Fewer people than expected sign up for service

Apple’s iPhone had more press than sales in its first several days of release.

In the 30 hours after it debuted, the device sold 270,000 units — below the expectations of Apple and pundits, some of whom were forecasting sales of well over half a million.

Apple revealed the numbers as it disclosed earnings for its third quarter, which ended June 30.

Still, the tech company turned in a stellar quarter, as profits climbed 73% to $818 million and revenues bounced up nearly 25% to $5.4 billion. Gains came largely on the strength of Mac and iPod sales, both of which showed robust increases.

Company did say it hoped to sell 1 million iPhones by the end of the year.

The iPhone — which rolls music, phone and Internet services into one device — could have become a must-have gadget for bizzers. But sales may have been dinged because many companies said that they would not pay for, or encourage the use of, the gadget due to security concerns and other issues (Daily Variety, June 29).

Wall Street embraced the earnings news, sending the stock up nearly 10% in after-hours trading. News reverses a drop of 6% on Monday after AT&T, Apple’s telco partner, said it had sold fewer than 150,000 devices in the first two days of the iPhone launch.

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