AT&T breaks sales records with iPhone 3GS launch

Carrier sells more phones the first day the iPhone 3GS went on sale than it ever has, even on the two previous iPhone launch days, according to an internal memo.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

The first day the Apple iPhone 3GS went on sale was the biggest sales day ever for AT&T, according to an internal memo sent to company employees that has since been published in various blogs.

That's right, iPhone Day 2009 beat out the two previous iPhone launch days, as well as surpassed traditionally heavy retail sales days such as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and December 26th, the day after Christmas.

The new iPhone may not have added a whole bunch of new bells and whistles, but it seems to have certainly been a crowd pleaser. It took Apple and AT&T about two and half months to sell one million phones. The iPhone 3GS hit that milestone in just the first weekend.

But it's hard to say for sure how many iPhones have been sold to date. Apple won't divulge sales figures until later this month when it reports its quarterly earnings. And AT&T has only said that it sold "hundreds of thousands" of iPhones during its pre-order process. But the company has indicated that iPhone 3GS sales were off the charts.

Of course, I may have found the one guy who went to an AT&T store to buy something other than an iPhone. Collins Osei, who had bought an iPhone 3G last year, came to the AT&T store on iPhone launch day not to buy the iPhone 3GS, but instead he wanted to downgrade to a less expensive Nokia phone.