Holy Crap: 1.7 Million iPhones Out the Door

Apple announced this morning that last week's launch of the iPhone 4 generated sales of 1.7 million, higher than the most bullish estimates:

Apple today announced that it has sold over 1.7 million of its iPhone® 4 through Saturday, June 26, just three days after its launch on June 24. The new iPhone 4 features FaceTime, which makes video calling as easy as one tap, and Apple’s new Retina display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone, resulting in stunning text, images and video. 

According to survey data, however, more than three-fourths of these early sales (at least in the US) are from existing iPhone owners upgrading:

  • 77% of the iPhone 4 buyers were upgrading from a previous version vs 56% in 2009
  • Only 16% of buyers were switchers to AT&T from another carrier, down from the previous year 

If the device were available from other carriers sales volume might have been 2X this.

There are many surveys that indicate pent up demand in the US for an iPhone from carriers other than AT&T. Accordingly, a new online survey (n=4,000 adults in the US, Canada and UK) about features that iPhone owners would like to see revealed the following: 

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Among current and potential future smartphone users, 39% of US respondents indicated they wanted other carrier choices. It's not clear how many of these respondents are current iPhone owners. But it confirms the point I made above that Apple continues to lose sales by remaining faithful to AT&T in the US.