Apple shifts 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days

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Apple shifts 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days

Apple has announced that it sold more than 1.7 million of its iPhone 4 devices in the just the first three days of its release.

Chief executive Steve Jobs described the release of the iPhone 4 as “the most successful product launch in Apple’s history”, but also apologised to customers who had to be turned away because stores were not able to cope with the demand.

Yair Reiner, an analyst at US investment firm Oppenheimer, estimates that 1.5 million units of the iPhone 4 were sold internationally on the first day of release.

In an article on the Fortune site, Reiner said his estimate took into account 600,000 pre-orders in the US. This figure was added to 100,000 non-reserved units sold at Apple stores on the day of release (average 500 per store) and 50,000 units that were to be sold by Best Buy.

This gave 700,000 units, which he then multiplied by two to take international volume into account, giving 1.5 million.

If Reiner’s estimate is correct, and it does seem to err on the high side, it means Apple’s latest smartphone is on course to blow the iPad’s sales out of the water.

In the US, a survey carried out by Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster found that out of 608 people buying an iPhone 4, 77 percent were replacing an older model, Fortune reported.

That was up from 56 percent in 2009 and 38 per cent in 2008, according to the survey. However, nearly 400 extra people took part in the survey this year which could have skewed the findings.

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