For a product dubbed the Jesus-phone, which received more pre-launch hype than any other product in history, it looks like a major miracle might be in order. Today has not been good for Apple’s iPhone, as underwhelming sales numbers hit the street with a thud and sent Apple’s stock price down sharply.

Many analysts had predicted 500,000 or more iPhones would be sold in the first few days. Yet AT&T said they activated only 146,000 iPhones in the first two days. To make matters worse, CIBC World Markets said demand for the iPhone has had a significant decline in the past 10 days and that stores are stocked with the devices.

One interesting side note to this story is that the iPhone publicity could turn out to be great news for BlackBerry. A CIBC analyst noted that the iPhone has “significantly increased awareness for email devices. And that is a positive mainly for RIM, the brand of choice for email devices.”

When more consumers realize how great it is to have mobile email they will more often than not go to BlackBerry, the leader and originator of wireless email.

One of the biggest downsides for heavy email users is the lack of a real keyboard. It is the same problem for all multi-use devices; you have to sacrifice something to get everything.

The heavy email user wants a keyboard and a decent sized screen; the heavy phone user wants a much smaller device with a numerical keypad; the music user wants an ultra-small device, the internet/video user wants a large screen. And they all want ultra-long battery life. Even God can’t produce that.

There’s still a long way to go before the true fate of the iPhone is decided. But it’s fair to say, today was not a good start.

iPhone news items today: Bloomberg, CNN

Some of my previous iPhone posts: just good enough, what is driving the hype, crappy device, convergence questioned.

And let’s not forget this classic Ries Report with Al’s iPhone predictions filmed back in February for The Ries Report and now posted on our You Tube channel as well. The report is long so it is divided into 2 parts.

Ries Report: iPhone predictions part 1

Ries Report: iPhone predictions part 2