Business Week is citing an internal Apple source today who is hinting at the company's upcoming manufacturing plans for the 3G, and they're huge—between 40 and 45 million phones by this time next year kind of huge. The numbers are necessary, obviously, to cover for the impending Best Buy availability and the additional 20 countries that make up the second phase of the international launch starting today (with over 70 launches eventually, China rumoured to be among them). But, wow. How about some perspective?
That's just under the total number of RAZRs shipped through July of 2006 (the last time anyone cared)—a little less than 3 years into the phone's life. And it equals nearly a third of the 170 million or so iPods that have been sold as of third quarter 2008—another product that's had almost a decade-long head start. And this is a smartphone, with a long-term commitment to an expensive service plan. Pretty big numbers, even if it's still a drop in the bucket when you take worldwide mobile phone sales into question (every individual phone is).
And if every iPhone manufactured links up Skynet style via the iTunes store, to melt their unsuspecting owners and form their own sovereign nation-state somewhere, they'd be the 29th-largest country in the world—sliding in comfortably between Ukraine and Colombia. I call president. [Business Week via Mac Rumors]