Is that really as good as it sounds?
Reaction to the incremental nature of the iPhone 3G S has been mixed. Reception to its pricing – O2 tariffs in particular – is nothing short of hostile. All of which inevitably made no difference as the new handset has sold by the bucket load anyway…
In an official press release Apple today confirmed more than ”one million” iPhone 3G S found new homes between its launch on Friday and the end of trading on Sunday. Apple also said downloads of the major iPhone OS 3.0 firmware update had topped six million.
“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning”, said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.” And no, Jobs made no comment regarding the weekend’s new reports about his health and return to Apple.
As for the sales figures themselves I think we need to be careful. On the surface they show the 3G S to have matched the breakaway performance of the iPhone 3G first weekend sales but context is important. Firstly, the iPhone went on wider simultaneous release this time around. Secondly, the Apple brand and App Store is more established. Thirdly, this generation brings a number of fundamental features seen to be lacking from previous models, notably the improved camera and added video recording.
Finally, the smartphone market itself is booming with far greater numbers of people now interested in handsets which do more than the basics.
Overall iPhone 3G S sales are still hugely impressive, just remember to consider the wider picture…
”’Update:”’ Here’s a linguistic quirk. Apple has today quietly dumped the space between ‘3G’ and ‘S’ so it reads ‘3GS’. Makes more sense to us, but how odd. So ‘3GS’ it is… for now.
”’Update 2:”’ Apple has been in contact to correct me on one important point: the iPhone 3GS only simultaneously launched in eight countries compared to 21 for the 3G last year. As of 19 June, just the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland were selling the 3GS. Again, countering this are the fact these are by far the biggest markets for the iPhone and there were none of the widespread stock shortages reported which greatly curtailed early sales of the iPhone 3G. That said, this can only be seen as a good thing.