Apple sold more than 10 million iPhones in January and February, on track for >70% growth YoY
If you’ve been living under a rock on another planet, you don’t know that Apple had a little event earlier today. And, aside from announcing the iPad 2, Steve Jobs also had a lot of numbers to share. Most interesting among those was the fact that the company has shipped the 100 millionth iPhone “recently”. Assuming that that sale has happened on February 28, and as such allowing for some unintentional small errors in the following numbers, we can say that of those 100 million iPhones, about 10,026,000 were sold during the first two months of this year. The handy chart that you see below courtesy of Wikipedia shows us how many iPhones were sold before January 1st of 2011. By the power of simple math, the number above results.
[Please note that Apple's fiscal year ends in September, and hence their 'Q1' is what we know as 'Q4'. From now on, I will refer to quarters as we know them, and not how they appear in Apple's calendar.]
Now the first quarter of any year is famously not really good in terms of sales of technology items, such as electronics, phones, and so on. The renowned holiday season just ended, and during it most people spent more than they could afford, so Q1 is usually seen as a cooling-off period for consumer electronics purchases. And Apple’s sales numbers have been indicative of this trend before last year. Then, something happened (most likely the Chinese New Year), and iPhone sales in Q1 were, for the first time, better than in Q4 of the previous year.
If sales in March will be at the same level as they were in January and February, the numbers at the end of this quarter will be slightly below those for the previous quarter, 15,039,000 compared to 16,240,000. So it looks like Apple hasn’t managed to pull off another Q4-beating Q1 again, despite the Chinese New Year and, perhaps most importantly, the Verizon iPhone launch which took place in February.
However, consider that if we speak in terms of year-on-year growth, this Q1 will probably see sales more than 70% higher than last year’s first quarter. The last quarter, October-December 2010, has seen an even bigger growth YoY: more than 85%.
So one thing’s clear: sometimes slowly, but always surely, iPhone sales just keep rising, and rising. They may not resemble a hockey stick from one quarter to the next, but each year Apple manages to sell many more units than in the previous year. And let’s keep in mind that it has done this with no more than two models on sale at the same time. Impressive? Definitely. Will this help Apple become the No.1 smartphone manufacturer? Almost certainly not.