A post today at iLounge
suggests that a close analysis of Apple's sales numbers for iPhone, contrasted with AT&T activation stats
, leads to a somewhat surprising conclusion: somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of all iPhones sold worldwide are being sold to users who intend to unlock them, or possibly to middlemen who are shipping the phones to countries not yet serviced by Apple and its carrier partners.
While there wasn't a hard number on the most recent results conference call, the Q4 call indicated
that 250,000 phones had already been sold to unlockers, by Apple's estimate. Clearly, there's demand out there for iPhone outside the exclusive carrier relationships.