While the hype among the press may be tailing off, the general consumer market still loves their iPhones, proving that Apple can shift stock, with huge numbers of its new iPhone models selling out around the world. 

The Apple Cart Keeps Rolling

Hot on the heel's of last week's launch, Apple has just announced that it sold a record-breaking nine million new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models, over just three days of sales. There's no breakdown, but early indications were that the majority were hugely in favor of the iPhone 5S model. Apple also announced 200 million devices are now running iOS 7 which has been out for almost a week. 

Apple has sold out of its initial shipments, and with restocking now tight, plus more launches to come in other territories, this wagon will continue to roll well into the holiday season, with Apple's market share getting a healthy boost and its obscenely healthy profit margins and revenue also getting a major kick.

Tim Cook described it as the best launch yet, way up on the 5 million iPhone 5's sold last year, and Apple will be having a good chuckle at those who thought the iPhone's best days were behind it. Given we have a couple of new iPad models to come, plus OS X Mavericks to lead a new fleet of Macs, Apple could well be in for a staggeringly successful quarter. 

Clearing the Decks

With Microsoft launching its still niche Surface 2 tablets today, Apple won't feel much threat there, and with BlackBerry giving up on consumers and retreating to the enterprise, there is shrinking competition for smartphones. That leaves just the collective Android army for it to battle, and Apple has shown itself unwilling to stoop to the lower end of the market, leaving that for those who can't compete with Samsung and a few select others. 

Beyond this year however, Apple faces the challenge of delivering a major redesign with the iPhone 6, compared to this year's step-up revision. So, when we all convene here in 2014, expect the company to pull out all the stops for a phone that delivers the future on a plate, with full 64-bit apps, new technologies and sensors for developers to play with. Samsung will follow it every step of the way, but can anyone else afford to play this game now?

Apple stock is pushing the $500 barrier in early trading, up 6%. While it might never hit the massive highs again, those who thought Apple was in some limited-sales-high-end-market-death-spiral seem to have misjudged them.