Apple’s new iPhones draw record crowds, but how about sales?

Apple’s new iPhones draw record crowds, but how about sales?

Apple’s new iPhone is believed to have brought in record crowds for an opening weekend, though it’s unclear whether Apple will top last year’s 5 million phones sold.

Any critics expecting Apple’s iPhone 5S and 5C launch to be a snoozer got a wake-up call Friday.

Large lines at Apple’s stores and at many of the company’s carrier partners looked just like (and possibly bigger than) past iPhone launches. That included the usual segment of eager buyers camping out days ahead for a chance to be the first to get Apple’s newest gadget.

According to a tally by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, the lines in three major cities (including New York and San Francisco) matched, or were up slightly from last year, suggesting more people are lining up to buy the iPhone 5S than previous iPhones.

The multi-billion dollar question is: when all stacked up does it meet — or beat — the 5 million unit sales last year’s iPhone pulled in during its first weekend?

We’re unlikely to know the answer to that question until Monday, when Apple is expected to release sales numbers that will include a total of both devices sold, both in stores on Friday, as well as preorders for the 5C, which began a week ago.

We’re also more in the dark than in past years, when Apple offered an early peek at the first 24 hours of preorders. That didn’t happen this time around with only the iPhone 5C up for presale. Although, such a figure wouldn’t have given quite as comprehensive an idea of what to expect with two new iPhones at once.