Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Old iPhones die hard

April 27, 2010: 8:22 AM ET

According to AdMob's latest data, nearly 30% of first-generation iPhones are still in use

Click to enlarge. Source: AdMob

AdMob's March report is mostly about phones running Google (GOOG) Android OS, which shouldn't be surprising since Google bought AdMob last fall -- frustrating Apple (AAPL) and sparking anti-trust concerns, but that's neither here nor there.

What caught my eye in the report scheduled for release Tuesday morning is the tiny blue sliver in the pie chart at right. It represents the percentage of traffic on AdMob's mobile advertising network coming from first-generation iPhones, the ones that went on sale nearly three years ago.

According to AdMob, 2% of its Apple traffic is coming from those old iPhones. By my calculations, Apple sold about 6.1 million units of the 1G iPhone between June 29, 2007, when it first started shipping, and July 2008, when the iPhone 3G came along to replace it.

According to Steve Jobs, Apple has sold more than 85 million iPhones and iPod touches, which means those 6.1 million iPhone 1Gs represent about 7% of the pre-iPad devices running iPhone OS.

If 7% of those iPhone 1Gs are driving 2% of AdMob's Apple traffic, that suggests that nearly one in three is still ticking -- and visiting the Web.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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