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Analyst: 'unlockers' bought 838,000 iPhones

updated 03:40 pm EST, Fri January 25, 2008

Analyst on iPhone sales

Apple reported 3.7 million iPhone sales in 2007 when the company disclosed its December quarter financial results last week, but AT&T this week announced 2 million iPhone activations in the same time period. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster believes that the remaining 1.7 million iPhones were divided up between U.S./European channel inventory (512,000 iPhones), 350,000 sales overseas, and about 838,000 handsets sold to 'unlockers,' or customers who bought the iPhone with the intention of using a cellular carrier other than Apple's exclusive partner.

Apple holds exclusive agreements with wireless carriers in most countries where its iPhone is available, resulting in revenue sharing between the carriers and Apple itself. The Cupertino-based company just reported its best quarter in history, driven by numerous factors which include better than expected iPhone sales.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Peter753

    Joined: Dec 1969



    More than 20% of sales were to people who unlocked them? That sounds pretty uhm... impossible.

  1. Tikas

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What to for people which Apple thinks "don't qualify" for iPhone? For those who don't live in 4 countries they sell but live in remaining almost 200 countries with total population of more than 5 bilion? This number is small enough.

  1. Laurence

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I believe it.

    One of my co-workers has been buying about 20 iPhones a week since November and shipping them to his friends in Bulgaria. He says they sell for a $300-400 markup over there. The Bulgarians pay him $100 over retail and he just pays kids hanging out at the mall $20 to buy the phones. He's been doing this since around Thanksgiving last year.

    I don't really know why this wouldn't be a common situation. I'd probably start doing this myself If I had friends somewhere where the markup was this high.

  1. garybau

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not to forget downunder!

    here in Australia iphones are available from shop front store and online

    can order iphone unlocked for $600AUD delivered in a week...

    works on all local phone networks..just swap the SIM

    and so plenty of availability..and plenty of interest

    a million is a bit low considering other IT savvy countries would do the same..


    there's a market for a few hundred thousand without trying!

  1. tonton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I believe it.

    Judging from the number of iPhones in use and in stores in Hong Kong, we must have tens of thousands here.

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