It is the biggest product launch in Apple history! Apple confirmed Monday that it sold more than 1.7 million new iPhone 4 units in its first three days, shattering the previous record for sales of the popular smart phone. Sales of the iPhone 4 beat last year’s iPhone 3GS, which sold 1 million units in the same time period. The record sales came despite controversy over the device, which boasts the newest update to Apple’s operating system — iOS 4 — and the iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 video chatting feature, FaceTime.
Apple had to stop taking advanced orders the week before the launch, because they were worried about being able to produce the phones fast enough to meet demand. More than 600,000 iPhone 4s were sold on the first day Apple began taking pre-orders. After the phone hit the streets, controversy followed as customers complained that the phone loses its signal when it is held in a certain way. Apple explained that holding the phone in a particular position can interfere with the antenna and recommended that customers don’t hold it that way.
Despite Apple’s setbacks, the iPhone 4’s early sales figures exceeded analysts initial prediction of 1.5 million. Sales are expected to remain strong as the device becomes available in 18 additional countries by the end of July.
The company had no phones to sell to walk-in customers when the phone launched last Thursday, because so many people pre-ordered phones they simply ran out, even though their ordering system crashed. They stopped taking orders the same day, but now, they’re ready to sell to walk in customers at AT&T stores across South Florida.
Last Thursday, when the iPhone was launched, people lined up overnight or longer hoping to get a phone, but many were disappointed when supplies ran out, snapped up by those who pre-ordered phones.
AT&T is preparing for lines, just in case.
Apple is now telling people who order online that it could be up to 3 weeks before the phones arrive, and most Apple stores do not have phones for walk-in customers. Phones are also being sold by Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Walmart, but stock has been hard to come by at those stores as well.