Apple 2.0

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Apple's U.S. iPhone activations grew 98% over the past year

October 25, 2012: 11:08 AM ET

Chances that global iPhone sales topped 27 million last quarter are looking better

Source: Asymco.com

FORTUNE -- With Verizon's (VZ) report last week, AT&T (T) on Wednesday and Sprint's (S) this morning, we now have iPhone activation numbers from all three major U.S. carriers.

They are:

AT&T: 4.7 million
Verizon: 3.1 million
Sprint: 1.5 million

Asymco's Horace Dediu has neatly summarized these and all the other U.S. activation numbers dating back to 2007 in the chart at right.

He also takes a stab at estimating what last quarter's U.S. activations tell us about how many iPhones Apple (AAPL) sold worldwide in Q4.

"The question of how the product did globally," he writes, "is complicated by the launch of the iPhone 5. As those units were mostly sold in the US, global growth might be slower and the mix of US to global sales could be a bit higher this quarter.

"Nevertheless, averaging the mix over the last six quarters implies global iPhone sales of between 27 million and 30 million. The safe bet would be toward the low end of that range." (Full article here.)

The consensus among the two groups of analysts -- professionals and independents -- we polled this week are for 26.42 million and 27.88 million iPhones, respectively. (See here.)

We'll get the actual number soon enough. Apple is scheduled to release its fiscal Q4 earnings after the closing bell today.

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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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