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.
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.