The Case Of The 1.4 Million Missing iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Unspeaked, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    Nice entry this morning on Fortune's blog about how Apple's count of iPhones sold differs from the service providers, and what might explain it:

    LINK

     
  2. alFR macrumors 68020

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    #2
    They're not missing, they're either:

    1. in shops waiting to be sold or
    2. unlocked.

    Nothing to see here, move along....
     
  3. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #3

    You mean exactly like it says in the article?

     
  4. iLeoMarc macrumors regular

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    #4
    Doesn't exactly address the notion on how the numbers by ATT are counted. Anyone know the specifics of their count?

    In engadget they talk about ATT counting it as by how many iPhones customers they have signed up. So is it the case that ATT is not considering those in family plans or even more those who already had an account with ATT?
     
  5. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #5
    The article says they reported just under 2 million activated, so I assume they're counting phones whose IEM numbers are registered with them. An unlocked phone would not meet this criteria.
     
  6. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    This reminds me of all the people who claimed that unlockers made up a small percentage of iphone users....hmmm:rolleyes:
     
  7. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #7
    And how exactly did you calculate what the percentage of unlocked phones is from those data?

    Please show your work so I can give you partial credit.
     
  8. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #8
    Even 1/10th of the number the analyst in the article claims to be unlocked (750,000) would be 75,000, which is tens of thousands more than some people claimed were unlocked.
     
  9. ibwb macrumors regular

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    #9
    There just aren't any real conclusions that we can draw from the available data. There are too many things we don't know and everything is based on assumptions. That's pretty much the best indication that agenda-based reasoning is going on.

    We have no idea what number of people have purchased one (or received it as a gift) and have it in a drawer waiting for an existing contract to run out. We have nothing but anecdotal evidence to narrow down the unlock rate, other than that it is probably higher than 5,000 and probably lower than 500,000. We don't know what the typical retail channel is for this item; we don't know if the channel is stuffed intentionally in preparation for a major update or price change.

    With such a dearth of facts, the idea that we have evidence or proof of any claim is ludicrous.
     
  10. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #10
    What about T-Mobile...

    contracts? Most of my friends have gone with T-Mobile with unlocked iPhones. :cool:
     
  11. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #11
    And it may just come down to that. The analyst just can't believe that nearly 50% of iPhones could be un-locked and on a different carrier. So he looks for other options.

    But what if that's all it is? What if THAT many users simply aren't using AT&T?

    I find that hard to believe too, but hey, I guess it's possible.
     
  12. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #12
    Whether they're in a drawer or being used unlocked, it still has a negative impact on Apple's bottom line, and that's all the analysts are concerned with.

    I wonder if T-Mobile knows how many iPhones are on its network? That would be pretty interesting. I remember when the first unlocked phones surfacing, there were threads that indicated T-Mobile could tell if you were using an iPhone or not by some method.
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #13
    Contributing to the iPhone sales here.

    I have sold quite a few dozens of unlocked iPhones... =)

    Unlocked phones has NO NEGATIVE impact on Apple. Although every iPhone activated is ADDITIONAL income, every iPhone sold is extra income for Apple.
     
  14. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #14
    But that's NOT all they're talking about. One of them says "Apple may have a demand problem." Well, maybe. Maybe not.

    The difference between selling a phone and then losing out on the subscription revenue and just not selling the phone at all is somethnig worth exploring. Yes, they both represent lost revenue for Apple, but one is worse than the other. They're not the same thing and would demand different fixes from Apple.
     
  15. sjo macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    unlocked iphones have significantly different income for apple than those that lead to subscription. one analyst calculated the revenue from subscription to bring $18/iphone/month for apple. that's $432 for the 24 month subscription period. if apple announced 3.7m phones sold and att got less 2m subscription, - 350k subscriptions in europe, that's 1.35m subscriptions less than apple's original numbers show.

    that in turn is lost revenue of 1.35m*$432=$583m. the revenue from subscription is practically almost all profit, so that's half a billion of lost profit (compared to what investors have calculated when they bought shares).

    apple p/e being at 28.6, that's over $14 billion off from apple's market cap, or over 10%.
     
  16. ibwb macrumors regular

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    #16
    Half a billion is a lot, but calculating out the supposed effect on Apple's market cap is a mistake. The reason the P/E is so high in the first place is because Apple isn't in the phone game for a few billion here or there, despite Steve saying their target is 1%. Apple's game is to be the company that defines personal mobile communications going in to the 2010s. If they succeed at that, $200/share is nothing. Of course, it won't be easy, though the iPhone is a good start.

    So I don't think a smart Apple investor cares about the lost revenue from unlocked iPhones.
     
  17. samab macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    There is a third option:

    3. sitting on the shelves in some Hong Kong or Buenos Aires cell phone stores.

    It's grey market's inventory --- they haven't been sold yet.
     
  18. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #18
    NOBODY really knows how much Apple gets from subscriptions, and it's unlikely it'll be $18/month.

    Many of the phones are sold to regions where iPhones are not released. Thus not taking away from any SPECULATED revenue.

    By the way, Apple just had RECORD HIGH profit, so unlocked iPhones are NOT impacting negatively upon it.
     
  19. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #19
    Have you checked Apple's stock lately?

    It's been tanking for about a month -- from over 200 to closing today at 130.01.

    Your arguments are not necessarily wrong, but you're making assertions that are simply not backed up by anything.

    I don't know if unlocked iPhone are hurting or helping, but even if Apple had record profits, that tells you nothing about the impact of unlocked phones on their revenues.

    The bottom line is we simply don't know and pretending we do is just self-deception.
     
  20. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #20

    I'm all for unlocking, but Sobe's right on this.

    Just because they're doing well doesn't mean they wouldn't be doing better without unlocked phones.

    Also, without knowing the true cost of the iPhone and how much they get from contracts, you can't say someone who buys a phone and doesn't sign up with a preferred provider isn't taking money out of Apple's pocket. For all we know, they sell the phone at a loss and make up for it through AT&T.
     
  21. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Right so for the couple of million unaccounted for only 10k of those were unlocked;) The rest are just sitting in warehouses or in their boxes awaiting return from unhappy customers.
     
  22. slapguts macrumors 6502a

    slapguts

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    #22
    Does this AT&T count not include European sales?

    How many are currently for sale on Ebay?
     
  23. samab macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    If you buy a bunch of iphone from AT&T to be shipped overseas --- AT&T counts them as well, but only on the revenue column of the hardware sales.

    AT&T also reports number of cell phone subscribers.
     
  24. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #24
    If you have access to some information that gives a breakdown, please share.

    Idle speculation is fine, but let's remember that that's what it is.
     
  25. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I will forego common sense and seek it out for ya. And kindly furnish me with anything that points to the converse

    Well the forum is called MacRumors;)
     

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