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iPhone flags in UK markets

iPhone flags in UK markets

Steve Jobs may be pressuring UK retailers to keep shtum over poor iPhone sales.

According to UK tabloid The Mail on Sunday Apple has advised retailers in the UK not to report sales figures for the iPhone due to a poor showing over the Christmas period.

This year showed an increase in the number of mobile phones sold, but each unit was individually cheaper than in previous years showing that customers are looking toward the simpler end of the market for their communication needs. A combination of the high cost of the mandatory line rental required for iPhone ownership along with a top-end price for the phone - especially when UK consumers are used to getting their contract mobiles for free - seems to have put people off purchasing.

An unnamed industry source was quoted by the Mail as saying "The iPhone has not been a huge product for either O2 or Carphone [Warehouse]. Particularly in the current market, no one wants to buy an expensive phone with a very expensive 18-month contract."

Even the staff are ambivalent about the iPhone, with one researcher for the paper being steered away from the iPhone in a London branch of Carphone Warehouse and being told to buy a Samsung unit as it was "better" and "free with the contract."

There's no denying that the iPhone is selling well in the US, but could it be that the high price, long contract, and lack of 3G connectivity don't cross the pond all that well? Have you splashed out on the iPhone? Let us know your opinions over in the forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
cjoyce1980 14th January 2008, 08:54 Quote
with the nokia N95 why would you buy a iphone....
Jamie 14th January 2008, 08:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
with the nokia N95 why would you buy a iphone....

The nokia is bigger and it's not also an iPod perhaps.
Mankz 14th January 2008, 08:59 Quote
Spell check over the photo tag!
<A88> 14th January 2008, 09:04 Quote
It's a combination of a lot of factors really- it's overpriced (I'd never pay more than £50 for a contract phone, and even that's pushing it) and doesn't really excel in anything other than web-browsing and perhaps music if you can cope with 8Gb of storage. People these days like 50gigapixel cameras and free gee, neither of which the iPhone has. It's an excellent device and has pushed competition up a notch with it, especially in the touchscreen arena, but to me it just ain't worth the cash with devices like the Orbit 2 coming out and doing a lot more for a lot less.
Jordan Wise 14th January 2008, 09:06 Quote
serves them right for being so greedy, its insulting to offer a phone with half the features of its rivals thats twice as expensive as them. Oh, oh, but isn't it pretty? Apple can go and stick their irritating lower case 'i's up their rear ends, where they belong
Gordy 14th January 2008, 09:53 Quote
Doesn't surprise me, its overpriced and under featured. I love apple products, and was last week needing a new mobile. However the iPhone was simply not an option. In the end I got a free phone and a contract that works out about £7.50 a month? The phone does everything the iPhone does and more at a fraction of the cost.

In the UK we have a far different phone system to the USA in terms of options / technology and choice. The iPhone is a hard sell here.
Solidus 14th January 2008, 09:59 Quote
A friend that works for carphone warehouse said when it was being released they had ordered 100 and expected a big que of people rushing to get one.

Come release day they sold 8 phones and they still have about 70-80 left and that was about 4-5months ago.

The phone itself i like very much, its features and ability to connect to the internet via wi-fi is cool but id like it to do it anywhere for free. The internet has become such a thing that everyone should be able to connect for free as standard i believe.

The phone is simply too expensive. Pay for the phone itself then pay £35 a month on a 18month contract that gives you 200minutes and 200 texts. Thats simply crazy = You cant give someone an amazing phone like that and then give them such a piss poor contract.

Apple is probably trying to milk as much money as it can before lowering the price to make it mainstream but the problem is if they hold out too long - The competition is going to get a good foothold and with everyone committed to other contracts they will probably shoot themselves in the foot.

I doubt they would but its a possibility if they dont start to lower the price. I myself am up for a upgrade soon as my contract is due to run out in a few months - I wonder what il be getting?
pumpman 14th January 2008, 10:23 Quote
I know before the Iphone came out, everyone I knew was humming to the mantra of get an N95 , and I got one and didn't like it, I swapped it for a special Iphone and liked it so much I got another one of contract for my daughter, the kids love them , they sit in the house and use the wifi, they play their music on the bus going to school and also use the phone when needed, its works for them and I liked the interface and the add ons, I did have a look at the viewty but wasn't so keen on it. When I consider I nearly paid £400 for the matrix phone a few years back , it didn't seem all that dear to me when you compare it to what the other phones cost, sure the minutes could be a bit more, but if you compare it to buying pc parts it doesn't feel so bad ie buy £300 gpu for it to half in value in a year same with cpu's e.t.c, all in all thumbs up here, and no I don't own a mac :)
xrob 14th January 2008, 10:42 Quote
i love seeing apple fail
naokaji 14th January 2008, 10:55 Quote
the iphone deserves to fail for its rip off price tag...
i mean seriously, 35£ every freaking month plus you have to pay for the phone? no thx.
why are there such insane expensive contracts? so they can suck you in with free phones, but if they dont give you the iphone for freee with those rip off contracts then that concept fails, so no wonder the iphone doesnt sell.
Jordan Wise 14th January 2008, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpman
I nearly paid £400 for the matrix phone a few years back

