AT&T reported today that they had 1.6 million iPhone activations domestically in the March quarter. Last quarter they activated 1.9 million iPhones and Apple ended up with 4.4 Million iPhones sold. Piper’s Gene Munster showed off his algebra chops by running this formula: 4.4/1.9=x/1.6. x=equaling the number of global iPhone sales for the March quarter, which in this case equals 3.7 million iPhones total. That is assuming nothing has changed in the last 3 months.
We tend to think this could go higher because of things like unlocked iPhones being sold(out) in the US and international adoption rates increasing faster than the US. Apple’s stock price seems to be doing pretty OK on the news.
For the record, Shannon Cross, of Cross Research, notes that the 44% ratio of AT&T iPhone activations/Apple iPhone units sold in the latest quarter followed a 35% ratio in Q3. She splits the difference, assumes AT&T activated 38% of total Apple phones sold, and comes up with a forecast of 4.2 million units.
Tavis McCourt, of Morgan Keegan, contends the 1.6 million is consistent with his more conservative forecast of 2.9 million iPhones sold, with sell-through of 3-4 million units.
Tune in here later today to find out the rest of today’s earnings numbers.