The case of the missing iPhones

Scaling / January 25, 2008 / Alykhan Jetha

So it looks like a bunch of people are trying to figure out where these 650,000 missing iPhones are. It almost sounds like they are saying Apple is padding the numbers to look good. I think Apple is wiser than that – especially with close to $20 Billion in the bank. They may be forgetting that there are a whole bunch of iPhones in countries where Apple has not made any kind of deal.

For example – here in Canada where there is no official iPhone carrier. You can buy an iPhone (unlocked with a TurboSIM) without too much trouble. I have a friend that wholesales mobile phones, and guess what – he is always running out of iPhones. The demand was massive when it was new and it still is really high. 20% of our staff has iPhones. A bunch of my nephew’s friends (13 year olds) have iPhones and it goes on and on and on. We all use the iPhone’s WiFi instead of the horrendously expensive EDGE network here.

From our Daylite Sync Services support experience, I can tell you that this kind of activity is happening in other countries as well. I cannot say to what degree, but it is happening. See this AppleInsider thread for comments from South America as an example.

So a lot of those missing phones are in other countries and obviously some are in the channel.

The iPhone will become even more appealing a few months after the SDK comes out. People seem to forget that we have a whole new interface paradigm and there are a lot of really really smart and creative people in the Mac developer community. I can’t wait to see what kinds of apps will come out.

Even if Apple doesn’t hit the 10 million mark by the end of 2008 – so what? Worst case, they will be second only to RIM in the smart phone marketplace. That is not bad for 18 months on the market (by end of 2008). I’ve always been told – aim for the stars and you’ll hit the moon at least. Nonetheless, I think Apple will hit their goal.

Until next time…

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