Apple moves half a million iPhones

By Shaun Nichols on Jul 4, 2007 7:00 AM
Filed under Mobility

Early sales figures dwarf analyst estimates.

Analysts claim that Apple sold more than 500,000 iPhones in the first two days that the device was on sale.

According to a report by financial research firm Piper Jaffray, the first two days of sales saw more than half a million iPhones sold through Apple and AT&T stores. Piper Jaffray had originally estimated that just 200,000 units would be moved in the first two days of availability.

"Apple met strong demand over the weekend with adequate supply," wrote analysts Gene Munster and Michael Olson.

"We were surprised by the rate at which Apple was able to sell the handsets, with 50 cashiers processing up to 1,000 iPhones per hour in some stores."

Other analysts had similar projections on the iPhone's initial success. The Los Angeles Times cited analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research in estimating that roughly 525,000 iPhones had been sold. Chowdhry could not be reached for comment.

Piper Jaffray also conducted a preliminary survey to find out who was purchasing the iPhone. The survey of 253 consumers found that the $599 8GB model was overwhelmingly preferred, accounting for 95 per cent of purchases. Three quarters of the respondants were Mac users, while more than half were new customers to iPhone operator AT&T.

The analysts said that the brand loyalty of iPod and Mac users could be a decisive advantage for Apple over other mobile device vendors.

According to the survey, former Apple partner Motorola is bearing the brunt of that loyalty, with 35 percent of respondents upgrading to the iPhone from a Motorola device. Nokia and Treo were next on list, with 13 percent of respondents. Only six per cent of those surveyed said that they would be giving up a Blackberry in favor of the iPhone.

The survey suggested that Apple's pitch of the iPhone as a convergence device may not be a big selling point. 68 percent of respondents said that they still plan to use an iPod in addition to the iPhone.

Apple did not return a request for comment on the reports. The company so far has declined to publicly comment on the number of iPhones it sold or how many it had stocked prior to Friday's launch.

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