Mac Musings

'Only' 6% to Buy iPhone? That's a Lot of iPhones!

Daniel Knight - 2007.05.02

Sometimes a headline makes you do a double-take. For instance, this one at Ars Technica:

Survey says: only 6 percent of cell users plan to buy iPhone

Only 6%? What's up with "only"?

There are approximately 200 million cell phone users in the US (most recent figures I've seen are 58 million for Cingular, 57 for Verizon, 53 for Sprint Nextel, followed by T-Mobile, Alltel, and a bunch of regional carriers).

Basic 5th grade math makes it easy to figure out how many iPhones 6% of 200 million is. That's 12 million iPhones. Just here in the US. Within the next 12 months.

Apple has contracted for 6 million iPhones, with an option to go to 9 million if the market demands it. Markitecture's survey would seem to indicate that Apple will have no trouble meeting those numbers - and that's without even launching the iPhone in Canada and Europe.

Okay, so maybe 94% of cell phone users won't be adopting the iPhone within the next year. Many have no need for a "smart" phone. Many are with carriers other than AT&T/Cingular. Many already have smart phones that they're pleased with.

Still, we're talking 12 million iPhones the first year in the US alone. That's a lot of hardware - and there ain't nothin' "only" about it.