iPhone Still Leads the Superphone Derby

The consumer love affair with Apple’s iPhone shows no signs of ending. Three days after launching the iPhone 3G S, the company sold more than a million units, Cupertino said today, on par with the number of iPhone 3Gs sold within the first three days of that device being launched. In comparison, it took some 74 days to sell a million of the original iPhones. Overall, Apple is expected to sell about 5 million phones in this quarter.

On the surface, it seems that the success of the new iPhone is going to make life a little tough for all the other superphones that have either launched or are about to launch this summer. But the reality might be a little different. A survey by Piper Jaffrey shows that nearly 56 percent iPhone 3G S buyers were upgrading from the old device and only 28 percent were switching to AT&T, down from 38 percent last year and 52 percent in 2007. I think the drop can be explained by the availability of better superphones on different networks, such as the Palm Pre on Sprint and the new Google phone (myTouch) on T-Mobile, as well as RIM’s BlackBerry, which continues to do well on Verizon and other networks. Though from AT&T’s perspective, 56 percent of people re-upping their contracts is a bonus — at least they’re not losing them as customers. As growth in the mobile market continues to slow, that’s almost as good as having people switch over to them.

The best stat pertaining to the iPhone 3G S came via a tweet from my friend Ouriel Ohayon: The device has become the most popular camera (including camera phones) in the Flickr community. It is also the top camera phone used to take and upload photos to Flickr.

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