It took the original iPhone 74 days to sell 1 million units. Apple was able to move 1 million iPhone 3Gs and 1 million iPhone 3GS's on their opening weekends in 2008 and 2009. This year, Apple pushed out 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days. That's crazy. Given the large crowds that lined up for Apple's latest handset on June 24, it's not too much of a surprise that Apple sold so many.
Despite the successful product launch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the time to offer an apology. "We apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply," he said in a prepared statement.
I spoke to the Apple Store nearest my home over the weekend. According to the staff there, they had to turn away over 100 people who walked-in on Thursday, June 24, to get the iPhone. If a similar scenario was repeated at other Apple stores, I am sure the number of people who didn't score an iPhone opening weekend numbers well into the tens of thousands.
More than 600,000 people attempted to pre-order the device when it first became available for pre-ordering on June 15. So many people tried to pre-order it, that it crashed both Apple and AT&T's systems. AT&T stopped taking orders for the device completely because it knew it couldn't handle the demand. AT&T even went so far as to announced that it wouldn't have any iPhone 4s available in its retail stores until June 29.
Retailers Best Buy and Radioshack were both able to sell a few iPhones, opening weekend, even though they both warned they wouldn't have stock on June 24. The iPhone 4 should be available in more stores starting tomorrow, June 29, including its arrival at AT&T's outlets and Wal-Mart stores.
The iPhone went on sale in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. on the 24th. Apple says it will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland by the end of July.