yeah, but i all honesty, the matrix phone is still the coolest phone that exists. the iPhone doesn't even come close. I think there's far too much vanity in the products that apple sell, which probably isn't their fault but i see their products as i see designer clothes. They do exactly the same thing that far cheaper clothes do, but they still get sold because people are shallow, and that by investing in these 'fashionable' items that others recognise gives them 'status'. Which is a good thing for large businesses and their profit margins, but is bad for the smaller players trying to compete with their far superior products that will never sell as well because they can't afford the marketing costs.
oasked 14th January 2008, 10:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpman
I know before the Iphone came out, everyone I knew was humming to the mantra of get an N95 , and I got one and didn't like it, I swapped it for a special Iphone and liked it so much I got another one of contract for my daughter, the kids love them , they sit in the house and use the wifi, they play their music on the bus going to school and also use the phone when needed, its works for them and I liked the interface and the add ons, I did have a look at the viewty but wasn't so keen on it. When I consider I nearly paid £400 for the matrix phone a few years back , it didn't seem all that dear to me when you compare it to what the other phones cost, sure the minutes could be a bit more, but if you compare it to buying pc parts it doesn't feel so bad ie buy £300 gpu for it to half in value in a year same with cpu's e.t.c, all in all thumbs up here, and no I don't own a mac :)

You're crazy (and you must be loaded). :p

Its a nice PDA, but its missing key features for the European market and its also horrendously expensive. To me it seems like Apple are trying to fleece the European market as usual ($ = £ etc), but this time the market is too competitive for them to make much of an impact.
DXR_13KE 14th January 2008, 11:18 Quote
they did not expect the Spanish inqu...... i mean, they did not expect such competition, 3G comes as a standard on every phone sold here and 3.5G is starting to appear on almost every medium high range phone, they have equal or better functionalities than the iphone, the only thing that makes me think the iphone is nice is its multi touch screen and sleek user interface, but i can get the second with an HTC....
Arkanrais 14th January 2008, 11:31 Quote
F*** iPhone and ******************* apple.
maddox put it best about apple (well, the mac atleast)and the iPhone. {links contain mature content, swearing & whatnot}
adam197 14th January 2008, 11:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
F*** iPhone and ******************* apple.
maddox put it best about apple (well, the mac atleast)and the iPhone. {links contain mature content, swearing & whatnot}

Rofl, thats brilliant, and I'm 125 lb ;)

I would happily pay £35 a month if I didn't have to pay for the phone in the first place. To me, the 'unlimited' data bumps the price up making it almost worth it, but 200 minutes and texts . I'm pretty sure O2 are partly to blame for this though. It's all just about making as much money out of it as possible while they (Apple and O2) can.
Phil Rhodes 14th January 2008, 12:10 Quote
The thing is failing for the same reason all the other cleverphones are failing - it's not really the handset, I can buy the handset in the US for a far more realistic price. It's the contract, and the only reason I don't have a 3G wireless dongle for my laptop is that the contract is so outrageously expensive.

I understand that with a little ingenuity it's possible to use an iphone handset on more or less any contract you care to name, though - anyone done this? Then you'd just be paying for the handset and whatever contract you have, plus, presumably, a lot of GPRS bandwidth.

But otherwise, it's the UK. What d'you expect?
Spaceraver 14th January 2008, 12:17 Quote
I have a HTC Touch and it does what it say on the tin and much more... I have installed navigation software, custom keys and so on... and it's nowhere near the price of the iPhone. so yeah... just to reiterate others... Cut the Bu*****t Apple...
Nexxo 14th January 2008, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xrob
i love seeing apple fail
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
F*** iPhone and ******************* apple.
maddox put it best about apple (well, the mac atleast)and the iPhone. {links contain mature content, swearing & whatnot}

Thus spoke the masses.

