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iPhone 3GS shipments still strong after all these years

Apple's iPhone 3GS shipments are expected to hit 2 million this quarter, and 1.4 million to 1.6 million next quarter.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The iPhone 3GS is still seeing strong sales.
The iPhone 3GS is still seeing strong sales. Apple

Apple's iPhone 3GS might be a little old for an early adopter's liking, but the smartphone is still selling quite well, a new report claims.

By the end of the fourth quarter, Apple will ship 2 million iPhone 3GS units worldwide, DigiTimes is reporting, citing "industry sources." The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will then follow that up with 1.4 million to 1.6 million iPhone 3GS shipments next quarter, the sources say.

DigiTimes' report on the success of the iPhone 3GS seems to fall in line with what analysts have been saying. Research firm NPD reported last month that the iPhone 3GS was the second most-popular smartphone in the U.S. during the third quarter, beating out the HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Droid 3, and others. Only the iPhone 4 bested its sales.

That status came before the iPhone 4S launched. And the iPhone 3GS, which launched in 2009, has now been relegated to the back of the iPhone pack. But Apple's decision to offer the smartphone for free to AT&T customers seems to be paying off.

"In our meeting, [Apple] management referenced ongoing supply constraints related to the iPhone, which did not exist prior to the 4S launch, as a sign post of the product's success," J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz wrote to investors earlier this month. "The company also stated that the free iPhone 3GS is a good dynamic for the iPhone family. While the 3GS is not the top seller in the iPhone family, according to management, it is introducing Apple's products to a wider audience of customers."

Given that, many analysts are bullish on the iPhone's fourth-quarter success. UBS analyst Maynard Um expects Apple to ship 30 million iPhones this quarter. Robert W. Baird analyst William Power says Apple could ship as many as 31.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter.