iPhone crosses the 1 million mark; but what about the 10 million mark?

iPhone crosses the 1 million mark; but what about the 10 million mark?

Summary: Just 74 days after releasing the iPhone Apple has sold its millionth iPhone. But will Apple hit the 10 million mark by the end of 2008?

SHARE:
TOPICS: iPhone, Apple, Mobility
30

Just 74 days after releasing the iPhone Apple has sold its millionth iPhone. But will Apple hit the 10 million mark by the end of 2008?

A million iPhones in 74 days is impressive. That works out at a little over 13,500 a day or 560 an hour. Quite literally the iPhone has been flying off the shelves. It took the iPod two years to hit the million mark.

[poll id=174]

I expect Apple to face stiff competition in 2008 from other cellphone makers, both on price and featuresBut back in January when Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone he made the claim that 10 million iPhones would be sold by the end of 2008. Will Apple hit that ambitious target? Well, there are 111 days left in 2007 which means if the sales continue at the rate that they have Apple can sell another 1.5 million iPhones. Next year being a leap year gives Apple an extra day to play with and an opportunity to sell another 5 million iPhones. 1 million + 1.5 million + 5 million = 7.5 million. That's in the US, assuming that sales continue at the rate that they have over the next 477 days. Realistically, I don't think that Apple will be able to maintain the iPhone hype and sell that many units in the US by the end of 2008, even with the period containing two holiday seasons. My guesstimate is that Apple will shift another million by the end of the year and perhaps 2-3 million next year, making a US total of 4 to 5 million (which, by itself will be a heck of a feat).

All this means that Apple is going to need iPhone sales to be strong in other countries to hit that magic 10 million. It'll be interesting to see if Apple can conjure up the same hype in other countries as it has in the US (remember, to most people's minds, the iPhone has been out for a while now, even if it's not been available in their country) and whether people will be will to migrate to specific carriers in order to own one. Also, I expect Apple to face stiff competition in 2008 from other cellphone makers, both on price and features.

There's another factor that I'm leaving out - the fickle nature of the average cellphone buyer. Popular cellphones such as the Motorola RAZR enjoy a relatively long lifespan arcs, but they only do this by dramatic price drops and being bundled with contracts. I just don't see the iPhone being bundled with contracts for free any time soon, and as a paid-for cellphone, this time next year it could be being viewed as a dinosaur ... unless Apple updates it.

Thoughts?

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Deja vu all over again.

    Typical assumptions regarding Apple. That their success is the result of hype.

    Perhaps the iPhone has sold a million phones in 74 days because it's one h hell of a product. If that is the case, then, as more and more people get one, more and more people will want one. Couple that with price drops and Apple will probably have no difficulty at all attaining their goal.
    frgough
  • Hrmm...

    I think Apple will probably have no problem getting their 10 million iPhones. If they are smart, they will probably roll out an upgrade before the end of next year. Perhaps 16 GB and 32 GB versions of the beloved phone.
    nucrash
    • I agree with you, but I believe Apple...

      will announce a new phone before xmas this year, of course this is just my opinion
      mrlinux
    • They could sell 20 million

      if they did that AND allowed carriers other than AT&T to sell them.

      If I could get a 32GB version on the carrier of my choice for $300 or less I'd go for it in a second.
      Michael Kelly
      • Well with unlock software half of your requirements are met

        NT
        mrlinux
        • That's not a gamble I am willing to take

          If this were a computer that could easily be backed up and restored I'd give that a try. But since it isn't, it's not a risk I'm willing to take.
          Michael Kelly
          • Well if the iPhone had a couple features...

            such as voice dialing and Stereo Bluetooth, I would risk it, the current hack will survive a complete restore of the 1.0.2 firmware,
            but I will not become an AT&T customer to get one.
            mrlinux
  • Adrian, you're so impartial. Riight.

    iPhone needs no hype. It's a fantastic phone. At least try
    one for a change of bias.

    10 million will be a breeze. There are at least that many
    countries in Europe with citizens clamoring to get one.
    Unlike some jaded Americans, they know a good thing
    when they see it.
    YinToYourYang-22527499
    • What a Buffoon

      "10 million will be a breeze. There are at least that many
      countries in Europe with citizens clamoring to get one."

      Since when are there 10 million countries in Europe?
      ShadeTree
  • The 16 GB iPhone

    will probably be released very soon, since they already released the 16 GB iPod touch.

    Incidentally, I believe that's why Jobs only gave a $100 rebate, because the 16 GB will
    only be $100 less than the 8GB was. But that's off topic.

    Yes, Apple will be able to sell 10 million phones, as long as they get their act together
    outside the US, continue to allow people to unlock them, and release new models with
    lower prices as often as possible.
    nova81426
  • According to the Apple zealots...

    marketshare is no indication of quality. Therefore, something as bad as the iPhone [b]could[/b] sell 10 million in 1.5 years. Hey, that is only 1.4 years longer than it took Vista to sell 10 million copies. Not bad Apple!!! smirk, snicker :)
    NonZealot
    • Just be thankful...

