An effort by members of The Mac Observer's Apple Finance Board to track numbers of iPhones sold has led two analysts writing for AppleInsider to believe that Apple has already met its goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008.
TMO's Apple Finance Board has been tracking International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers for new iPhone 3Gs since late June when shipments first began. This spreadsheet shows the estimated number of iPhone 3Gs produced and shipped, with the latest figures for the period ending 10/5/08 at 9,190,680. Conservatively estimating that 1.5 million iPhone 3Gs are either still in inventory, were destroyed, returned, or otherwise unsold, the remaining number of about 7.7 million 3Gs added to the known 2.42 million iPhones that had been sold prior to this time puts total sales of all models of iPhones past 10 million.
While we have to wait until the next Apple financial call on October 21st to hear whether this estimate is accurate, this is a fascinating analysis that might help a battered Apple weather the current financial storm.