iPhone sales predictions

IFrogz, among others speculates if Apple will sell 10 million phones by the end of 2008. I like iFrogz, I like the cases and whatnot they do, though I’m currently using a Capsule from SwitchEasy which is excellent.

If Apple is to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of this year they will have to sell 200,000 more per quarter than they did over the hottest time of the year, the Christmas season. During that time last year Apple sold 2.3 million.

In the first six months the iPhone was on sale, it sold 4 million units. That was in 2 quarters in the US and less than 1 quarter in France, Germany and the UK. Steve Jobs aimed at 10 million iPhones out there by the end of 2008. A rather optimistic claim but one that everyone has jumped on.

If Apple only do 9, 200, 000 iPhone sales, will the entire affair be a flop. Do the math. The extra 200 000 units per quarter only adds up to an extra 800 000 phones in the remaining 4 quarters. If they only did 8 million iPhones by the end of 2008, would it be a flop? Of course not. Some heads may roll but the sky will not fall and the sun will still rise.

Some people speculate shaving $50 off the price of the phone would create an instant surge. Maybe, maybe not. I seriously doubt it. The issue most people have is the contract but, as we saw yesterday, O2 have just doubled their voice minutes allowance and increased the text allowance on the iPhone contracts they offer. I now have 1200 minutes and 500 texts and unlimited data which is more than I will ever use. People on the cheapest £35 tariff will now enjoy 600 minutes and 500 texts which is a huge improvement (from 200 and 200 respectively). This is where the innovation will come. With 1200 free minutes, I almost can’t be bothered wondering if Skype will appear on the iPhone unless I’m calling internationally (which is so infrequent I wouldn’t care anywway).

The iPhone is also just onto AT&T’s business tariffs and will be added to O2’s business tariff soon. This is excellently timed as the SDK is to be released in a few days and some early access developers (such as SAP) already have their client software ready to go.

So chill out on the numbers. It could be 9 million, it could explode to 20 million. We don’t know. What we do know is that a lot of the bloody things will be sold in the next 11 months.