Looks like Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster’s second estimate of Apple’s weekend iPhone sales underestimated demand just as badly as his first. Apple didn’t sell 500,000 units of its new iPhone 3GS over the weekend, as Munster first predicted. Nor did it sell 750,000 units as he said in a research note this morning. It sold over one million. Moreover, downloads of the company’s new iPhone 3.0 software, launched last Wednesday, have already reached six million.
“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said a press release today. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.”
An impressive showing. Particularly considering all the factors that could slow sales: The souring economy, competition from the Palm (PALM) Pre, the BlackBerry Storm, the T-Mobile G1 and, of course, the iPhone itself. After all, there is now a $99 iPhone on the market. Beyond this, there’s the fact that the 3GS was launched in eight countries. The 3G debuted in 21.
Interestingly, this is the first time we’ve seen Jobs quoted in an Apple release in some time now. As best I can tell, the last quote attributed to him was in a Jan. 21, 2009, earnings release. Since then, Apple (AAPL) has issued 22 more press releases. This, the 22nd, is the first in which it is Jobs, and not COO Tim Cook or Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, who is quoted. Does this mean he’s officially back at work following his medical leave? I’ve put that question to Apple and will update if I hear back.