Antennagate Cost Apple 20 Percent of iPhone 4 Sales



All the fuss over this summer’s “antennagate” surrounding the iPhone 4 release cost Apple 20 percent of sales, according to a survey released Wednesday. However, possibly more worrisome for the Cupertino, Calif. company is three times as many people complained of the lack of a Verizon iPhone than of signal trouble.

“The antenna issue is removing upside potential for iPhone units, but Verizon is actually the most significant factor limiting demand,” writes Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

Nearly 70 percent of people in the survey taken in August in downtown Minneapolis said they were aware of the antenna complaints involving the iPhone 4. A fifth of those persons – or 20 percent – were so concerned about the problems, they did not buy the new handset, according to the analyst.

According to Munster, the 20 percent translates into 880,000 lost iPhone 4 sales. Apple sells 40 percent of its handsets domestically, the analyst says. Munster expects Apple to sell 11 million iPhones in the September quarter, 4.4 million domestically.

A rumor surfaced recently from Mexico claiming Apple would release an updated iPhone 4 by the end of October, timed with the expiration of the handset maker’s free bumper offer initiated to calm concerns over reported antenna glitches.

In response to a question asking what issues affected their decision whether or not to purchase the iPhone 4, 80 percent said carrier or cost were the deciding factors.

Those concerns could melt away if a series of rumors prove to be true. Wired editor Chris Anderson earlier this week told his Twitter audience that T-Mobile USA would get the iPhone by the end of this year, citing a manager at the carrier. A previous report had suggested Verizon would begin selling the iPhone in January.



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