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

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

Summary: 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

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.

See also:

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Enterprise Software, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • "Think Again"?

    Like they're bragging about 1M for Palm's sake?
    • Jobs' statement that ...

      "Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning" means that he's thinking the iPhone is in a serious competition with someone. Since the Palm Pre was just released last week and got a lot of press (and is now run by his former colleagues), it's pretty clear who he is talking about.
      • It's not "pretty clear "

        The statement is quite general imo, so he could be referring to all the competition, not just Palm.
    • Nice
  • I knew it last week.

    When I responded to the 500k predictions last week, I said it would be closer to one million and listed the reasons I had for feeling this way. As I stood in line on Friday, I found a number of people who confirmed each of the reasons I listed last week, which bolstered my confidence in my prediction. Seeing the Apple press release today was pretty satisfying, I admit. So I'm just going to say it. I told you so! LOL
  • What is Apple worried about, then?

    If they have to go out of their way to defend their sales of a device that has been on the market for years, against the competition that has been on the market for weeks, you have to ask why Apple would feel the need to go out of their way to even metion it.

    Could Apple be seeing something in the Palm Pre that we are all missing?
    • Apple is NOT worried!

      @GuidingLight: This is the most asinine statement I have read yet!

      They [Apple] are not defending a "device that's been on the market for years" they are simply reporting the sales numbers of a new model of iPhone, a business I might add that Apple has only been in for a couple of years compared to the decade long head start Palm and all the other "smartphone" makers have had. ([i]think about that; funny how when Apple first announced they were making a phone, everyone in the industry laughed at them since Apple had no experience in the cellphone market, and now those same everyones in the industry are trying to make an iPhone clone![/i])

      So when Palm steals away Apple engineers, makes extravagant claims that the Pre is going to trounce the iPhone and then only sell 50,000 units (not the reported 100,000, but let's even say they did sell that many) of course Apple should be proud; even with analysts claiming the new iPhone wouldn't sell that well because it's not much different than the previous model and everyone already has one, Apple STILL sold OVER a million units in only 8 countries compared to last years model that sold a million in 22 countries... nope, no defense needed by Apple, just a proud father patting his growing baby on the back...
      • I think it's worth pointing out...

        ...those 8 countries cover about 80% of iPhone sales with the US accounting for about 50% alone. They're not equally distributed.

        And, as mentioned, this includes a lot of pre-orders (AT&T mention a few hundred thousand) so we'll need to see what sales are like at quarter end.
        Sleeper Service
      • And does the Pre sell in Europe? Does the Pre sell in 8 countries?

        No, it sold 100.000 units in the US alone, because you won`t find it in 7 countries from Europe or whatever....

        So new device, from a company that was almost dead, sold 100.000 at it`s realease. Remind me again, how much did the first Iphone sell in the first days of realease????? How many units? And Apple was a known company because of it`s Ipods back then, while Palm...well, they were going down the hill in those days.
      • Then how can we be sure

        That the iPhone sold 1 million units?

        You claim that Sprint is fudging the numbers
        [i]and then only sell 50,000 units (not the reported 100,000)[/i], yet we should take Apple's word for it?

        I did not notice any numbers on new activations though, so I am sure that Apple is quite happy with the sales they did recieve, but how many are previous iPhones owners upgrading?

        There are a lot of things that were [b]not[/b] said, and that makes me question the tone behind the annoucement, nothing more.

        Much like the multitude of half-cocked theories when Windows sales figures are release?

        So it would not be "asinine" to not want to assume anything without all figures laid before you, so as to see what actually is happening.
        • I wouldn't be surprised if alot of iPhone version 1 users upgraded.

          Apple has remarkable products and tends to turn buyers into lovers.

          I myself did not get an iPhone until the 3G so I still have 6 months to wait until I upgrade (maybe). The 3.0 software is giving me my most bang for the buck (i.e. zero dollars) but I may get the new device for the 32GB Ram to replace my current 16GB version.
          No More Microsoft Software Ever!
        • Show Me

          Got any links to where Sprint states their Pre sales? All I've ever seen is
          various guesses by analysts between 50-100K. Sprint did put out a press
          release claiming record first day Pre sales but they didn't include any
    • People buy "success"

      Right now, Honda is running TV ads for the
      Civic, calling it the best selling compact in the
      country. That gives a potential buyer a certain
      comfort level in buying that product.

      Selling a million units in a short period provides
      other potential buyers with a similar comfort
      level when making the buying decision. That's
      particularly important in attracting people who
      are buying their first "smart" phone.

      Neither Honda nor Apple have to be "afraid" of
      anything. They are simply using sales success
      to increase future sales success, regardless of
      their competitors.

      There is plenty of room for growth in the so-
      called smartphone market. Palm, Rim and
      others can sell many phones, and Apple cans
      sell many phones, and all can be profitable.
      • Agreed....

        And Apple's been doing this how long now? They started listing sales numbers with the iPods, and then with iTunes song downloads/sales. Now they are doing the same with the iPhone, all done to create a level of comfort in consumers, accessory makers and developers (App Store). Developers also look for the successful, strong, thriving market to develop for.
      • Also agreed, and let's talk about the Pre for a moment....

        I bought the first Palm when it came out, and kept buying the newer versions as they came along. Eventually their servicing went from "outstanding" to "abysmal" - and this trend went in lock-step with their sales, so it was quite easy to see the relationship there. They were losing ground, and fast.

        Enter the Pre. People are raving about it, much as they did the first Palm Pilot. The fact is, it hasn't got momentum. Apple, by comparison (with its millions of customers, and amazing glut of apps) has a whirlwind momentum going.

        I think (and this is only an opinion) that Palm is on its last desperate gasps. To be sure, they have a good game going but....will it be enough?

    • Two points....

      First when Apples iPhone first came out it was compared to competitors
      that had been in the mobil phone and smart phone business for many
      years longer than Apple the new kid on the block. In fact their lead in
      terms of time in the field dwarfed Apple's lead over it's current crop of

      Second Apple was in the lead back in the PC days and lost that to the
      IBM clone remember? History learn from it:P

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • 100K vs. 1Million in 1 weekend

      Not much more to say!
      • 8 countries (Iphone) vs 1 country (Pre)..

        ..not much to say,
        New device vs old device (3rd Generation Iphone).
        Almost Dead Company vs 36 billion dollar gorilla.

        Just appling the 8-1 ratio, that would mean the Iphone sold ~120-200, let us say 250k in The US (bigger country, bigger numbers)
  • If you include pre-orders...

    ...then it's not three days. More spin from the marketing department methinks.

    Which is not to say it isn't impressive because it is. The really interesting figures will be AT&T's new subscribers for the quarter and Apple's quarterly sales though.
    Sleeper Service
    • Good grief...

      Concede that the handset, since it's inception, has been a success - contrary to your constant protestation and prediction. Or are [i]that[/i] arrogant?