Apple would have already sold a total of 7 to 7.5 million iPhones, which is 80% more than what was indicated on average by analysts' sales estimates for the fourth quarter of 2008, which set a target of 4 million pieces. According to this discovery, Apple would have already reached the target of 10 million iPhones sold overall by 2008.
To reach this conclusion, the Seeking Alpha website that determined the total number of iPhones sold by observing and analyzing the IMEI codes of the smartphone.
Recall that the target of 10 million pieces was set by Apple itself and announced by Steve Jobs during the Macworld of 2007. Vice versa since the appearance of the iPhone 3G and especially in recent days, numerous analysts have declared that Apple would not be able to achieves the goal, setting an expected total of 8 million pieces.
In the absence of official data and communications, Seeking Alpha tracked the overall iPhone sales by analyzing the IMEI code (which derives from the initials of International Mobile Equipment Identity) associated with each smartphone.
It is a unique 15-digit number assigned to each iPhone built and reproduced also on the back of the sales package. Seeking Alpha explains that within the IMEI code there are two sequences of 6 digits each. The first marks the TAC, or Type Allocation Code, in practice a specific game or series of iPhones, while the second 6-digit sequence indicates the progressive number of smartphones made in that specific series, up to one million.
By collecting the IMEI codes of the iPhone 3Gs including the date of sale, the model and the production week, Seeking Alpha has identified that Apple has reached the eighth TAC series already in September, that is to say 8 million pieces. Still the last IMEI observed on an 8GB iPhone indicates a progressive higher than 9 million pieces, built on September 29 and sold on October 5. the total of 7.6 million pieces obtained by deducting 1.5 million iPhones built but not yet sold, an estimate in excess, thus concluding that Apple will certainly exceed the 10 million target by 2008.
The system adopted to keep track of the total of iPhones sold, but to have a definitive confirmation, it is necessary to wait for October 21, the day on which Apple will present the results of the quarter.