Apple sells 500,000 iPhones?

Apple may have sold as many as 500,000 iPhones over the launch weekend, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Munster had projected sales of 200,000, an estimate that was beaten according to J.P. Morgan analyst Bill Shope, who estimated sales of 312,000 units. While Apple has yet to release any exact sales figures for the new device, the launch is already being viewed as a success by industry pundits. “This is a very successfully handled launch,” Munster said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The real sign of success would be what kind of legs this product has in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, we estimate a third of Apple’s sales will be from iPhone. This is a huge product.”

Spokespeople for AT&T have declined to confirm numbers, but have been enthusiastic about the launch. Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesperson, claimed “things have just gone extraordinarily well.” The cellular provider said that most of its 1,800 stores sold out of iPhone stock in 24 hours. Checks on iPhone availability from Apple’s retail web site show that more than a third of Apple stores around the country are listed as “Sold Out” of the device. In addition, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is also bullish on the device, claiming “I was going to only use the iPhone as a test phone at first, but I’m ready now to make it my primary number.” Wozniak, who got in line at 4 a.m. on June 29 to buy the phone, continued, “I was still a bit negative after a couple of test calls, but then I tried the browser and was shocked at how wonderful it was to have real Web pages.”

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