updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri June 25, 2010
Analyst sees Apple blowing away past iPhone sales
An early estimate by Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner suggests Apple may have sold as many as 1.5 million iPhone 4s on just its first day of sales. Assuming that Apple sold about 750,000 phones in the US, including 600,000 pre-orders, 100,000 walk-in purchases, and 50,000 Best Buy units, he believes that the number roughly doubled when including international sales in the few countries that also had the iPhone 4 in its first-wave launch. Reiner was cautious and admitted that estimates of Apple launches had "become something of a national sport" with a large amount of room for inaccuracy, much like Groundhog Day predictions.
The analyst also echoed earlier beliefs about the demographics of iPhone 4 buyers based on checks. About 76 percent were upgrading their phones. A lower than average 21 percent were new to AT&T, and the largest portion of converts wasn't from Verizon; about 41 percent of the switchers were from T-Mobile versus 28 percent from Verizon, the larger carrier. The shift wasn't explained by Reiner, but the popularity of the Droid and Droid Incredible along with news of the Droid X may have kept some Verizon customers from jumping ship to AT&T.
Notably, the existence of the iPhone 4 didn't appear to be a major deterrent to iPad adoption, as 14 percent of those in line still planned to buy the tablet in the next three months. It wasn't clear how many had already bought an iPad.
If accurate, the estimate would be a major leap for Apple, whose best sales performance was to reach one million units in a weekend with the iPhone 3GS. A new record is still expected, as Apple had an unprecedented amount of pre-orders that pushed new orders back by three weeks almost immediately and led AT&T to both halt pre-orders after one day as well as move non-reserve iPhone sales to June 29.