Stop the Noiz

Apple Could Sell 20 Million iPhones in 2008

Frank Fox - 2008.08.07 - Tip Jar

The news from Techcrunch about foxconn cranking out 800,000 iPhones a week is amazing. I thought it was amazing that anyone could make that many phones - but if Nokia can sell 435 million a year or 8 million a week, I guess 800,000 a week is small potatoes.

Let's back up to the time before the launch of the iPhone 3G. Apple sold 2.42 million iPhones in Q2-08 and Q3-08. Apple was far short of its 10 million goal for 2008. Back in May analysts were predicting that there was no way Apple could reach its goal.

How can you blame them when sales virtually dried up as Apple cleared the channel for the next generation iPhone? Apple obviously had a lot of work to do.

Then the iPhone 3G launched, and Apple sold one million opening weekend. Things still don't look all that good: for the year they have only sold 3.42 million units. That's still far short of the 10 million predicted.

People started complaining that inventories on the shelves are low, and on top of that Apple is going to launch the iPhone in 20 additional countries around August 22.

How can Apple possibly keep up?

Then the news came out from Techcrunch, and it all started to make sense. Producing 800,000 iPhones a week will start to meet demand just enough, and surplus will go for launching in 20 more countries. Demand should peak again and then start to drop just in time for the holiday season.

There are 20 weeks between now and Christmas. That is 16 million iPhones that could be sold between now and the end of the year. 16 million is a lot more than the 10 million Apple predicted. Will Apple be able to sell that many phones in time?

Apple is selling in 23 countries today with 20 more countries to be added soon. If everything gets divided up equally (which it won't), that is only 372,000 iPhones per country. Suddenly 16 million doesn't sound like too many. Sweden alone may need that many iPhones by the time Christmas is over.

for all those nay sayers, when Steve Jobs said that Apple was hoping to get 1% of the world market share of phones sold in 2008, he was serious. If Apple can pull off selling 16 million phones between now and Christmas, it will pass its projected goal. If we add in sales from the first half of the year, an extra 3.4 million, Apple will sell closer to 20 million total in 2008.

That's twice the original estimate and clearly blows the doors off previous sales figures for the iPhone.

The worse that can happen is if sales start to lag, Apple pushes up their launch date for another 20 countries. As long as foxconn can deliver, Apple looks to have a winning game plan for besting its own estimate.

This is why I like watching Apple. They are the best at moving down the field and getting both touchdowns and extra points. LEM

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