Y'all forget that we have cool little items like the HTC Touch in part because there are companies like Apple moving the goalposts. Or do you think iRiver's new GSM phone would look the way it does if the iPhone didn't get there first? Do you think companies would bust their balls making better MP3 players if they didn't have the iPod to compete with? Do you think we had that popular Lian-Li V1000 series case before the aluminium Mac Pro tower came along? Do you think Windows XP and Vista would be so slick if OSX did not exist? You can moan about Apple's pricing and pretentions all you like, but they have the kind of vision that other companies are sorely lacking at the moment.

Hating Apple is just reverse fanboy-ism. An informed consumer keeps an open mind.
Krikkit 14th January 2008, 12:48 Quote
Well said Nexxo - there's nothing wrong with the iPhone per-sé imho, it's just very overpriced here, and we'd rather just get free phones from someone else than pay for it tbh.
Blademrk 14th January 2008, 13:28 Quote
It was stupid to limit it to 1 network, even if I wanted an iPhone (which I don't) I wouldn't be able to get one for the simple reason that O2 dosen't have very good (read any) coverage where I live. I'm stuck with either 3 or Orange (the only 2 networks that I can actually get reception with).

I know I could try and unlock it but then I'd have 2 contracts on the go one of which would not be used.
Jordan Wise 14th January 2008, 13:54 Quote
i actually wouldn't mind them if they had the feature sets of others, but they deliberatly fall short everytime. For the price, this shouldn't happen. And when the hell is the iPod getting FM radio?
hawky84 14th January 2008, 15:15 Quote
Well as usual with apple you are paying more for the name / image than the product itself, I hate mac OS and I really can't stand any browser they have ever brought out. Lets face it everyone already has an MP3 player and more than likely a digital camera and definetly a mobile phone. Save the environment and don't chuck these into the bin to get an iPhone, your wallet will thank you, as will I :)

Remeber if it ain't broke don't fix it... or replace it

If anyone still goes out and buys one can I have your old mobile as my 5 year old Nokia something or other has finally died
Tomm 14th January 2008, 15:28 Quote
Hawky - I don't know about you, but last year I carried three devices a lot of the time - a phone, my iPod and a PDA (and occasionally a camera I suppose). I've now got Windows Mobile Phone that takes the place of the phone + PDA, which is great feature-wise, although it's not terribly nice to use. An iPhone could take the place of my iPod (if it had more memory) + my phone.

One day, I'll have a device that acts as phone + pda + iPod + GOOD point/shoot camera, and that'll be great, especially if it has a user interface as nice as on the iPhone. Like Nexxo said, Apple are pushing people to get closer and closer to this goal and that's a good thing.
ChEsTeH 14th January 2008, 16:59 Quote
Hmmm my free HTC touch screen phone or £275 for the iPhone.....No contest really.
cyrilthefish 14th January 2008, 18:55 Quote
Seems i'm just echoing others here, but there is one main thing holding the iPhone back here:

Cost

It's not just expensive compared to the competition, it's outrageously expensive.
For a similar contract on any network, you can walk away with a high-end PDA phone for free or nearly free.
Due to the lack of handset subsidy on the iPhone contract, you're essentially paying for it twice over

Not to mention the missing software features*, having to faff around app-unlocking the thing**, lack of 3G and so on.

as for seeing iPhones in the wild, barring shop displays, i have seen 2.
-a close friend who admits to being a bit of an apple fanboy
-one person at work (out of ~600 employees)

Anyway, i shall go back to playing with my HTC Kaiser

*not being able to send multi-recipient messages is a deal-breaker for me
**Hello? Microsoft made the same mistake with their first windows mobile handsets almost a decade ago... why are you copying the same mistake?
kempez 14th January 2008, 19:36 Quote
Agreed. The iPhone is just too expensive even for me (being a gadget fan). Add to that lack of 3G and a very expensive 18month contract (eugh tbh) and I didn't get it. I know it can be hacked, but if I have a phone I don't want that...I want it to be legit and fully functional
Iorek 14th January 2008, 20:14 Quote
Its very expensive for what it is - it does lots, but nothing of what it does, it does well imo.

its a lot of features thrown together with little thought. theres one been got in our office, and i wouldn't bother myself.

its large, you can't use it one handed walking down the road.

