The third calendar quarter of 2008 (Apple F4Q08) was a record for iPhone sales. 6.9 million iPhones were sold from July through September, more than the 6.1 million iPhones sold in prior quarters combined. Steve Jobs mentioned during Apple’s most recent quarterly earnings call (transcript) that the company had even beat out Research in Motion (RIM), which sold 6.1 million BlackBerry devices during the same period. iPhone 3G was launched in 21 countries on July 11th and is now for sale in 62 countries, with 18 more planned in the coming months.
Market research firm The NPD Group further reinforced the significance of the prior quarter by announcing that iPhone 3G was the top selling consumer handset in the U.S. (press release). iPhone dethrones the Motorola RAZR, which has held this position for an impressive 12 consecutive quarters. According to Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD, “The displacement of the RAZR by the iPhone 3G represents a watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality.”
This is an impressive feat less than a year and a half after the debut of iPhone in June 2007. With 13 million iPhones already sold, Apple may exceed 20 million before the end of the year. Does anyone have an estimate for iPhone unit sales in the fourth calendar quarter?