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70,000 iPhones Sold In Germany

Chicago (IL) - Germany may turn out to be the worst market for Apple’s iPhone so far: German website Spiegel Online reports that T-Mobile sold only 70,000 phones within 11 weeks of the phone’s launch.

A discrepancy between Apple’s claims of 3.7 million sold iPhones and AT&Ts notes that only 2 million have been activated recently spurred a wave of speculation where those missing iPhones are, how many have been sold in Europe and how many are stuck in inventory.

Following an article of the Financial Times that about 190,000 iPhones were sold in the UK since launch on November 19, Spiegel Online now claims to have received an internal document in which Philipp Humm, T-Mobile Germany’s managing director and sales director, states that about 70,000 phones were sold since the device’s launch on November 9. Sales in France reportedly came in at about 70,000 within four weeks of launch on November 29. Analysts have been estimating Europe sales at about 350,000 iPhones. Now it looks that number may have been too optimistic.

Last week, Barron’s Online published an article with iPhone sales estimates from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Both Munster and Sacconaghi used the 350,000 unit claim for Europe for their estimates, but the analysts have different opinions on how many unlocked iPhones are in use: Sacconaghi believes that there are about 270,000 unlocked iPhones in the market, while Munster estimates that number to be about 838,000 (or 25% of all iPhones sold in the U.S.).

Sacconaghi’s estimate puts the iPhones in inventory at about 1.1 million, while Munster ends up at slightly more than 500,000. Both numbers would be within general market expectations, depending on Apple’s sales goals: Munster told Barron’s that five weeks of channel inventory would be considered as normal - and a five week inventory of 500,000 units would translate into a weekly sales volume of about 100,000 devices and an annual sales volume of about 5.2 million iPhones. However, Sacconaghi’s estimate of 1.1 million phones would point to a weekly sales volume of about 200,000 phones and Apple’s initial sales goal of 10 million phones per year.

It is unclear whether Apple will be able to achieve its initially set goal.