- I have solved the case of the missing 100,000 (or thereabouts) iPhone discrepency between AT&T and Apple's respective numbers: according to Apple's 10-Q, Apple books revenue at its retail stores in the same way as resellers - that being that product is considered sold on delivery. This means that 270,000 iPhone were in store inventory prior to the iPhone launch. It does not mean that 270,000 units were bought by consumers. And this jibes with AT&T's figures, as follows: since we know that Apple stores did not run out of initial iPhones until Monday, Sunday sales (which were not included in AT&T's figures) WERE included in Apple's figures. Assuming approcimately 100,000 iPhones were sold from Apple stores on Saturday and Sunday, there would be a 100,000 difference between AT&T and Apple which, accounting for a small number of phones being sold on ebay, explains the gap.
What's most troubling about this is that no-oone seems at all concerned that Apple's slippery accounting effectively allows them to stuff their own channels. It ought to be GAAP non-complaint, but as long as their auditors ok's it, it is ok by the SEC, I guess. (Posted on August 31, 2007, 10:01 pm gary)