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Well we’ve seen in the comments and the forums the disbelief among that T-mobile pre-sold 1.5 million G1′s. While we would love to believe such a number as truth, reality sets in and we realize it just isn’t the case. InformationWeek thought the numbers sounded just a little to good to be true so they contacted Motley Fool and discovered exactly how they came to such a number.
I contacted Anders Bylund, the author of the original Motley Fool article that hundreds of stories are citing. I was curious as to how he got these figures and he gave me his rationale.
He cited a Cens.com article that said, “according to industry insiders, T-Mobile is planning to order a total of between 1.5 million and 2 million units of G1 with HTC in the near future, including 400,000 to 500,000 to be sold in the fourth quarter of this year.”
Then, Bylund cited T-Mobile selling out of pre-order units, and tripling the number of phones initially available. He then tripled the 500,000 number to get 1.5 million.
So there you have it, the exact method by which cell phone sales are determind. You take a number and multiply by 3 and voila, you have your sales figures! Now I don’t really mean to poke fun, this was not an attempt to the pull the wool over our eyes or deceive anyone, just a very strange way of calculating sales.
Gizmodo and Boygenius are both weighing on this as well and they are claiming that sales figures are likely in the 200,000 to 300,000 range. While they are writing that with some skepticism, they aren’t sourcing those figures either so at this point the actual sales figures are a total mystery. The important thing is judging by the sheer volume of comments we saw on the blog today, there is no shortage of pre-sale customers eagerly waiting for their G1′s. Again, we must discourage all of you from tackling the UPS man as he approaches your door.