Apple at million mark in sales of its iPhone

SAN JOSE, Calif. — SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple Inc. sold its 1 millionth iPhone on Sunday, less than a week after slashing the price of the iconic device by a third.

The milestone came 74 days after the company launched the device, its first cell phone. And it came earlier than previously predicted; Apple officials had forecast in July that iPhone sales would hit the 1 million mark by the end of this month.


"It took almost two years to achieve this milestone with iPod," company Chief Executive Officer Steven P. Jobs noted in a statement.

At a media event last week, Jobs announced that Apple was discontinuing the 4-gigabyte version of the iPhone and dropping the price of its 8-gigabyte version to $399 from $599.


Hoping for sales boost

The company hoped to boost sales of the device over the holidays, Jobs said.

But the move came as concerns were being raised about the demand for the device.

Sales from the initial weekend were running at a rate that was below some of the wilder estimates on Wall Street. And last week, consumer data from research firm iSuppli suggested that sales of the iPhone fell off sharply in July and were not on pace to meet Apple's 1 million target.

Given that background, some analysts interpreted the price cut as an indication that Apple was worried that the device wouldn't meet its sales goal.

To some, the price cut seemed even more rushed when the company apologized the next day to early iPhone buyers for the hastiness of it and offered them a $100 store credit in response.

However, Jobs has said that the device was on track to meet the 1 million target even before the discount, according to published reports after the cut. Apple expects to sell 10 million iPhones next year.

Apple's calculations


However, the way Apple calculates sales of the iPhone allows some play in the numbers. Apple includes in its unit sales figures not only devices that it sells directly to consumers through its retail and online stores, but also ones that it ships to AT&T;, which AT&T; may or may not have sold to customers.

So, even though Apple has sold 1 million iPhones, that doesn't mean that 1 million are in consumers' hands.

Still, investors, who sold off Apple's stock last week after the price cut and store credit announcements, seemed to cheer the company's announcement of hitting the 1 million milestone.

At the end of trading yesterday, Apple's stock was up $4.94, or 3.75 percent, to $136.71.