updated 03:05 pm EDT, Thu June 7, 2007
3M iPhones for Launch
Apple is prepared to saturate the market with iPhones, according to a new claim by BusinessWeek. The publication reports draws on two seperate sources that allege Apple will have 3 million iPhones ready to ship for the June 29th launch, ensuring a complete supply across both Apple and AT&T stores. The stated figure would also dwarf early expectations by analysts, many of whom expect Apple to sell that many units only by the end of 2007. Apple has so far declined comment on the claim, says BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows.
If substantiated, the report would contradict some counterclaims that Apple might deliberately undersupply the market relative to its demand to spur sales, but would also back increasingly optimistic forecasts for the iPhone's long-term success. Gene Munster of analyst firm PiperJaffray today maintained a more cautious 3.2 million iPhone sales for 2007 but has greatly expanded long-term predictions, estimating that Apple will have sold 45 million iPhones during 2009 alone, controlling 2.8 percent of the worldwide market.
Experts at Merrill Lynch have already set more aggressive targets of 4 million for 2007 and 12 million for 2008, but said that production would be limited to between 200,000 and 300,000 handsets per month at first. The analysts did not, however, make an estimate as to when production would have begun for the devices.