Estimates show that as September came to a close, Apple’s iPhone manufacturers should have rolled unit number 10,000,000 off their lines. Not totally shabby for 18 months of iPhones on the open market — a significant portion of that time limited to potential sales in the United States only.
To put things in perspective, iPods have historically averaged out to around 30 million units every eighteen months. So the iPhone is running at about one third of its predecessor. This number may seem far smaller, but consider that the iPhone represents a significantly greater barrier to entry due to being tied to specific cellular providers.
Let’s be clear, this pertains to units manufactured, not units sold. There have been plenty of replacements (I’ve talked to more than a few iPhone owners who are on their 2nd or even 3rd replacements…), returns, and that’s not even to mention the demo units and freebies given out to Apple staff. Regardless of the difference in sales and manufacturing numbers, this is still a big milestone for Apple.