Remember the days when Apple was considered a company with its majority of sales within the United States? Well, that was before the iPhone burst onto the scene. In 2010, international sales will account for 80 percent of iPhones purchased, an analyst told clients Wednesday.
Internationally, Apple has six times as many iPhone owners than in the U.S., according to Gleacher & Company (formerly Broadpoint AmTech) analyst Brian Marshall. Combined, Apple’s 150 international carrier partners have 460.7 million subscribers. AT&T, which has the exclusive U.S. iPhone market, offers just 65.1 million postpaid subscribers.
Additionally, with the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple has made an effort to quickly offer the handset to its international customers, rather than follow the usual months-log timelag.
Despite the international advantage, Apple sold only 60 percent of its iPhone overseas in 2009, according to Marshall. In 2010, with a projected 40 million iPhones being sold, that percentage will jump to 80 percent, the analyst said.
To achieve the 40 million sales for this year, Apple will need to best its current quarterly sales record of 8.75 million iPhones. Already, indications point to that high point being overtaken. Earlier this month, Apple announced it sold 600,000 iPhone 4s on the first day pre-orders could be placed. Not only was the figure 10 times the initial demand for the iPhone 3GS, but the crush of orders temporarily knocked Apple and AT&T websites for a loop.
Last week, reports of shortages in the U.K. and Germany appeared as Apple prepared to launch its latest iPhone in Europe. AT&T earlier this year announced U.S. activations of iPhones grew 69 percent during the first quarter of this year, far outpaced by the 131 percent increase Apple has seen in international iPhone sales.