It doesn't do MMS (no picture messages, either way)
Bluetooth, nope, only to headsets (no file transfers at all)
Camera - basic, no flash, no video.
Wifi i found to be a bit flakey
the ipod functionality, bleh, I can get better MP3 players for less. I compaired the sound quality of the iPhone against my £30 Creative Zen V, the creative won that hands down, it was much clearer and didn't distort (even after trying playing with the equaliser)

it certainly doesn't warrant the price tag, let alone the £35 a month contract.
Cadillac Ferd 14th January 2008, 20:19 Quote
I think people in the U.S. are just used to being taken to the cleaners by cell phone providers so there are more idiots willing to get reamed by Apple/AT&T.
Faulk_Wulf 14th January 2008, 20:40 Quote
I don't think we're idiots, though a vast majority are susceptible to a combination of poor information and great marketing spin.
The problem comes with we just don't have that many options.

Do I want an Envy or a Voyager? Do I want this phone or this identical phone?
A while back Razors were all the rage. Now we can get them free.
But the thing is-- everything is the same.
Streaming media, text, camera, flip-phone/slider, mp3... every phone has that.
But nothing more.
It looks like a Blackberry, it looks like an Envy, it looks like a Razor, or its a generic flip phone.
$60/month will net you about 700 minutes, sometimes with role-over.
free Nights (9pm, 6pm? with Sprint), free Weekends too.
Usually get free in-network calling, and sometimes for an extra $20 you can get unlimited text to any network.
Personal preference, what network all your friends/employers/employees are on, and who gives you coverage in that area--

It all comes down to SSDD. (Same "Stuff" Different Day)

And TracFone? I can't think of a swear word good enough for them or any Pay-As-You-Go set-up.
Good for emergencies and good for older people, but not anyone that's going to be chatting it up.

The market is just very different for us.
Its very controlled. (Read: Limited)

So what does all of this have to do with why the iPhone sells?
Cause iPod is a name people have known for years now.
Its associated with high-end MP3 players.
(Even MS/Zune lovers have to admit this.)
So when (one of) the trendiest companies says its making a phone,
people sat up and listened.
Its an iPod Nano, with a wide-screen, multi-touch screen, phone, and wi-fi.
Web browser, visual voice mail (which why this is so hard for others to do I don't know),
and the list goes on a bit further till you hit the possible 3rd Party apps that could be coming.

Its different to us. Its unique to us.
Its trendy, hip, and a marker for cheap social statuses.
It does a hundred little things acceptably...
(Jack of all Trades, master of none.)
...and people here generally like that.
At least the vocal group does.

Are there better phones? Yes
Are there better phones in the US? Probably
Are there any that have that clique air among them? No

You can't whip out a Palm Pilot and get people in Apple's demographic (13-30?)
to ooooh and ahhhh about it. They'll shrug and go "that's neat, I guess".
They can appreciate the tech but that's about it.

Whip out an iPhone and people get envious.

------------------------------
All that aside, if its got to be that overpriced, put a regular 160gb HDD in it,
and find a way to keep finger prints off of the screen.
And put an F*#%ing FM-tuner in the damn thing, everyone else has.
I'd add not screwing customers on the contracts, but that's the status quo, is it not?


That's my piece. Dissection maybe commence.
Cadillac Ferd 14th January 2008, 20:57 Quote
I suppose referring to all U.S. iPhone owners as 'idiots' was a bit crass but any talk of cell phones and cell phone providers in the U.S. just pisses me off. There is almost no way to avoid getting screwed, locked in a to a two-year deal with an over-priced phone that your cell phone provider (thanks verizon!) locked down to near uselessness to force you to pay them even more money to use their content/services. You think with how tied in to our lives cell phones have become there would at least be one cellular provider out there that would care even the tiniest bit about the consumer.
DXR_13KE 14th January 2008, 22:34 Quote
Nexxo considering that this has been around longer.... and other phones before it have the same features, i don't know who is moving the goal lines..... what the iphone does most other pda/phones do, the only thing that i think sets it apart is the interface, multi touch system and it being simple and beautiful, in the other areas it is mostly inferior.... the iphone only nudged the goal lines.

