Revenge of the Analysts: iPhone #1 Smartphone? #2 Handset? 10 Million Already Sold?!

10 Million iPhone March

Rumors are flying today that Apple may have already hit the suddenly-not-so-outrageous-sounding 10 Million iPhones Sold goal set by Steve Jobs for 2008. Reader Reptile pointed us to Seeking Alpha's IMEI tracking coverage:

The consensus estimates for iPhone sales figures for Apple's Q4 (calendar Q3) were calling for approximately 4 million units. It now appears that Apple has sold at least 7 to 7.5 million iPhones in Q4—that's nearly 80% above consensus. Apple has far surpassed even Gene Munster's bullish estimates of 5 million iPhone sales in Q4 according to the data. [...] Coming into the quarter, Apple had already sold 2.42 million iPhones. Thus, 7.6 million 3G iPhones sold puts Apple above 10 million units for the year.

Magic 8-Ball? Most likely

Apple's quarterly conference call, scheduled for Oct. 21, should put some official numbers to the iPhone tally, but we think it's safe to say they're doing pretty fine. NPD, after all, has just released their numbers which show, according to Apple Insider, that the iPhone is now the #2 selling handset in the US (trailing only the cockroach-like ubiquity of the RAZRv3). CIO.com is going so far as to say the iPhone is the #1 selling smartphone in the US!

Who's this hurting? The 30% who dumped their original carriers to get an iPhone AT&T:

The bulk of new iPhone owners who switched -- 47% -- left Verizon Wireless, while another 24% dumped T-Mobile and 19% switched from Sprint.

Ouch! Analysts are touting the T-Mobile Android/Google G1 and Verizon Blackberry Storm as possible blood-clotters for the other networks. However, while iPhone 2.x is already on the market (and Macworld 2009's potential further revelations just around the corner), the G1 and Storm are racing to catch up with what are likely to be very public beta-devices of their own. And they're light-years further along than the caught-flat-footed Windows Mobile 7 and Palm OS 2 Nova...

What do you think? Did Apple hit on a winning formula this year? Or was it all advertising sizzle and no steak? Can the other carriers/manufacturers come back? Or could it be that while everyone else was working on increasingly complex little smartphones with poor UI running on hobbled, outdated OS's, Apple snuck in a real mobile computing platform tucked away behind iPod-like ease of use?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

Frog says:

Thats amazing if Apple hit that target this year. It fully deserves it though!

DomArch says:

This past weekend, I used my brother's Samsung Instinct, and it really made me understand how incredibly well done the UI on my iPhone is. My brother's comment was that the Instinct was a phone, the iPhone was something completely different that included a great phone.
I haven't seen the gphone or the storm, but from what I've read, other people still aren't coming close to the experience of using the iPhone. There are definitely glitches and issues with the thing, but I'm constantly amazed at how useful and, frankly, cool the iPhone is.

Big Ty! says:

The iPhone is completely in a class all it's own, with abilities and functions well beyond what "They" consider it's competition! Just think... The functionality and Apps are still growing!

dloveprod says:

if they added mms, cut and paste and video recording I think they could have had 30% more sales

Ron Taylor says:

" iphone" Simply the best !