updated 08:45 am EDT, Mon July 2, 2007
Half Million iPhones Sold
Apple's sales of the iPhone have more than exceeded estimates, according to senior analyst Gene Munster of PiperJaffray. The research group's rough sales figure of about 500,000 units is more than double the 200,000 predicted for June and reflects the company meeting a "strong demand" with enough supply. Apple's efficiency in moving units was particularly impressive on the iPhone's opening night, the report notes: at higher-profile stores in New York and elsewhere, about 50 cashiers could process as many as 1,000 iPhones per hour. That there was still some stock left over at some Apple stores by the end of the week was more a reflection of the California electronics firm preparing itself well for a spike in sales, Munster says.
"While we had been expecting moderate supply constraints over the weekend, we observed strong demand met with strong supply in most places," he says.
One concern was that Apple's retail tracker showed some stores running dry of stock but would not indicate numbers, making it difficult to quantify demand. "Limited availability could mean either high demand, low supply, or a mix of both," Munster says.
Purchasing trends also pointed to relatively unconventional buying habits, the research shows. Of those buyers surveyed by PiperJaffray's teams monitoring the larger store events, just over half (52 percent) were existing cellphone users from carriers other than AT&T and almost all (95 percent) bought the more expensive 8GB model. The most identifiable handset maker that gave up sales to Apple was Motorola at 38 percent, besting the 13 percent of visitors who were trading in from Palm's Treo.
The choice of operating systems was evenly split, with the 50 percent of respondents equally identifying themselves as Mac and Windows users.
PiperJaffray is also positive about the device itself, describing the individual components as better than expected and confidence-inspiring.
"After 3 days of using the iPhone and testing its features, we are generally impressed," Munster notes. "We believe mobile consumers are looking for an easy-to-use smartphone, and Apple delivered."