      That Apple doesn't have the monopoly position (in mobile phones) that Microsoft has. If it did, you'd be somewhere near 90% likely to having to have an iPhone. Doesn't that just make you tingle?
      zkiwi
      • You don't have free will?

        [i]If it did, you'd be somewhere near 90% likely to having to have an iPhone.[/i]

        What is the % chance that [b]you[/b] would rush out and buy Vista? Is it 90%? Just because 70% of the sheep out there bought an iPod doesn't mean I'm 70% likely to buy an iPod. I'm 0% likely to buy an iPod because I have free will. It is a pity you seem not to. :(
        NonZealot
    • And now

      the price of the ultimate Vista is higher than the iPhone!

      smirk, snicker :)
      Ken_z
      • So?

        Vista can do a lot more than the iPhone and does it far better. Besides, if there is one thing that I learned from all the Apple zealots last week, it was that [b]all[/b] prices are reasonable if both the buyer and the seller agree. The early iPhone adopters weren't ripped off because they agreed to pay $599 for their phone. Well, everyone who paid $400 for Vista Ultimate obviously felt that the price was reasonable. Or does that logic only follow when it benefits Apple?

        smirk, snicker :)
        NonZealot
  • Depends on How quickly Apple moves in Eur/PacRim/MidEast

    When I was in the Middle East, I would routinely see
    men doing nothing but playing with their phones. This
    device will be a big hit, but Apple is moving terribly
    slowly at this point. However, it seems they must be
    weeks away from introducing a 3G version to ensure
    success overseas.

    As for the folks who are so negative, I just don't
    understand you. Why bother even reading this stuff?
    You must be teenagers or incredibly immature adults
    to waste your time commenting in such an incredibly
    inanane and disrespectful way.

    If your comments were along the lines of "Apple needs
    to do this or that" or "such-and-such a company will
    be introducing a similar product . . . " than I could
    understand but you don't.

    I use Vista, I have an iPhone. I use Office and I use
    Keynote. Pragmatism and the right tools for the right
    time.
    007baf
  • 10 Million may be conservative

    I believe that there are a few reasons why 10 million is possible and
    may be conservative.

    The first is expiring mobile contracts. Steve Jobs didn't give a
    massive demo of the iPhone last January "just to let us know it's
    coming" instead of public disclosure by the FCC. He wanted to start
    building demand so people would not renew their existing
    agreements. Since most agreements are on a 2 year agreement
    almost all would expire by the end of 2008 target. That allows the
    customer to buy an iPhone without penalty when their agreement
    expires.

    Price cut? A rather dramatic one which puts the iPhone at the same
    price as the iPod Touch. If ATT is an acceptable carrier for you then
    it's going to be the choice in many cases, and Apple still makes a sale
    if you go with the Touch.

    Apple is getting aggressive. The price cut will reflect that Apple is
    satisfied with their production ramp up and their suppliers ability to
    deliver a lot more components. I expect to see the iPhone in big box
    stores like Best Buy in time for the holiday shooing season this year.
    More access for customers to play with them is going to mean more
    sales.

    Multiple models? It's hard to believe that Apple will only have one
    model available for a full two years. I would guess that there will be
    at least one more model, probably announced at MWSF08. Major
    increases in demand when that hits, like the iPod Classic and iPod
    nano.

    Continual enhancements - probably adding a 16 gig version for the
    holidays or MWSF08.

    OS X? With the touch screen and OS X Apple can upgrade both
    firmware and software. I'm looking for them to do just that,
    especially after Leopard is released.

    Customer demand. I believe sales growth, while at a lower scale, will
    be similar to the iPod. People will play with one and want it. The
    iPhone is a consumer product and the average consumer wants to
    have a simple, easy to use screen, not a mass of buttons and difficult
    to learn menu system. Smart phones will continue to sell to
    corporations, but the iPhone will capture the consumer market,
    making 10 million a reasonable target.
    Ken_z
    • Agreed - plus the "Unlocking focus"

      With all the focus on unlocking - it would seem to me that the other side of this is the number of T-Mobile subscribers that want in on the act is a factor too. If this continues and there is an easy / reliable way to unlock, the iPhone at a lower price point has a great opportunity of success on the other network.

      Downside is that since Apple gets a cut of the revenue from at&t they have incentive to slow down the unlocking movement with regular fixes. Casual users will not tolerate an unlock that is not perm or easy to re-introduce after updates.
      Jim888
      • Unlocking over-rated

        Don't fall for the Internet Echo Chamber. Surveys have shown that most people are willing to switch carriers to get an iPhone. Carrier loyalty isn't as big a deal as most of the pundits think it is.
        frgough
        • I'm not

          [i]Don't fall for the Internet Echo Chamber. Surveys have shown that most people are willing to switch carriers to get an iPhone.[/i]

          Just so you know, I would never buy an iPhone.
          NonZealot