Some analysis last week poured cold water on the idea that the new iPhone 3G S would outsell its predecessor on the first weekend, and only make 500,000 sales. We say otherwise, and there’s plenty of data around the net to back that up.
It starts with the fact that people were still prepared to line up outside Apple stores to buy the new iPhone. With that kind of enthusiasm, you know the iPhone 3G S is going to be a hit. Then comes a suggestion by an Apple employee who did some basic math based on the state of Apple store pre-order information he was party to. Considering the number of reservations per store, and the 200-odd Apple stores in the U.S., the figures for pre-sale iPhone 3G S’s tot up to between 200,000 and 400,000.
Next up comes the news that AT&T had sold out of its pre-order stock. An AT&T spokesman confirmed that the company had sold “hundreds of thousands” of the new iPhone, and best-guess estimates point at 300,000 as a representative figure. Best Buy, with 1,000 stores, also confirmed it had sold-out of pre-order stock, though a leaked document claimed there were just some 20,000 phones reserved for the vendor.
The U.K.’s O2 carrier strong sales, and by lunchtime on friday the company had sold more iPhone 3G S’s than it had 3G’s the previous year. Back then, the British public were so keen to pre-order that they arrived in such numbers the company’s online store crashed. O2 hasn’t revealed sales figures yet but remember that last year pre-orders for Spain and the UK exceeded 300,000 units, as reported by O2’s owner Telefonica. With around 200 store locations, and the fact that O2 expects to sell 50% more 3G S’s than it did 3Gs, the numbers look good.
Then one needs to add in the walk-in purchases made at the U.S.’s 200 Apple and 3,000 Wal-Mart stores and the sales by carriers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. Making some best-guesses about the figures for each of those sources brings the grand total to one million devices easily, even if you’re conservative with the numbers you allocate to each carrier.
In other words, despite the poor economy, despite competition from Google and the Palm Pre, despite the analysts low estimates and despite the similarities between the iPhone 3G S and its predecessor, it looks like Apple has another big-selling hit on its hands. One thing’s also for sure: The numbers place the Palm Pre’s reported 50,000 first-weekend sales in sharp perspective.