Stocks of iPhone 3G still scarce as more than 500,000 sold in first week by AT&T

A fortnight after the iPhone 3G was launched many Apple retail stores have no handsets in stock and lengthy queues form outside those that do.

Now AT&T has provided frustrated buyers with further evidence that Apple’s latest handset is popular – the carrier has sold twice as many Apple iPhone 3G units upon launch as they did a year ago with the first generation iPhone.

The company also noted that it had more than doubled its smartphone users year-on-year since June 2007, from 8 per cent to 18 per cent.

Although official numbers have never been published by AT&T, it is generally estimated that 270,000 first generation iPhones were sold in the opening weekend after launch.

Based on AT&T’s latest comments suggest at least 500,000 iPhone 3G units have been sold in the US by AT&T.
That will be little consolation to many potential purchasers who have so far not been able to buy a 3G iPhone.

AT&T also reported that they added 1.3 million new subscribers, pushing its user base to 72.9 million, making it the largest carrier in the US over Verizon.

Apple will continue its iPhone 3G roll-out next month by releasing the touchscreen smartphone in 20 more countries.

The second-generation iPhone has so far been launched in 22, with an estimated 1 million iPhone 3Gs sold globally in the first weekend after its release.

With another 20 markets opening next month, Apple to take its tally up to 70 countries by the end of the year – with the goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008.

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