Half of Apple's iPhone 3Gs sold internationally

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Two separate disclosures by Apple and AT&T last week combine to revealed that the iPhone, once driven largely by domestic sales, has grown into a big international business with the arrival of the 3G model.



In fact, close to one half -- if not more -- of the iPhone 3Gs sold between the handset's launch on July 11th and the end of Apple's September quarter were purchased internationally.



As part of its fiscal fourth quarter earnings report last Tuesday, the first quarter in which the iPhone 3G was available, Apple said it shipped 6,892,000 of the devices.



During an ensuing conference call, company chief operating officer Tim Cook addressed an inventory related question in which he noted that Apple was shipping to carriers in 51 countries by the end of the quarter, which combine for over 30,000 iPhone distribution points.



"To be precise, at the end of the quarter, I can tell you that we had about 2 million iPhones in total channel inventory across all of the 51 countries and we feel that these inventory [levels are] about right," he said.



That means that while Apple shipped nearly 6,892,000 million units, its sell-through was approximately 2 million shy of that figure, or 4,892,000 iPhones. The rest, as explained by Cook, were still on store shelves or in warehouses at the time of the financial call. Apple considers all shipped iPhones as sold.



The final piece of the puzzle arrived a day later when AT&T released its fiscal third quarter earnings, which it said were driven by 2.4 million domestic iPhone 3G activations.







Unlike with the original iPhone, Apple and AT&T now require all iPhones sold stateside to be activated -- or tied to an account -- at the point of sale to prevent unlocked exports, meaning the number of activations reported by the wireless carrier should correlate precisely to the number of sales.



Therefore, 4,892,000 iPhones sold, minus 2.4 million sold domestically, equates to 2,492,000, or more than half purchased internationally.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    This "analysis" isn't very good, as it assumes Apple had zero product in the channel to begin with. This is highly unlikely.



    [::Edit by Kasper: No, you're wrong. The article is correct::]
  • Reply 2 of 31
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post


    This "analysis" isn't very good, as it assumes Apple had zero product in the channel to begin with. This is highly unlikely.



    They ran out of 2G iphones a long time before the 3G iphone was launched (a month before)



    http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2008/06...om-att-stores/
  • Reply 3 of 31
    The article is inaccurate. The 4th quarter conference call clearly states , 7 minutes into the call, that 6.9 million iphones were sold , not shipped . Pretty poor reporting



    [::Edit by Kasper: The article is correct, please see the below posts::]
  • Reply 4 of 31
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drjjones View Post


    The article is inaccurate. The 4th quarter conference call clearly states , 7 minutes into the call, that 6.9 million iphones were sold , not shipped . Pretty poor reporting



    And if you listen to the first 30 seconds of the conference call --- they always say that you should rely on the SEC filing for accuracy.



    And the SEC filing is about "shipment", not units sold.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    And if you listen to the first 30 seconds of the conference call --- they always say that you should rely on the SEC filing for accuracy.



    And the SEC filing is about "shipment", not units sold.







    " The Company sold 11,052,000 iPods during the quarter, representing eight percent unit growth and three percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in the year-ago-quarter."



    http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/...ex=2&type=html
  • Reply 6 of 31
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    And Apple's definition of "sold" is shipment to carriers (ie. anything other than apple own store).



    It's in the "UNAUDITED RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP TO GAAP RESULTS OF OPERATIONS" chart, go to the footnotes and Apple recognizes revenue when iphones are "shipped".
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    And if you listen to the first 30 seconds of the conference call --- they always say that you should rely on the SEC filing for accuracy.



    And the SEC filing is about "shipment", not units sold.



    [



    That's true. In the case it makes no difference. Sold = Shipped. Goods are considered sold when they leave the distribution for transit to retail partners. Thus, whether or not, AT&T has sold the units shipped, Apple has. Sold to AT&T. It's on them now. Units at Apple stores don't count as a sale until the device walks out with a consumer.



    International sales are even higher. There are 2200 AT&T POS, a ~1000 BBY, and ~200 Apple outlets in US. That leaves more than 26,000 POS abroad.



    BBY stores carry 100 units, AT&T probably around 50. and Apple stores a couple hundred. Maybe a quarter million in US channel. Apple uses a fulfillment center in Memphis in conjunction with FedEX which allows restocking on a daily basis, if needed. so when a store closes for the night, inventory orders go out and new stock arrives early the next morning. Across the pod, I doubt it's that easy. Locations there will carry high inventory levels due to the economics of time & costs to reorder more frequently.



    Rogers in Canada sold 250K, and it was looking initially they might not sell one iPhone, due to the stir before the iPhone launched Considering Rogers only has 6-7 subscribers, that's a good number
  • Reply 8 of 31
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    There are several steps Apple could do to increase sales without cutting prices:

    1. As component prices come down, the company could add value and keep the margin, cost and price structure the same. Adding more memory as prices collapse with this recession... 32GB would be OK with me; increase the resolution of the camera and may be add LED flash

    2. Improve GPS to make is as good as Garmin... that would add huge value.

    3. Add TV and other features like electronic payment that are popular in international market.

    4. Sell unlocked units at the market price in places like Hong Kong, China, etc. This will open a huge market to people would do not want to be tied to plan and like to change the SIM card avoid hi roaming fees.

