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AT&T's iPhone 'iLaunch' sets record

'Best-ever sales day'

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An internal AT&T memo leaked to MacDailyNews crows that "iLaunch day 2009" - yes, you read that correctly, "iLaunch" - set multiple Big Phone sales records.

Here's the pertinent portion of the self-congratulatory missive:

iLaunch day 2009 was one for the record books, as AT&T customers scrambled to get their hands on the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.

Here's a look at some of the milestones we achieved:

  • Best-ever sales day in our retail stores
  • Second-largest traffic day in our retail stores
  • Most transactions processed via our IT systems in a single day
  • Most upgrade eligibility checks in a single day
  • Largest order day in att.com history
  • Largest features sales day in att.com history

On this year's launch day, iPhone sales exceeded sales recorded on 2008's iPhone launch day, Black Friday 2008 and Dec. 26, 2008 - all heavy-volume sales days. In fact, this year we surpassed 2008's launch day sales at about noon Central time, and sustained our previous peak hour record, also set in 2008, for 11 straight hours.

On the Monday after the iPhone 3GS's Friday, June 19th launch, Apple announced that over one million iPhones had been sold over that weekend. Apple won't divulge exactly how many have been sold since then - at least until it reveals its quarterly sales results on Tuesday, July 21st.

But it appears that US iPhone phanatics haven't been deterred by AT&T's delay of MMS support and internet tethering, nor the company's convoluted iPhone 3G-to-3GS upgrade policies.

No wonder Big Phone is reportedly angling to extend its iPhone-exclusivity deal with Apple, and why the company's president for retail sales and services, Paul Roth, recently testified (PDF) before a US Senate committee investigating such deals that "exclusivity provides enormous consumer benefits and results in devices and innovations that would not otherwise be introduced."

From Roth's point of view, exclusivity is all about consumer benefits and innovation. He didn't mention that it also enabled AT&T to achieve its best sales day in the company's history. ®

Bootnote

The iPhone 3GS sales-record announcement was actually the second half of the leaked memo. The first item of business was that ex-King of Pop Michael Jackson's death spiked text messages to 65,000 messages per second, a rate the memo referred to as "the largest volume ever recorded - surpassing events like American Idol voting and New Year's Eve."

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