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Piper Jaffray disputes '1 million iPhones' claim

updated 11:10 am EDT, Thu July 17, 2008

Piper vs. Apple on iPhone

Apple may have been deliberately ambiguous in announcing sales of 1 million iPhones during the launch weekend, says analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Challenging claims that his firm's estimate of 425,000 units sold was inaccurate, Munster notes that while Piper was estimating phones actually bought by the public, Apple's figure appears to have been derived from phones sold to carriers and even its own retail stores.

Having surveyed American shops for the number of phones genuinely activated, rather than simply sitting on shelves, Munster argues that the real number of phones sold worldwide is less than half a million, making Piper estimates more plausible. This tracking method should also be more reliable than with the first iPhone, because customers can no longer take a device home without signing up for a carrier subscription.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Since all cell phones from other companies are counted based on numbers sold to carriers, why single out the iPhone. You can't compare 20 million nokias sold to carries with 500 000 iphones sold to consumers excluding carriers. It skews numbers in favor of the other phone companies. Hold all to the same standard.

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T queue

    If you're stuck in a long Direct Fulfillment queue at an AT&T store like I am, I would argue that AT&T was selling them as soon as they came in the door. I suspect the same happened with just about every other carrier.

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Gene wants cheap stock

    Keep the price of the stock down so his friends can get in in on some cheap stock. J/K

    Gene's typically a good guy, however, this might be a case of CYA to make his numbers look correct. Face it Gene, you were off.

  1. phillyjoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Sitting on Shelves?"

    If there are any iPhones "sitting on shelves" anywhere, I'd like to know. I have a one week wait at my AT&T store here in Philly.

  1. cblackmo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Activation vs. Sold

    I would like to know how Piper Jaffray "surveys" activations? Isn't cell phone activation private information; and didn't several carriers have difficulty completing activation in the store? Apple's announcement wasn't "1 Million iPhones Activated".

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I believe Apple know how

    I believe Apple knows how many iPhone they shipped. We all know that many or most locations are out. Heck there are still lines outside of many locations.
    I believe Gene Munster is attempting to maintain credibility in his estimating skills.
    His whole reputation rest on it.
    Apple being a publicly traded company cannot give faulty sales numbers. Too many ways to verify. Genes' numbers are merely estimates. I'm inclined to believe Apple in this instance.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: BS

    Since all cell phones from other companies are counted based on numbers sold to carriers, why single out the iPhone.

    They aren't. They're just responding to criticism about the disparity in numbers, where several are implying the 1 million 'sold' means sold.

    But, isn't this the argument people use to criticize MS' sales numbers, saying MS cites numbers 'shipped'/'sold' to retailers, not sold to customers?

  1. mjtomlin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm sure..

    Apple knows how many phones they've sold. And considering the fact that every iPhone that shows up at local AT&T and Apple stores goes out the door within the hour, would seem to suggest that they are in fact selling.

    Most of the time these analysts are usually wrong and try to save face by distorting the facts. Apple has never stretched sales numbers why would they start now? I think it's astounding that they sold as many as they considering all the issues they had on the first day.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hey, if Apple wants to make claims based on a free market system due to the law of supply and demand in a not-as-yet communist country then I'm all for it!

  1. bsnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One this is for sure

    Regardless of the actual number sold, it is very safe to say that in the USA Apple has sold it's initial allotment they had on July, 11. Additionally, there is still plenty of pent-up-demand with customers waiting to get their hands on the hot little iPhone.

    While I would have preferred to have had the black 16-GB iPhone I was lucky enough to get the white 16-GB last Friday. So far I could not be more pleased with the phone, though I would prefer more choice in service providers.

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