Apple: 17% of iPhones have been unlocked

Apple had their quarterly earnings call last month and in a lot of ways, it was business as usual for the Cupertino company. Yet again, Jobs and Co. posted record profits (for the month of September) and record Mac sales (for the quarter), raking in a net quarterly profit of $904 million with $6.22 billion in revenue. The company sold 10.2 million iPods and 2,164,000 Macs in Q4 2007--all up from last year, of course. Though the iPod and iTunes did well, they only made up 36 percent of the company's net revenue.

What was interesting about Apple's earnings call was the iPhone. While the company is keeping mum on how much money they drew out of iPhone sales, they did own up to selling 1,119,000 phones in Q4 2007, bringing the total number of iPhones up to 1,389,000. By comparing the number of iPhones sold to the number of iPhones activated on AT&T's network, Apple was able to figure out how many unlocked devices exist in the wild: somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000. That's a huge number--representing almost 17 percent of all iPhones sold--and demonstrates that there's a very real demand for an unlocked iPhone. Here's a graph from Compete showing the increase in iPhone sales (click to see the full-size charts):

For more on Apple's Q4:
- see this press release
- and this 9 to 5 Mac article on the unlocked iPhones