APPLE said yesterday that it had sold more than 1m of its iPhone 3GS in the first three days of launch, making it the most successful smart phone debut to date.
The rush to secure the latest model beat analyst expectations and matched the sales for the old 3G model, despite being launched in just eight countries compared to 21.
The 3GS, which offers faster speeds, longer battery life and the ability to film videos, hit stores last Friday, drawing plenty of fans but not the crowds that had swarmed previous iPhone releases, due in part to preordering.
The statement from Apple also included a quote from chief executive Steve Jobs, leading analysts to conclude that he had returned from medical leave.
“This is the first time we’ve heard from Jobs since he reported he was taking medical leave,” said Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner. “It’s a sign Apple has its boss back.”
Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, has been on leave since January for an undisclosed condition, although the company has said he remains involved in decision-making.
Analysts said the iPhone sales figures would distract some investors from concerns about Jobs’ health and reassure over the company’s future