Apple says 1m sold, Munster notes changed demographics

June 22, 2009

Apparently Steve’s back at work this fine morning as today’s press release announcing first weekend sales quotes him again for the first time since January. Which is another way of saying that all’s right with the world and the birds are singing as Apple announces higher than expected sales figures for the iPhone 3G S.

“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” said Steve Jobs, CEO in a press release. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.”

For his part, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that Apple sold “only” 750,000 handsets over the weekend, which is 50 percent higher than his original projection yet still 25 percent less than Apple’s announced total. Who’s right? Well, analysts are in the business of fudging and Apple’s been known to play a little loose with the data too.

Thereupon, let’s move on to the Munster created data set that’s really interesting—buyer demographic trends:

• Among the 256 customers surveyed, 28 percent were switching carriers to AT&T, down from 38 percent last year and 52 percent in 2007

• 56 percent were upgrading from an old iPhone, up from 38 percent last year
— “We believe this shows Apple is developing brand loyalty not enjoyed by other mobile phone makers,” says Munster

• 43 percent  bought the high-end 32GB iPhone 3G S, down from the 66 percent who bought the high-capacity model (16GB) last year and the 95 percent who chose 8GB over the 4GB when the first iPhone went on sale.

• Among customers buying their first iPhone, 12% were switching from a Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry, up from 6% last year.
— Indicating, says Munster, “may indicate the company is making headway among business users slowly adopting the iPhone platform for corporate use.”

See also:
Apple says, ‘Yes, we know AT&T sucks. Here’s $30 for your trouble’
More retailers means few needed to queue for the iPhone 3G S
AT&T to cave on tethering, too?

So, 1 million iPhones sold over the first weekend, which matches last year’s celebrated three day total. Further, we’ve got data showing that the number of AT&T switchers is way, way down and the number of Blackberry switchers is up nicely.

Looking more deeply, I think Munster’s data shows the iPhone market is maturing with buyers continuing to cluster around the 16GB model and a high number of existing iPhone owners upgrading. Further, although bad press about AT&T probably has had an impact, the much lower percentage of new to the carrier subscribers likely indicates that most of the people who wanted an iPhone already have an iPhone.

Oh, and welcome back, Steve…

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