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One Million iPhone 3Gs in First Weekend; Is That Good or Bad?

This morning Apple press released the fact that the one millionth iPhone 3G was sold on Sunday. One million, hmm. This is a pretty big number indeed and it certainly is quite an amazing feat. If we stop to think for a moment, was this really an accomplishment that Apple should be bragging about? According to Apple dictator Steve Jobs, it took 74 days to sell the first million units when the gen1 iPhone was released so clearly the iPhone 3G is selling faster. About a year ago however, Apple and AT&T combined to push a reported 700,000 first generation iPhones during its premier weekend. Oh by the way, the original iPhone was launched in the US only. Also if you recall, last year the iPhone was released at 6:00 pm as opposed to the iPhone 3G which was made available at 8:00 am this past Friday. Let’s look at the reported numbers side by side:

  • 2007: iPhone launches Friday evening in the US only, sells around 700,000 units by COB Sunday
  • 2008: iPhone 3G launches Friday morning in 21 countries, sells 1,000,000 units by COB Sunday

So basically Apple launched the iPhone 3G in 20 additional countries this time around, added about 12 daytime hours to their ‘opening weekend’ and saw a total approximate sales boost of only around 43%. Hmm. Some might say that’s not so great. No, it’s not an “epic fail” but these numbers are nowhere near impressive when compared to last year considering the hype and additional global availability of the iPhone 3G. Clearly activation difficulties made a huge dent in this weekend’s sales and we wouldn’t be surprised if these numbers are well below Apple’s internal projections.

UPDATE: Sorry, fellas. We had wrong numbers for the 2007 launch. Apple sold around 250,000 units in the launch weekend last year.


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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