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Apple Sells 1 Million 3G iPhones In 3 Days

Despite the activation process debacle experienced by many, people lined up in droves for the device. Apple sold one million 3G iPhones around the world over the weekend. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend. It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world." I wouldn't say a "great" start, Steve-o.
Despite the activation process debacle experienced by many, people lined up in droves for the device. Apple sold one million 3G iPhones around the world over the weekend. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend. It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world." I wouldn't say a "great" start, Steve-o.All I am saying about Friday's buying and activation process is, "12 hours". That's how long it took. I got in line at 7 a.m. I walked out of the Apple store at noon. My iPhone refused to activate until after 6 p.m. The activation / initial syncing process lasted an hour. From start to finish, it took 12 hours. That hardly qualifies as "great".

In the end, Apple and its carrier partners win. In spite of themselves, they managed to convince one million people to get in line around the world and wait for the device. That's just the opening weekend. It took Apple two and a half months to hit the million mark with the original iPhone, but that was limited to the U.S. market. Apple had people scooping up the phone in 21 countries this time around. Apple didn't provide a break down as to how many phones were sold in each country. I would guess that the bulk of them were bought in the United States.

Bad-mouth Apple and its products all you want, I can't recall any other device selling that many units in such a short time frame. The Instinct, a touch-screen device from Samsung that provides similar functionality to the iPhone on the Sprint network, has been selling briskly. Sprint hasn't disclosed actual sales figures, but it has had trouble meeting demand for the device.

With 6 million iPhones out in the world before July 11, that makes a total of 7 million units sold. Sure, some of those sales are to repeat customers, but this weekend's sales numbers go a long way to helping Apple reach its goal of selling 10 million of them by the end of 2008. Analysts are saying it will surpass that number easily. With the holiday buying season still four months away, I am inclined to agree.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing