Apple sold 1 million 3G iPhones in its first three days of sales, July 11-13. That means they would need to have sold another 2 million in the last 28 days, or approximately 71,400 phones a day.
Last Christmas, the company sold 2.3 million iPhones in the December quarter, or about 25,000 a day. But that was at $399, and mostly in the U.S. — European sales in the U.K., France, and Germany started later in the quarter, and were relatively mild.
So with 22 countries selling iPhones now, pent-up demand, and a $199 starting price tag, could Apple have tripled its rate of sales? We think it’s plausible. We don’t have any real evidence, and we doubt Mr. Cote does, either. And predicting sales is at least as much as art as it is science: Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster went through the trouble of surveying Apple store shoppers during the 3G launch weekend, and his estimate still came in 55% below Apple’s actual results.
So unless Apple announces a new milestone, or reports September quarter sales below 3 million — which is highly unlikely — we’ll never know.
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