1.7 million iPhone 4s sold from Jun. 24 thru Jun 26

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 12:54 PM

    EDIT:  Whoops.  Title corrected.  Thanks.

    Looks like the iPhone 4 sold at a rate at least 50% faster than last year.  Impressive and obviously somewhat supply-constrained.  A 12 million iPhone fiscal Q4 result?  If Apple can make enough, sure.  AFAIK it’s never been done before, but we’ll see if Apple sees fit to put up an intermediate sales number sometime this quarter as it did with iPad last quarter.  My bet’s on “no” based on past history and the ever-important competitive reasons.

    [ Edited: 28 June 2010 06:41 PM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 01:03 PM #1

    Mav - 28 June 2010 03:54 PM

    Looks like the iPhone 4 sold at a rate at least 50% faster than last year.  Impressive and obviously somewhat supply-constrained.  A 12 million iPhone fiscal Q4 result?  If Apple can make enough, sure.  AFAIK it’s never been done before, but we’ll see if Apple sees fit to put up an intermediate sales number sometime this quarter as it did with iPad last quarter.  My bet’s on “no” based on past history and the ever-important competitive reasons.

    Apple is courting developers fervently.  Demonstrating increasing unit sale and market share might be more important than avoiding letting competitors know too much.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 01:11 PM #2

    I don’t foresee any problems there.  But I’m all for those data points.  I need to correct myself, there was that 50 million iPhones sorta-data point earlier in the year.

    We could easily get to 400k, 500k iOS apps by next year.  Last year there were only 50k available.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 01:21 PM #3

    Mav - 28 June 2010 04:11 PM

    I don’t foresee any problems there.  But I’m all for those data points.  I need to correct myself, there was that 50 million iPhones sorta-data point earlier in the year.

    We could easily get to 400k, 500k iOS apps by next year.  Last year there were only 50k available.

    Besides FlightPlanner, White & Yellow Pages, Bloomberg, CNBC Real-Time, Fidelity Investments, Economy, MarketWatch, WSJ, Yahoo! Finance, Zillow Real Estate, MPR Radio, Medscape, RedLaser, and The Weather Channel, what Apps matter?  :wink:

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 01:27 PM #4

    If Apple is having to apologize (again) for being unable to supply more than 1.7 million iPhones on a launch day when demand was probably twice that, what will happen next year when demand will double yet again? Or the year after that when demand will double yet again?  What will happen when there will be 10 million people waiting for their new iPhone 6 and Apple will have to hand out 7 million rain checks?

    I have to say I’m disappointed with Apple’s continued inability to meet demand.  The iPad is still sold out months after launch.  Demand for their products is growing geometrically and it seems their ability to manufacture is growing linearly.

    I believe the best use of Apple’s cash is to extend control over the supply chain to ensure supply meets demand in the next few years.  Tim Cook needs to sharpen his pencil.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 01:38 PM #5

    I disagree there. 

    The iPhone and iPad aren’t mere widgets.  They’re built to exacting standards with large amounts of custom components.  You could say that Apple could increase production capacity, there’s been occasional debate about whether Apple should build manufacturing capacity say in the US.  The point remains though, no one in tech ever sells in this kind of volume for a single, high-precision product.

    All in all I’m just fine with Apple’s initial rampups.  iPad and iPhone are very unique designs, and with iPhone Apple still increased initial supply nicely.  I’m more concerned with rampup throughout launch quarter.  Next year will be also be a good test, since redesigns aren’t likely to be dramatic.

    [ Edited: 28 June 2010 01:40 PM by Mav ]

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  • Posted: 28 June 2010 01:58 PM #6

    there is a trade-off going on here which is one reason for the production issues.

    apple is all about secrecy and no matter how hard they try, when you have production runs going full-fledge weeks before a keynote or presentation, it makes it extremely difficult to block random leaked photos or video.

    I don’t have first-hand evidence, but it seems like production runs are turned on full-fledge right after the keynote, presentation..etc.  (yellow dots on iPhone 4 screen due to the phones not having enough time to just settle in? and these are the first phones made).

    The situation is only going to get worse.

    I think what you will see is:
    1) more tiered roll-outs. (country-wise)
    2) longer time between product presentation and product launch.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 02:55 PM #7

    They’ll manage to stay above water with the current supply chain this year, but next year it’s not going to be enough. The system is bursting at the seams.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 03:31 PM #8

    I think Apple knows that.

