Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 11:46am
QUARTER OF APPLE IPHONES "UNLOCKED": ANALYST
[SOURCE: Reuters, AUTHOR: Scott Hillis]
More than a quarter of people who bought Apple iPhone are using them on wireless networks other than AT&T's, the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S., a "stunning" number that will pressure the company's business model, said Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. Sales numbers from Apple and AT&T revealed about 1.45 million phones were "missing in action" at the end of 2007. About 480,000 of those were believed to be held by AT&T as inventory, leaving another 1 million phones, or 27 percent of the total, that Sacconaghi said were "unlocked" so they could work on non-AT&T networks. If Apple cracks down on unlocked phones it could preserve its high margins but miss its sales target, whereas allowing them could erode profitability and make it tough to sign more carriers to similar revenue-sharing deals.