Did the announcement that T-Mobile sold 1.5 million G1 pre-orders sound a little too fantastic to be true? Information Week thought so and talked to the guy behind the astronomical number—a mathematician at The Motley Fool. Turns out that some iffy multiplication may have been involved and the number of pre-orders sold is probably closer to 200,000 to 300,000. Big, but not crazy big.
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.
Considering the iPhone, which launched in 20 different countries, only hit a million during its first weekend, we all probably should have been a little more suspicious of one phone in one country on one carrier surpassing that. The G1 looks to be a spectacular competitor, but we ought not to lose our heads rooting for its success. [Infoweek]