    5. Given the economies of scale, the company could come up with a CDMA phone for the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and even the US market once ATT contract expires. Apple needs to be transmission technology agnostic. Verizon has a huge CDMA customer base... a lot of biz customers.



    $99? Nah, let the Nokia chase the bottom of the barrel.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    And Apple's definition of "sold" is shipment to carriers (ie. anything other than apple own store).



    It's in the "UNAUDITED RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP TO GAAP RESULTS OF OPERATIONS" chart, go to the footnotes and Apple recognizes revenue when iphones are "shipped".



    Thank you.



    K
  • Reply 10 of 31
    irelandireland Posts: 17,737member
    USA, 300 million. The word, over 6 Billion.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Refreshing to read an article Not by Prince McLean... and all his bias baggage!
  • Reply 12 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    And Apple's definition of "sold" is shipment to carriers (ie. anything other than apple own store).



    It's in the "UNAUDITED RECONCILIATION OF NON-GAAP TO GAAP RESULTS OF OPERATIONS" chart, go to the footnotes and Apple recognizes revenue when iphones are "shipped".



    Ok. Let me see if I understand it correctly. You say that when a phone is shipped to a carrier and not to the Apple retail store it is actually not sold, and the Apple is not making money until some future date?
  • Reply 13 of 31
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monomyth View Post


    Ok. Let me see if I understand it correctly. You say that when a phone is shipped to a carrier and not to the Apple retail store it is actually not sold, and the Apple is not making money until some future date?



    It is easy to understand --- when Apple ships iphones to the carriers, the carriers immediately pay Apple the full amount.



    So in the SEC filings --- when Apple ships the iphone to the carriers, Apple immediately recognize the revenue (either over the 2 years under GAAP or the full amount under non-GAAP) --- regardless of whether the carriers have sold the iphones to the end users or not.



    Therefore it doesn't matter whether Apple uses the word "shipment" or "sold" in the opening paragraphs of the press release (which is what you quoted, the press release portion of the SEC filing) --- it means the same thing.



    "Sold" in the press release = "Shipment" in the SEC filing. Press releases always hype the numbers and then the fine print in the footnotes of the SEC filing tells you the most accurate picture.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monomyth View Post


    Ok. Let me see if I understand it correctly. You say that when a phone is shipped to a carrier and not to the Apple retail store it is actually not sold, and the Apple is not making money until some future date?



    The opposite. Units are considered sold when it's shipped to a carrier. Yet, sales at Apple stores aren't recognized until the end-user purchases it.



    It works just how you would think. Apple sells directly to end-users and to 3rd-parties. In both cases, Apple gets rid of iPhones to somebody. Thus, it's a sale.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post


    ...International sales are even higher. There are 2200 AT&T POS, a ~1000 BBY, and ~200 Apple outlets in US. That leaves more than 26,000 POS abroad...



    BBY stores carry 100 units, AT&T probably around 50. and Apple stores a couple hundred. Maybe a quarter million in US channel. Apple uses a fulfillment center in Memphis in conjunction with FedEX which allows restocking on a daily basis, if needed. so when a store closes for the night, inventory orders go out and new stock arrives early the next morning. Across the pod, I doubt it's that easy. Locations there will carry high inventory levels due to the economics of time & costs to reorder more frequently.



    Rogers in Canada sold 250K, and it was looking initially they might not sell one iPhone, due to the stir before the iPhone launched Considering Rogers only has 6-7 subscribers, that's a good number



    It is interesting to note that North America has had a very good fulfilment rate of iPhone 3G demand. Apple could have sold truckloads (well, containerloads) more iPhone 3Gs if they were able to meet international demand. UK was constrained for a few months. Belgium, for example, had virtually no iPhone 3Gs for the country (I mean, there are at least 3 major cities/metropolitan areas in Belgium) for most of July, Aug, Sep.



    And, there are a few more countries where Apple could have easily offloaded a few million units of iPhone 3Gs. Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, some Middle East countries... (The middle to upper class is significant).



    Also, China.



    I'm not criticising Apple here, just pointing out the world still hungrily awaits more iPhone 3Gs *officially launched* in their countries.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post


    The opposite. Units are considered sold when it's shipped to a carrier. Yet, sales at Apple stores aren't recognized until the end-user purchases it.



    It works just how you would think. Apple sells directly to end-users and to 3rd-parties. In both cases, Apple gets rid of iPhones to somebody. Thus, it's a sale.



    Anybody put a number on how much Apple has in its own channel inventory on average? At any one day if you had 100 iPhone 3Gs per store on average, x 300 = 30,000 iPhone 3Gs in the channel at any one day? I know, very rough numbers here... Just curious.



