Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, and his merry band of observers have spent 25 hours at Apple stores counting folks buying iPhones. His conclusion: Apple sells 95 iPhone 3Gs a day at each of its 188 stores, up from 21 phones a year ago. Toss in international sales and AT&T stores and Apple should sell at least 4.47 million iPhones.
Munster, also known for being incredibly bullish on iPhone sales, said his new guesstimate for iPhone sales is up from his previous 4.1 million phones for the September quarter.
He also notes that his iPhone projection may be conservative. Indeed, Best Buy should give Apple a late quarter pop in iPhone sales. However, Best Buy may only offset a slowdown in sales later in the quarter. Munster noted:
We believe overall demand for the phone will remain high, but we have scaled back our per day estimates for the rest of the quarter as we saw roughly a 10% decrease in our second week of survey work.
International sales will also play a big role for Apple and account for 47 percent of total iPhone sales. Here's a look at Munster's estimates: