Apple says 1M iPhone 3Gs sold in first three days of sales

Despite activation delays, software snafus, iPhone 3G sales are a grand slam for Apple

Apple announced today that it sold its 1 millionth iPhone 3G worldwide on Sunday, three days after the launch, adding that more than 10 million applications from the App Store had been downloaded since late last week.

The 1 million mark in three days compares to 74 days to sell 1 million in the US market only, according to Apple Inc. officials.

(See video: The iPhone 3G launch kicks off with events in Sydney and Tokyo)

Independent analyst Jeff Kagan called those early sales "impressive ... and amazing."

In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the opening weekend iPhone 3G sales "stunning ... the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world."

Jobs termed the App Store's performance "a grand slam."

In the US, customers were unable to perform in-store activations on Friday, but the problem apparently was resolved by 6 p.m. EDT, according to an AT&T spokeswoman. She said 2,000 AT&T stores sold out of the iPhone on Friday, but customers were able to place orders and pick them up later.

Apple didn't comment on the activation delay, but analysts noted that it didn't seem to have slowed sales in the US.

Two customers who waited in line in downtown Boston at an Apple store Friday morning to buy an iPhone 3G said by e-mail that they had to take the phones home to activate them.

Thomas Kozlek, a medical student at Boston University, said he tried twice to activate the device on Friday at home, and was able to get it to work on the second try by about 5 p.m. EDT. "It's rather expected, so I'm not mad or annoyed," he said in an e-mail. "I know once it does become activated, I'll be extremely satisfied."

Kozlek's parents each bought an iPhone 3G and also activated them successfully at home on Friday.

Colin Dickerson, an engineer at P&G Beauty, a division of Procter & Gamble Co. in Boston, said his activation at home Friday afternoon took an hour and a half, but said a friend who also purchased the device spent seven hours trying to activate his iPhone. In both cases, the activations were made wirelessly in Dickerson's apartment.

Kagan said it "might have been a mild headache" to do home activations, but it didn't turn out to be a major problem for customers, AT&T or Apple.

(See Ryan Faas feature-length review: The iPhone 3G was worth the wait)

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
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