1 million Apple iPhones unlocked

Owners of Apple Inc.’s iPhone may have unlocked an “astounding” 1 million handsets to run on unauthorized wireless networks, depriving the company of lucrative monthly fees, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said. That estimate represents 27 percent of about 3.75 million iPhones sold last year, Toni Sacconaghi, the top-ranked computer analyst by Institutional Investor magazine, said today in a note. His previous estimate was 750,000 unlocked phones.

Apple gets an undisclosed cut of monthly service fees for the iPhone, which is typically sold with two-year contracts from wireless providers in the U.S. and Europe. For every 1 million unlocked iPhones, Apple loses $300 million to $400 million in future revenue and profit, and may also find it more difficult to sign deals with new carriers, Sacconaghi said. (link)

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