    The question is, how soon Apple will be able to secure enough iPhone manufacturing capacity for 20 million units in a quarter, like it’s done for iPods in the holiday quarters without a hitch.  iPhone could be on a 75 million units/yr. run rate sooner than we think.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 03:55 PM #9

    asymco - 28 June 2010 05:55 PM

    They’ll manage to stay above water with the current supply chain this year, but next year it’s not going to be enough. The system is bursting at the seams.

    While I think the supply chain is challenge by Apple’s big bang theory, the manufacturing capacity and availability are based on Apple contracts for supply and manufacturing.  Based on one weekend of data it is hard to draw much useful data.  Apple had 1M available at launch last year and 1.7M this or 70% increase in manufacturing/supply.  I would say this is a reasonable 1st guess for YOY growth.  With the existing contracts their is probably at most 30% flex with the factories running full out 7 days per week but we can only guess at when production actually started.  Last years peak production was about 1M per week so I would think the manufacturing base is capable of 1.5- 2M per week this year.  Until we see supply/ demand balance it is hard to make a good guess and Apple may not provide numbers until the end of next qtr.  I will be watching how fast the additional countries roll-out since I think Apple will delay new launches if the are having trouble keeping supply on hand in the initial launch countries.  FWIW Apple is not the only one working supply chain issues
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    Posted: 28 June 2010 05:09 PM #10

    Mav - 28 June 2010 06:31 PM

    I think Apple knows that.

    The question is, how soon Apple will be able to secure enough iPhone manufacturing capacity for 20 million units in a quarter, like it’s done for iPods in the holiday quarters without a hitch.  iPhone could be on a 75 million units/yr. run rate sooner than we think.

    How long until they merge the iPod & iPhone product lines?  One unit has no cell phone hardware, one does.  And a classic version.

         
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    Posted: 28 June 2010 05:31 PM #11

    The 480x320 resolution isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  iPhone 3GS, at least one skew of the iPod touch will retain that screen.  I’m waiting for the “iPod touch nano.”  Maybe this year?  A nano that plays music, shoots video, AND works with all of your apps.  When that happens, iPod as we used to know it will begin fading away, with only the iPod shuffle left to remind us of those simpler days.

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    Posted: 28 June 2010 05:38 PM #12

    But how many 3GS at $99 sold in the same three days? Online Store shows 1-3 business days to ship, so there must be some demand there (it was at 24 hours on launch day). I say at least another half mill for the quarter just ended.

    [Edit: this thread’s title should be “1.7 million iPhone 4 sold…” as per Apple’s PR]

    [ Edited: 28 June 2010 05:59 PM by deagol ]      
  • Posted: 28 June 2010 05:38 PM #13

    any evidence out there to support the theory apple just turned the white iphone production line to a black production line and their statement of “manufacturing issue” is a slight lie? I estimate 15% of sales would be white - so roughly 250,000 - 300,000 white iphones would have been available for launch but instead they were all made to be black.

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  • Posted: 28 June 2010 05:44 PM #14

    [quote"Mav”  I think Apple knows that. The question is… How long until they merge the iPod & iPhone product lines?  One unit has no cell phone hardware, one does.  And a classic version.quote]

    Indeed!
    I see an iPod nano with basic telephone features sooner than later.
    The iPhone is old enough and established now that an iPod nano phone is not competition for the smart iPhone.
    The iPods do gain features every year.
    To me adding basic voice calling to the iPod is inevitable.
    For Apple it’s a cheap and simple value added feature.
    For the consumer wanting voice calling only it’s a natural progression of the iPod.

    [ Edited: 28 June 2010 07:49 PM by daveynb ]      
  • Posted: 28 June 2010 06:08 PM #15

    I’m with Asymco.

    Look, Apple can’t seem to get its forecasting nor production logistics right for these launches.

    They have more than 40 billion bucks sitting doing absolutely nothing.  This amount will grow in leaps and bounds this year.  There is no way ... no way ... they can employ that kind of cash in the foreseeable future.  Other than earning some piss poor interest that drags down their overall employment of capital, they need to get off their ass and use it where it can do some real good.

    Why can’t they employ some of that cash to solve a recurring problem that is nothing but a negative for them?  And why don’t they kick some ass in their organization to solve a recurring problem like this?