The Great 3G geek-out is starting to make Harry Potter fans look cool. Watching the whole thing unfold has been very amusing and kind of amazing. Apple [APPL] reports that one million iPhone 3Gs were sold in the phone's first weekend – more than twice the originally predicted sales of 450,000 – for an estimated 330 million dollars. In comparison, the original iPhone took 74 days to reach a million
The weekend sales tops the combined gross of Hollywood’s four biggest opening weekends so far this summer: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($100 million), Iron Man ($99 million), Wall-E ($63 million), and Hancock ($63 million). The Xbox 360, the first next-gen gaming console, released with similar hype as the 3G, earned $128 million. GTA IV made $300 million in its first day of sales.
As of Wednesday, the 3G was sold out in 24 states. By Thursday, Germany and New Zealand were out of them, too. Swarms of locusts have begun to descend, Blackberry users coming down with the pox. Apple advises that customers check the availability of phones in their area the night before they go to buy.
The inventory of AT&T, iPhone’s unique carrier, is in even worse shape. "Nearly all our stores are sold out, though there are a few isolated stores that may have a very limited quantity on hand," said AT&T spokesman Wes Warnock.
With shortages and long waits (on Tuesday, Atelier waited 2 hours outside the Apple’s Palo Alto store for a black 16G. - see pictures), buyers are turning to more expensive means of instant gratification. Many 3Gs are on sale on eBay, averaging around $900 for a 16GB phone. Unlocked phones are going for even more. A Philippine woman bought a 16GB for $1,544.00 USD.
Morgan Stanley predicts Apple will sell 27 million iPhones in 2009, generating 5 billion dollars in revenue and 30 billion hours waiting in Apple-store lines.