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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:

Notes:

  1. AT&T reported that smartphone sales during October and November totaled over 6 million units. Assuming only 2 million for December and a 70% iPhone mix yields 5.6 million units.