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iPhone 3G Snags 17% US Smartphone Market, Apple Already Sold 10M iPhones

According the marketing research and industry tracking NPD Group, Apple’s iPhone 3G has now climbed the ranks and snagged 17% of the US Smartphone market, and independent research points to Apple having reached its goal of selling 10 Million iPhones three months early.

iphone3gReports clarify that Apple’s iPhone 3G has outsold the Blackberry Curve, Blackberry Pearl and Palm Centero from June through August. The added interest in the device during this time allowed Apple to use the buzz and spike generated during launch, to give all iPhones nearly 17% of the US smartphone market. In other words, more than one in six smartphones sold in the US are iPhones.

Additionally, Apple’s iPhone 3G has been labeled as potentially damaging to carriers rivaling AT&T. Roughly 30% of all iPhone owners during this last summer switched from another major US carrier. Nearly 47% of this group switched from Verizon (who denied Apple and the iPhone due to interfering levels of control), 24% switched from T-Mobile and 19% switched from Sprint. The NPD report goes onto explain that these specific figures are targeted at typical sales, as apposed to corporate sales which usually favor BlackBerries and Windows Mobile devices in the US (via Macnn).

Members of the Apple Finance Board at Mac Observer have been gathering IMEI numbers (spreadsheet) for a while now. The group has been maintaining a spreadsheet of iPhone IMEI data points as well as the purchase date, model, and production week.

The latest IMEI data point collected by AFB was 9,190,680 — an 8GB Black iPhone recorded as manufactured on September 29 and sold on October 5. This suggests that even if a whopping 1.5 million iPhones of the total IMEI registered devices are unsold as of today, an unlikely assumption, it would still put 3G iPhone sales at 7.6 million units and 2008 iPhone sales at over 10 million units. Coming into the quarter, Apple had already sold 2.42 million iPhones. Thus, 7.6 million 3G iPhones sold puts Apple above 10 million units for the year. (via Apple Insider)

Contrary to the NDP Group’s findings, the research done by the Mac Observer is not concrete information, however it has enough solidarity behind it to be considered seriously. For the next few weeks, leading up to the end of the year, expect to hear analysts clamoring about whether Apple will reach its goal of selling 10 Million iPhones by the end of this calendar year. Not until Apple officially comes out and releases the numbers, most likely at MacWorld 2009, will we know exactly how many iPhones have been sold.

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