Apple limping toward 10m iPhone sales target?

I caught this stimulating piece of analysis via StrategyEye this morning.

Apple may sell ‘only’ 7.9m iPhones this year, more than 20% below its target of 10m, warns Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, quoted in Barron’s. Sacconaghi’s estimates are based on sales of the iPhone for Dec, when Apple sold about 180,000 iPhones per week. They also take into account seasonal factors and “particularly disappointing” European sales, where the iPhone is available in France, Germany and the UK. Sacconaghi is not the only one to cast doubts over iPhone sales. Overall, analysts identify two challenges: a demand that has failed to meet expectations, and the problem of unlocked iPhones, which are preventing Apple to cash in from revenue-sharing deals with network providers.

I think it’s possible Apple might manage to convert the huge demand for the iPhone into reality. Whether they’ll make the 10 million target set my Mr Jobs….? Well, it’s possible now that it’s reasonably easy (think ‘one-click’) to unlock your iPhone. It’s still quite a steep price to pay for a lot of consumers though, particularly when they’re being courted by mobile operators handing out ‘free’ top of the range Nokias and Sony Ericssons.

I reckon Apple will, kicking and screaming, make the 10m target. There’s enough demand from people who will, eventually and ever-so-grudgingly, hand over the dosh for a device (with quite a lot unlocking them as soon as possible).

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

One reply on “Apple limping toward 10m iPhone sales target?”

First, unlock the iPhone. Second, get it 3G capable.

I think those two factors are holding the iPhone back. I have looked at them and absolutely think the UI is fantastic and simplicity can’t be beat. But knowing a 3G version is right around the corner make me very hesitant to buy.

Then, what about the battery? What is going to happen once it moves to 3G and starts to suck down a battery that can only be recharged a limited number of times?

Lastly, when will Jobs not want the phone to be a status symbol and thus drop the price so normobs can experiment with it. Just my thoughts on what is holding them back…

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