Apple’s Opening Weekend

We know that Hollywood films live and die on their opening-weekend sales. But

iPhones? For some reason, all of Wall Street was desperate to know

how many iPhones were sold on the evening of June 29 (when it went on sale at

6pm) and during the day of June 30. The answer,

for those of you who care, is that Apple sold 270,000 in that day-and-a-half


And for those

of you who want to compare the iPhone to the Prada phone, that means that

roughly the same number of iPhones was sold in 30 hours as LG and Prada managed

to sell in the past four months.

But really, the 270,000 number is as meaningless as the $5 million of revenue

that Apple booked

from the iPhone in the quarter. Yes, that’s $18.50 per phone: apparently Apple

is booking iPhone revenues over the course of two years, maybe because it’s

got some kind of revenue-sharing setup going with AT&T.

The main thing to remember about the 270,000 number is that it was constrained

not by demand but by supply. Every single AT&T shop in the country sold

out very quickly, and most of the Apple stores did too. If they’d had more phones

to sell, the number would have been higher. Which makes the obsession with the

opening-weekend number very silly indeed.

The important part of the Apple earnings announcement is that Mac sales are

up 33% year-on-year, continuing the Mac

strength seen last quarter. Finally, the company seems to be significantly

increasing its market share in the computer business: it’s growing at four times

the rate of the industry as a whole. I have to admit that this comes as a surprise

to me, especially given that Apple computers still feel expensive by PC standards.

But I am glad that Americans do seem to be growing some taste when it comes

to their computers.

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