    Something the analysts may highlight, is that the risk of carrying a millions of phones in inventory each month appears to be borne by the telco resellers. Spread out globally. Pretty smart of Apple, really. One could almost say just the right move and just the right launch (July, Aug, first half of Sep) before global economic fears really hit everyone.



    Here's an idea: it was the Olympics that was the "line in the sand", almost, psychologically. After the Olympics, humanity sat back, said, "Okay, yeah, that was cool, now... hmm... the economy OMFG!!!"
  • Reply 17 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    Refreshing to read an article Not by Prince McLean... and all his bias baggage!



    I second that. Daniel Eran Dilger would have totally screwed up this calculation.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    alkalk Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Turley Muller View Post


    The opposite. Units are considered sold when it's shipped to a carrier. Yet, sales at Apple stores aren't recognized until the end-user purchases it.



    It works just how you would think. Apple sells directly to end-users and to 3rd-parties. In both cases, Apple gets rid of iPhones to somebody. Thus, it's a sale.



    If this interpretation is true, the conclusion from the article is that Apple retail stores do not have any inventory at all and all of the 2 million inventory iPhones lie in the backroom of all iPhone distribution points that *are not Apple Stores'.



    Because Apple has reported 6.892 millon iPhones sold/shipped (=recognized revenue for), but per your definion iPhones in stock at Apple retail are neither (which is obviously true).



    So either Apple does not include its own Apple Stores with their inventory number or the graphic and numbers in the article are wrong in subtracting the whole 2 million or the article is assuming that Apple Store stock of iPhones (also including the units in transit from the factory to an Apple Store) is negligible (which it does not state explicitly).



    (All this apart from my historic impression that Apple always told numbers of units sold/shipped to customers (other than Microsoft which counts Zunes/Xboxes as shipped to retail))
  • Reply 19 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Anybody put a number on how much Apple has in its own channel inventory on average? At any one day if you had 100 iPhone 3Gs per store on average, x 300 = 30,000 iPhone 3Gs in the channel at any one day? I know, very rough numbers here... Just curious.



    Something the analysts may highlight, is that the risk of carrying a millions of phones in inventory each month appears to be borne by the telco resellers. Spread out globally. Pretty smart of Apple, really. One could almost say just the right move and just the right launch (July, Aug, first half of Sep) before global economic fears really hit everyone.

    "



    I have ask around to my contacts in the channel, It's hard to say how many units are being stocked at each POS because Apple has had to catch up to demand. AT&T didn't have on-hand inventory until end of August, many international stores didn't get phones until September, after both ran out of stock the firs day/weekend. Apple hoarded all the shipments to sell in its store until production ramped up enough to where it could start replenishing channel inventory.



    I was able to get a good read on last Qtr's sales as my iPhone unit estimate 6.8M was right on top of the number. http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com...-the-analysts/



    I had expected that channel fill to boost sales because it was pretty much vapor for most of the quarter. So, the 2M is probably a good number to have in the channel ~65 units / POS, may be a little light considering the holiday season is coming,normally that might be several weeks of supply, could turn into several days from holiday demand. Thus, shortages could erupt.



    May want to read this: explains iPhone sales http://financial-alchemist.blogspot....3g-iphone.html



    Apple had to bust its ass, or rather its contracter's ass to get production up. I think Apple should be able to meet demand comfortably, barring any logictics/production crisis
  • Reply 20 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AlK View Post


    If this interpretation is true, the conclusion from the article is that Apple retail stores do not have any inventory at all and all of the 2 million inventory iPhones lie in the backroom of all iPhone distribution points that *are not Apple Stores'.



    Because Apple has reported 6.892 millon iPhones sold/shipped (=recognized revenue for), but per your definion iPhones in stock at Apple retail are neither (which is obviously true).



    So either Apple does not include its own Apple Stores with their inventory number or the graphic and numbers in the article are wrong in subtracting the whole 2 million or the article is assuming that Apple Store stock of iPhones (also including the units in transit from the factory to an Apple Store) is negligible (which it does not state explicitly).



    (All this apart from my historic impression that Apple always told numbers of units sold/shipped to customers (other than Microsoft which counts Zunes/Xboxes as shipped to retail))



    Well, Apple's logistics are pretty tight, they don't need to carry large amounts of inventory, I saw phones in Apple stores that were manufactured earlier that week in China. This was right after the 8GB full scale shortage (End of Sep). So Apple's inventory is probably relatively small since it only has to manage 200 U.S stores, where by BBY is 1,000 AT&T in more than 2,000, and Vodaphone, and Orange, God knows. The carriers will hold bulk inventory at their distribution channels which then serves the 30,000+ POS.



    I will have to get clarification, but I think it's negligible like you said for Apple (Maybe 5%) relative to the retail partners inventory. So, What I would add to the article is that, international sales is much higher because that 2,000,000 is mostly international.



    But, remember, by the time of the conference call, 3 weeks after the quarter, Apple had sold at least 700K phones since it surpassed it's goal of 10M in CY08. I think it hit that mark probably the second week of Oct.



    Rogers in Canada sold 255K on 6M subscribers. That's pretty nuts.
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