I’ve made a post about this before but since Tomi insists on this, let’s do it again:
Tomi Ahonen, commenting on iPhone announcement at Mac World 2007, talking about smartphone sales:

Steve Jobs talked (in his interview on CNBC right after the announcement at Macworld) about capturing 10 million of those, in its first year.

[1]
Okay, Apple official plan was to sell 10 million. As Tomi puts it:

With the launch and aim of 10 million sales comes a certain corporate-wide commitment by Apple to make it happen

[1]
There. That was Apple official target. If someone at that time would have said Apple will sell only 1 million, that means the person in question expects Apple to face some serious problems they have not anticipated.
On the other hand, had anyone at that time said Apple will sell 20 million, it would have indicated the person suggesting 20 million thinks that Apple does not know their own business.
So 10 million was the target that Apple itself was confident about. How about Tomi?

I would say they will do it. But it will come at a serious cost to profitability.

[1]
Very well. That much about history lesson of year 2007. Here comes Tomi Ahonen, July 28, 2014:

I did say Apple would reach the target of 10 million sales. Most were either skeptical of the number thinking it would be nearer 1 million not 10. And others were total Apple fanboys who were wildly optimistic thinking sales would be far greater, 20 million or so. But I said right from the start, that 10 million was do-able by Apple in the first year – which would become a world record in new launch of a phone brand

[2]
It is quite an achievement to report Apple’s official sales target. And as an achievement it totally comes second to taking credit for that sales number once it really happens. It seems to be so much an achievement that you can brag about it 7 YEARS later. (Just ignore the silly talk about “serious cost to profitability”.)

As a side note: When Peter Oppenheimer (Apple CFO for ten years) retired Apple CEO Tim Cook remembered to mention that Oppenheimer has never missed guidance as CFO. So even at time of iPhone launch Apple had 3 year straight of reliable guidance. Since Apple said 10 million, your safest bet was… 10 million.

REFERENCES:

[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2007/01/handicapping_th.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2014/07/as-we-shift-from-hunters-in-mobile-industry-to-farmers-most-of-the-cool-stuff-is-done-and-dusted.html

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