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Thursday, October 25, 2007

iPhone: US numbers and meaning for the UK.

Apple in its earnings call revealed that 1.4m iPhones had been shipped in total and 1.1m in the quarter. Personally, I think this is a great start and makes the Apple estimate for 2008 of 10m shipped in total to look really, really conservative.

Also revealed was the estimate that 250k was bought for unlocking. I don’t think this is a problem for either Apple or AT&T. If the handset is bound for overseas markets then presumably once distribution is established then the unlocker will just sign up with th relevant Apple operator or buy a new handset. Also, if the unlocked handset stays within the US and the user really likes it then presumably next time they get around to buying one it will be on AT&T’s network. Given that the handset is not subsidised and AT&T only pay share of revenues on activated handsets then it is not causing any financial pain. I think this US data all bodes well for the imminent launch in the UK.

The Telegraph has regurgitated results of a YouGov survey in todays edition. Basically, they are trying to say only 1% of people are expressing a desire to buy the handset before any sort of marketing campaign kicks in is a bad thing. I think it is a testament to the product people in the UK will buy it even with the handset costing £269 and requiring a £35/month subscription. The sample was only 1,000 which yields a 95% confidence level of +/-3.1% on a population of 60m – in other words the survey is a load of rubbish. All the survey really tells us is that people prefer subsidised handsets which all the mobile operators have known since time immemorial.

The survey interestingly said only 4% of people were aware that Apple was a mobile phone supplier. I can honestly say that once the boys from Acton put their sales burners onto full throttle, there will be few people left on this green and pleasant Isle who won’t know about the iPhone.

Full Disclosure: The Author does not own an iPhone nor intends to buy one for personal consumption, but is getting serious earache from his teenage daughter about acquiring one.