To put that in perspective, Apple’s previous handsets (the 3G and 3GS) were considered massive successes because these units sold one million units in their launch weekend. Even when Sprint exaggerated the sales figures of the EVO 4G it didn’t release sales figures because the carrier knew it wouldn’t come close to that 1 million barometer.
To be fair, BusinessWeek doesn’t offer much evidence about Apple reaching this sales figure but it’s a pretty good guess. We know that demand for the iPhone 4 is strong – the preorder demand brought the websites of AT&T and Apple to a halt. AT&T has even halted its preorders because it has already sold about 600,000 units.
It’s not hard to imagine all those units being picked up today and another 400,000 being sold, as people are willing to line up for this new Apple smartphone. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the company ship 2 million units by the end of the weekend, which would be a staggering number, really.
Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, expects Apple to keep rolling, too. He predicted the company will sell more than 10 million iPhone units in the quarter (which ends in September).
In fact, Apple’s biggest problem may be that it cannot keep up with supply. We already know that ordering an iPhone 4 now means you won’t get it for at least a week.
Apple has been quite candid about its problems keeping up with supplies of the white version of the iPhone 4, as it said it was “more challenging to manufacture than expected” and this version won’t be available until the second half of July.
This overwhelming demand isn’t the worst problem in the world and I have a feeling that those who have to wait for a new iPhone will be frustrated but will sit patiently.