updated 11:25 pm EST, Fri February 4, 2011
Report says up to half of advance inventory gone
Even though manufacturer's reports suggest that Apple prepared up to two million CDMA iPhones in advance of Verizon's launch, as many as half may have already been sold in the very brief time they were actually available, AppleInsider reports. Estimates vary on how many Verizon iPhones may have actually sold, but signs point to the remarkable possibility that Verizon's pre-orders may actually exceed those of the iPhone 4 from its original launch with AT&T, when the company sold 600,000 units in advance of the first day of availability last June.
Verizon began accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 4 at 3 a.m. eastern time Thursday morning, and sold out of its pre-launch allotment in just two hours, shattering all sales records for pre-orders of other phones such as the Motorola Droid -- a feat the company called "unprecedented."
Estimates on how many iPhones were part of the pre-order allotment vary, ranging from a mere 100,000 (generally agree to be inaccurately low) to a million units -- or half of the number Apple has reportedly produced, though of course they continue to make more as quickly as they can. Last June during the initial iPhone 4 launch, AT&T sold a total of 1.7 million including pre-orders over the three-day weekend they were first available. The idea that Verizon -- selling essentially the exact same phone -- may surpass that number is indicative of the pent-up demand for additional carriers for the iPhone.
Despite early skepticism and criticism on the initial launch of the iPhone 4, Apple has continually struggled to meet demand, and the product has in just four years become the best-selling Apple-made device and the source of huge profits for the company. A recent survey found that over half of Verizon customers are either planning or considering switching to the iPhone now that it is available to them.
Verizon and Apple will again be accepting pre-orders for the iPhone starting early February 9th -- and the device will also be available at Wal-Mart and Best Buy, though inventory quantities for either are unknown. Verizon even took the step of requesting that employees and their families delay purchasing their own personal units to make more available for customers. [via AppleInsider]