After it’s first 6 months in the market, T-Mobile’s G1 sold about 1 million devices. AT&T sold 3.7 million iPhones in the first 6 months after its launch. One of the key differences between these launches has been the economy, which has been in a recession for the entire in-market period of the G1 and has definitely hit the telecom industry hard as consumers tighten their wallets. Has the G1 launch been successful?
Let’s do some back-of-the-envelope math.
iPhone launched in June of 2007, and the G1 launched in October of 2008. After 6 months, iPhone accounted for 5.3% of AT&T users (3.7M iPhones / 70.1M AT&T subscribers at the end of 4Q07), while the G1 represented 3.0% of T-Mobile users (1M G1s / 33.2M T-Mobile subscribers at the end of 1Q09).
AT&T added 3.7M iPhones over a period in which they added 6.4M net subscribers (70.1M at end of 4Q07 minus 63.7M at end of 2Q07), for a ratio of 58%. T-Mobile added 1M G1s over a period in which they added 1.1M net subscribers (33.2M at the end of 1Q09 minus 32.1M at the end of 3Q08), for a ratio of 91%. This may indicate that T-Mobile has punched above its weight on the G1 launch.
CAVEAT: Some existing AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers upgraded to the iPhone and G1 and therefore did not become new subscribers. Since this effect applies to both carriers, I’m still using these numbers to calculate a rough measure of the success of each launch relative to growth activity over the same period.
Keep in mind that this speaks nothing to the profitability experienced by either carrier tied to these devices, and that is the ultimate metric. There are many ways to look at the data, but I believe that Android has had a pretty respectable first 6 months, especially given current economic conditions.
There is speculation of up to 9 more Android devices possibly launching this year alone and a new iPhone announcement expected in early Summer, which should continue to keep things interesting.