iPhone not doing well in the UK?

It would appear, from this Reg article, that the iPhone-omenon that swept the US earlier this year is not translating similarly across this side of the pond. I have to say that I’m not totally surprised by that news. Any uber-geek that really wanted an iPhone before it was released recently in the UK probably already has one. Anyone else probably isn’t that bothered. The article goes on to say that perhaps lots of units were bought as presents? If so, then what a miserable failing of a new product launch, that people didn’t even want to buy them for themselves. The problem is that the US loves Apple, it’s Mom’s home-made apple pie. People love the idea of being seen with something sexy like their movie star counterparts and the iPhone fits that bill. Lots of people who subscribe to American ideals have iPhones too and then there is the other group of genuine enthusiasts. For me, the iPhone will never be a good idea until such time that pocket-sized nuclear power stations become available to power the device and even then I’ll have issue with needing Sellafield slacks to carry a media player and a phone when I can already do that without contract fees, without much inconvenience, and without any lesser experience. Mobile phones are like Hollywood movies, there’s a new one every month and only the really good ones will last and be remembered for their hugely successful box office takings not for gradually gaining ground. People in the UK and Ireland enjoy style and more importantly function. Both of these are already being met without the need for outrageous contracts and I can’t see many being lured into such when they can carry an iPod Touch with their preferred phone. source: Reg Hardware

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  1. It is the contract that is the killer, not the phone. I wouldn’t buy an iPhone if I had to sign up for an AT&T or O2 UK contract. As it is I do have an iPhone but on O2 IE speak-easy.

    And offering the iPhone unlocked in France and Germany for €999 is taking the piss.

    Such a pity as I think it is the best pocket computer on the market. Best phone I have used, best iPod I have used and best mobile-browser I have used.

    If Apple just sold them unlocked and at a reasonable price they may find people in Europe more willing. They’d loose out on the apparently good revenue share they get with the operators though. But if only 26k iPhones are sold there isn’t going to be a lot of revenue to share.

  2. That’s a reasonable point Paul and my personal views probably hid that behind what I was saying. The contract really is the killer with this device in terms of take-up, other than that people might be more enticed to try one out; they might even like it. 😉

  3. I think that they did shoot themselves in the foot a bit with the iPod Touch in Europe. Consumers have the choice of one device which you’d be scared to use as a phone in town at night, and which does EDGE, or two devices, one a cheap smartphone which can do WiFi sharing of its HSDPA connection from the likes of Three.

    I’ve seen the iPod Touch; it’s a lovely device, and I’d be very tempted to go with the second option. Buying an iPhone seems like madness, though.

  4. That’d be my own personal choice too Rob. Additionally I’ve gotten used to having a small enough phone even from the simple perspective of things like a car kit. Okay I know we have Bluetooth but I personally prefer to see the phone in a cradle for CLID, phonebook, etc and the iPhone is just that little bit bigger to make it an obstruction in the car IMHO. The Touch is a great device and I’m completely smitten with mine since I got the initial faulty unit replaced – I’d highly recommend that you treat yourself. 😉

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