ease investors’ concerns about how Apple will fare amid economic turmoil in China.
“Demand out of China looks white-hot,” Ives said.
Moor Insight & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead said the sales figures also suggested Apple seized some market share from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), its chief rival in the smartphone market.
Apple said the new iPhones would be available in more than 40 additional countries starting Oct. 9, reaching more than 130 countries by the end of the year.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus arrived in stores on Friday, kicking off a sales cycle that will be scrutinized for signs of how much allure remains for the smartphone.
The company relies heavily on the sale of its flagship iPhones, which generated nearly two-thirds of its revenue in the latest quarter.
Shares of Apple were down 1.5 percent at $112.97 in early trading.