iPhone 4 sales hit 1.7 million in three days

    Question marks over supply and unreliable antenna spoil party.
    Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple.
    Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple.

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    Apple has sold more than 1.7 million iPhone 4 handsets in the first three days of going on sale making it the most successful launch in Apple’s history.

    Despite reports of flaws with its metal casing that doubles as the antenna, the company has struggled to cope with the demand so far. Apple responded to complaints about the loss of signal when the iPhone 4 is held in certain ways, by saying that customers should avoid using those particular grips.

    “This is the most successful product launch in the company’s history,” said Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple. “Even so we apologise tot hose customers who were turned away because there was not enough supply.”

    However, market research firm iSuppli has predicted that Apple’s failure to cope with demand, could cost it business as frustrated customers turn to competitors.

    “While the channel supply issue might not impact total iPhone sales for the entire year, what is happening now certainly has done some damage to the Apple brand,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless communications, iSuppli. “Consumers, questioning Apple’s supply chain management capability, have started looking for alternative devices. In particular, consumers are not satisfied with Apple’s response to the antenna issue causing poor reception and dropped calls.”

    Meanwhile, the research firm has estimated that the cost of components for the iPhone 4 to be US $187.51 for a 16GB model.

    In the US the recommended retail price for the iPhone 4 is $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model.

    The 16GB flash memory supplied by Samusung costs Apple $27 per unit, the single most expensive component in the phone, according to iSuppli.

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