“So perhaps it’s time for Apple to celebrate,” wrote Asymco analyst Horace Dediu at the end of last week, regarding the iPhone’s debut on Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile network. “This year, after six years, Apple will have completed entry into its first major phone market.”
Now that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone is offered by all four of the United States’ major carriers, the task set before analysts is estimating how many of the iconic devices will be sold by T-Mobile. After all, with Apple, the analysis of the company’s fortunes is closely tied to numbers.
According to Dediu’s analysis, the percentage of total subscribers at AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and Sprint (NYSE:S) that have activated iPhones have produced sales patterns that are fairly consistent across all three carriers. The longer the product is available, the higher the activation rate.
Lining up with that pattern, given that Apple’s device initially debuted just on AT&T’s network, the carrier has the best numbers: 72 million iPhones have been activated from its launch in 2007 through the end of 2012 and 24 million devices are expected to be sold this year…