Unlocked iPhones: Over a Million of Them?
There's a lot of talk today (here and here for starters) about the iPhone's sales numbers from Apple's quarterly conference call and how they didn't match up with AT&T's numbers from their conference call. The gist is that Apple sold 3.7 million iPhones and AT&T had about 2 million iPhone subscribers. So where are the rest?
Of course, many were sold overseas, but most people very much doubt that Apple sold 1.7 million of them. Which has led to speculation that as many as a third of all iPhones have been purchased and unlocked. That's a lot, and it strikes me as an unrealistically high number. Naturally, we'd like Apple to help us understand this riddle. Naturally, we are sure they won't. Fake Steve Jobs agrees:
Why not just break out the numbers and share more information and tell Toni Sacconaghi and his pals on Wall Street exactly where all the iPhones are? Well, we're not going to do that. We're not going to break out any numbers or share any more information on this topic or try to explain how we arrived at the 4 million figure. We're just not going to do it, so stop asking.
It could be that Apple's number includes those shipped out to AT&T (and international carriers) for them to sell but haven't actually sold yet. It could be that hundreds of thousands of people bought iPhones just because they're really shiny. Whatever it is, it's clear that a significant number of these un-accounted for iPhones have been unlocked.