Apple officially launched the iPhone on Friday, June 29, to throngs of excited buyers. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated that Apple managed to sell about 500,000 of its smartphones throughout the weekend. Of those 500,000 sold, about 200,000 will likely be accounted for in Appleis June fiscal quarter.
"We were surprised by the rate at which Apple was able to sell the handsets, with 50 cashiers processing up to 1,000 iPhones per hour in some stores," he said.
Each of the Apple Stores Piper Jaffray visited in New York, San Francisco, and Minneapolis, the lines were about 350 people long. About 95 percent bought the 8GB model, about 52 percent were switching to AT&T from another carrier, about 35 percent had been using Motorola phones, and about 13 percent were Palm Treo users.
Mr. Munster added "We believe mobile consumers are looking for an easy-to-use smartphone, and Apple delivered."
Apple was able to maintain an adequate supply of iPhones at its retail stores with availability at 100 percent of its locations on Saturday, and 84 percent of its stores on Sunday. While those figures may indicate high demand, they may also show low supply, or a combination of both. Apple has not revealed how many units were manufactured for the launch, making it difficult to fully analyze the numbers.
Mr. Munster is maintaining his "Outperform" rating and US$160 target price for Appleis stock. Apple is currently trading in the pre-market at $122.04, down 0.89 (0.73%).