How Many Unlocked iPhones on the Market in 2011?

20 to 30 Million Unlocked iPhones On the Market
How many iPhones have been sold?  108 Million as of Q1 2011.  There were reports back in 2008 that between 800,000 and 1.5 million phones had been unlocked. However, now that that sales have quadrupled (see chart below) we estimate there are between 20-30 million iPhones unlocked on the market if you use this same calculation. Apple is now selling 15 million phones per quarter and quickly becoming a victim of their own success.  We did a search for used iPhone on eBay and found 10,000 used Used iPhones for $100 and 33% were being sold unlocked.   This is one of the major reasons why AT&T is buying T-Mobile and trying to consolidate the US market into only have one GSM carrier buying the last remaining GSM carrier.   See GSM CDMA unfair competition.

Unlocking is the process of using software to modify the iPhone to work with other GSM carriers if purchased from AT&T or CDMA carriers if you purchased a Verizon phone.  With such a huge number of used phones on the market, will Apple be able to continue its carrier subsidy model for phones on 3G.  It may take the iPhone 5 on LTE to revive the demand for the phone and thus one of the reasons Apple (AAPL) stock has been lagging lately we think.

New iPhone Sales Per Quarter

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