Analyst: 750,000 iPhones Sold Last Weekend
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was right. The iPhone 3GS didn’t sell as well as the iPhone 3G did during its launch weekend last year. But it did quite a bit better than he thought.
In an investment note issued this morning, Munster estimated that the company sold 750,000 iPhones over the weekend–25 percent fewer than the one million units of the iPhone 3G model Apple sold during the launch of that device last July, but 50 percent more than the 500,000 he originally predicted.
“The only true benchmark for judging the launch of the iPhone 3G S will be the time it takes Apple to sell 1 million units. Apple sold 1 million 1st generation iPhones in 74 days and 1 million iPhone 3G units in 3 days. We are uncertain whether or not Apple will announce the 1 millionth iPhone 3G S; regardless, we are increasingly confident in our 5 million iPhone unit estimate for the June 09 quarter following the price drop of the iPhone 3G from $199 to $99 in early June and the launch for the iPhone 3G S, where interest in the device surpassed our expectations.”
A few other points worth noting from Munster’s note. The analyst surveyed 256 customers at Apple (AAPL) stores in New York and Minneapolis over the weekend about their preferred OS, the size of the iPhone they were purchasing and the phones from which they were upgrading, among other things (see table below; click to enlarge). In the 256, he found a mix of 66 percent Mac users and 34 percent PC, similar to what he found last year (61 percent Mac, 39 percent PC).
Of those surveyed, 43 percent purchased the high-end 32-gigabyte iPhone 3GS, less than the 66 percent of buyers who purchased the 16GB iPhone 3G last year. And 56 percent were upgrading from an old iPhone–up from 38 percent last year. “We believe this shows Apple is developing brand loyalty not enjoyed by other mobile phone makers,” Munster notes.
“At the outset of the company’s iPhone initiative, one of Apple’s goals was to develop the kind of brand loyalty it has developed among Mac and iPod customers, and we believe they are succeeding thus far. As the footprint expands, and loyalty expands as well, Apple will increasingly enjoy a base of customers who regularly upgrade to the newest version of the mobile phones the company releases in what appears to be an annual cycle.”