Macworld put 2 and 2 together today to figure out that there are over 1 million iPhones that are unaccounted for from Apple’s numbers. Earlier Apple said that 3.7 million iPhones were sold in 2007 during the first 6 months it was available. AT&T on the other hand, said that they have a little under two million iPhone customers. Combining that with the estimated 400,000 iPhones in Europe leaves us with over a million that mysteriously disappeared into the abyss.
That abyss is the world of unlocking, where people modify devices they can be used on any network… and eBay is a seller’s haven for unlocked iPhones! I went through some of the completed auctions for unlocked iPhones, and there is one successfully being sold just about every 2 minutes. Sellers who ship internationally fetch upwards of $600 or $700 for an unlocked iPhone, which isn’t bad considering that the devices retail for just $400. That comes out to hundreds of these being sold everyday on eBay!
I actually expected the number of unlocked iPhones to be even higher because of all the people in foreign countries who want to use these on their own networks. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues to rise, or if AT&T will still be getting a majority of the subscribers.
Thanks to Andrew for the tip!