Apple thumbs nose at Palm, reports 1 million iPhone 3G S units sold in 3 days

Did you think Apple didn't care that its former hardware guru Jon Rubinstein and a bunch of former Apple employees left the company to help Palm create an iPhone-competitor in the Palm Pre? Think again. On Monday morning Apple fired off a press release that was clearly aimed at Palm, including a quote from CEO Steve Jobs.

Did you think Apple didn't care that its former hardware guru Jon Rubinstein and a bunch of former Apple employees left the company to help Palm create an iPhone-competitor in the Palm Pre? Think again. On Monday morning Apple fired off a press release that was clearly aimed at Palm, including a quote from CEO Steve Jobs.

The Cupertino, California tech giant reported that in the first three days since launching its third generation iPhone hardware, the iPhone 3G S, the new smartphone has sold over 1million units. The lines may not have been as long as last year, but the pre-sales strategy from Apple and AT&T of allowing customers to order over the Web and then pick up the device from an Apple or AT&T store or have it delivered was a success. Apple and AT&T apparently had plenty of units in stock as they avoided the widespread sell-outs of the last two years, and even doubled the sales expectation of 500,000 units for the opening weekend.

In Apple's press release Jobs even took a shot across the bow at Palm. He said, "Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning. With over 50,000 applications available from Apple's revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever."

Jobs' remark was aimed at the report that Palm sold 100,000 units of the Pre in its first weekend and set a new Sprint sales record for the debut of a product.

Certainly, the Palm Pre can still be considered a success and the product is off to a solid start. But, it's also clear that the iPhone is in a different league. In addition to the iPhone 3G S sales stats, Apple also revealed that downloads of its new iPhone 3.0 software (free to existing iPhone customers) reached six million since the company made it available last Wednesday.

For more insights on iPhone, Palm Pre, and other tech topics, follow my Twitter stream at twitter.com/jasonhiner

One stat that Apple didn't mention was how many second-generation iPhone units it has sold since it dropped the price to $99 two weeks ago when it announced the latest iPhone hardware. I suspect that number could be significant as well. It all adds up to increased momentum for the iPhone platform, as Jobs was happy to point out to Palm and the tech world today.

Let's also not forget that BlackBerry still dominates the U.S. smartphone market with 55% market share, according to IDC.

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