A quarter of iPhones sold is unlocked to the original network

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Steve Jobs announced last week at Macworld that the iPhone has sold 4 million units worldwide, however this number does not correspond to the number of phones activated by At & T and European suppliers O2, Orange and T-Mobile.

Recently, AT&T announced that at the end of 2007 it had managed to activate two million iPhones, while European operators have activated between 300 and 400 thousand devices. All in all, 2.4 million mobile phones are connected to the networks, the rest, taking into account the total amount supposedly sold, are equipment operating without loyalty contracts.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein Research, says that analysis of data published by Apple and AT&T accounts for at least 1.45 million devices missing the total number of sales, which could mean that 27 percent of iPhones sold in the USA, 15,000 pieces of equipment were unblocked in the rest of the world. That is, in total, a quarter of the iPhones sold are unlocked.

The fact that customers unlock the equipment represents a significant cut in the revenues obtained by the operators. If, at the end of this fiscal year, operators have sold 10 million iPhones but 30 percent of these devices have been unlocked, revenues and profits will set themselves up to $ 500 million below the estimate.

Last week, Apple said the number of equipment unlocked and in operation «is significant», but declined to release an estimate for the actual number.

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