Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

1.7 million iPhone 4s sold in 3 days

June 28, 2010: 8:53 AM ET

Apple breaks another launch record with the iPhone 4

Photo: Apple Inc.

Despite long lines, product stockouts and reports of reception issues, Apple (AAPL) engineered another huge launch last weekend. This just in from Apple PR:

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.

"This is the most successful product launch in Apple's history," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply."

By comparison, it took Apple three days to sell 1 million units each of the iPhone 3GS in 2009 and the iPhone 3G in 2008, and 72 days to sell 1 million units of the original iPhone in 2007.

Commenting on the news in a note to clients, Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster saw several "catalysts" ahead for Apple's fourth fiscal quarter, which began on Sunday:

  • An estimated 200,000 iPhones pre-ordered after Apple pushed the delivery date past the end of the third quarter
  • The launch of the white iPhone 4 in July
  • The launch in 83 additional countries by the end of September

The iPhone 4, Munster writes, is "off to a very strong start."

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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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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