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Day January 5, 2012

Estimating iPhone sales in the US during Q4

Verizon has been the first source of data on iPhone sales for Q4. They reported 4.2 million iPhones sold. The first quarter of Verizon iPhone sales had 2.2 million units, followed 2.3 million in Q2 and 2 million in Q3. The total for the calendar year came at 10.7 million.

The total for AT&T during the first three quarters has been 9.9 million. If we assume the same 2x sequential increase in Q4 relative to Q3 as observed by Verizon we obtain an estimate of 5.4 million iPhone for AT&T.[1]

The quarter also saw the addition of Sprint to the US iPhone distribution network. Sprint is rumored to have committed to buy 30.5 million iPhones over the next four years. My estimate for the first year was 7 million, placing first quarter sell-in at about 2 million.

An approximate total for Q4 US iPhone activations results in 11.6 million. The following chart illustrates these estimates:

[Sponsor] Carnegie Mellon University (with a history lesson)

It gives me great pleasure to have Carnegie Mellon University as a sponsor this week. This is because CMU holds a special, historic role in the development of the platform at the center of the disruption of mobile telecommunications.

I am referring to the kernel behind OS X and iOS: Mach.[1]

When I was a researcher at GTE Laboratories, I remember following the progress of this alternative kernel. As a research project it was one of the earliest microkernels and, along with virtual memory management, inter-process communication and control innovations, pioneered what became the basis of highly modular operating systems. Those innovations enabled an architecture which allowed complex systems to scale down to micro computers and eventually to devices.

There is a huge amount of lore around Unix and CMU’s efforts are deeply interweaved into it (as are Berkeley and AT&T). I strongly recommend a stroll down that memory lane. But I’ll keep it short here and say that original developers of Mach at CMU went on to be key executives at both Apple and Microsoft. It was really a spectacular success as far as academic research projects in computer science. A real inspiration.

So with that history, I want to thank Carnegie Mellon University for their sponsorship and I’m glad to see continuing innovation in their degree programs.

Today they are offering a Master of Information Systems Management  degree with a Business Intelligence and Data Analytics concentration (MISM-BIDA). This particular degree program is essentially cross-training in business process analysis and predictive modeling, two methodologies which deeply benefit from one another. Much of what I do for this blog is exactly this:  mapping, analytical reporting, segmentation analysis, and data visualization. I’m glad to see that his has been codified into a degree program.

Students in the MISM-BIDA program learn to integrate information filters and mining tools with applied business methods yielding insights that you see celebrated in the media every day. They do this with world-renowned faculty teaching a cohesive blend of data analytics, management, strategy, and IT courses.

I can only assume that this unique mix makes graduates highly valued by  financial service firms, consulting companies, technology agencies and start-ups.

If you like the results of this web site and would like to learn how it’s done “by the book”, consider the degree programs at Carnegie Mellon Heinz College.

Highly recommended.

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Notes:

  1. Carnegie Mellon also had a role in the development of Siri.