I am not saying that the iphone is bad, it am simply saying it could be far better..... there is still a vast amount of space for improvement.
nitrous9200 14th January 2008, 23:30 Quote
You guys are lucky to get such expensive phones for free. And they're better to begin with!
Yes, the iPhone, like all other apple products, is simpler than most and is shiny and pretty. But that's it. Seriously, almost $70 a month for 200 minutes?! I can get a plan with 900 minutes, unlimited SMS/MMS (iPhone can't even do MMS) from verizon. Yes, data is $1.99 per MB, but there's always a data plan for that. Point is, considering how behind our phones and carriers are in the US, the iPhone was an easy sell, but not so anywhere else. What about the 3G iPhone expected for this summer? Well, everybody who just plopped down hundreds for an "old" iPhone is out of date a year after they bought their phone. Oh, and verizon also gives you a $100 discount toward your next phone at the end of the contract. Not to mention everything else the iPhone is missing, and what's the point of Visual Voicemail if you're like most people and don't get more than 1 or 2 at a time?
<A88> 15th January 2008, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
Nexxo considering that this has been around longer.... and other phones before it have the same features, i don't know who is moving the goal lines..... what the iphone does most other pda/phones do, the only thing that i think sets it apart is the interface, multi touch system and it being simple and beautiful, in the other areas it is mostly inferior.... the iphone only nudged the goal lines.

I am not saying that the iphone is bad, it am simply saying it could be far better..... there is still a vast amount of space for improvement.

HTC phones are small and chunky, Windows Mobile is business oriented. You can have all the functionality in the world, but nobody will care if you can't use it. Don't get me wrong- I've got an HTC-made phone now and will be upgrading to another one soon, but I'd love it to have the slick interface and hardware that iPhone users get. Sure, I've got Opera mobile to give me a browsing experience equal to Safari's, but I have to close it completely to run anything else. Likewise, I've got excellent integration with Outlook but it takes a 3rd party plugin for me to have a usable contact list that doesn't require a stylus. The WM7 shots that have been floating around look awesome and would certainly put the iPhone in its place if anything were to come of it, but as has been said, we wouldn't have this sudden barrage of slim, integrated touchscreen phones if the iPhone hadn't moved the boundaries.

To me it's a device that in some senses I hate for being so restricted, featureless, hyped and expensive, but in others it's one of the best gadgets ever made.
cyrilthefish 15th January 2008, 01:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
To me it's a device that in some senses I hate for being so restricted, featureless, hyped and expensive, but in others it's one of the best gadgets ever made.
Funny you should say that...

For me, the most infuriating thing about apple devices: is the fact they get so very close to being perfect, then veer wildy away from the original point under a barrage of anti-competitive business lock-ins/DRM/raw greed/other silliness, that ends up making them look merely the overhyped-expensive versions of any other brand...

Apple has the influence to really change things, but instead throws it away in a fit of raw shameless consumerist greed :<
bahgger 15th January 2008, 01:07 Quote
Now I realise that the points highlighted in the thread are valid, and I personally believe the iPhone is expensive, but yet I manage to see quite a few people who have the phone. I have one which I bought elsewhere without the contract, and now I just so happen to use O2 but not because I'm tied into an iPhone contract. Similarly, a friend has one too, which was not bought here. Someone down the corridor in his apartment has one too. And at dinner the day we saw that person with his iPhone, another person had one at the restaurant where some chums had dinner.

Odd, really.. Central London must have a greater density of iPhones
<A88> 15th January 2008, 01:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
Funny you should say that...

For me, the most infuriating thing about apple devices: is the fact they get so very close to being perfect, then veer wildy away from the original point under a barrage of anti-competitive business lock-ins/DRM/raw greed/other silliness, that ends up making them look merely the overhyped-expensive versions of any other brand...

Apple has the influence to really change things, but instead throws it away in a fit of raw shameless consumerist greed :<

Exactly- just look at the ringtones. Anyone with a copy of Goldwave and their song of choice can make a ringtone far more personalised than a 30sec clipping, but they had to opt for a closed 'iTunes or the highway' system instead. :(
D3s3rt_F0x 15th January 2008, 09:33 Quote
I personally dont have one, dont know anyone who has one and dont know anyone who would buy one.

Compared to other phones it has no substance, its all presentation and no content, I mean whats the point in browsing the web on your iPhone when your using the standard network to pull it down youll be sat there all year.

Plus why would I pay funny money when in October I got a free n95, 750 anytime any network mintues, unlimited texts, free magic number and unlimited evening web browsing (after 7pm) all for the sum of £25 a month fair enough its an 18 month contract when I would of prefered a 12 month but I can live with it because with the iPhone the economics simply cant compete.
Faulk_Wulf 16th January 2008, 04:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadillac Ferd
I suppose referring to all U.S. iPhone owners as 'idiots' was a bit crass but any talk of cell phones and cell phone providers in the U.S. just pisses me off. There is almost no way to avoid getting screwed, locked in a to a two-year deal with an over-priced phone that your cell phone provider (thanks verizon!) locked down to near uselessness to force you to pay them even more money to use their content/services. You think with how tied in to our lives cell phones have become there would at least be one cellular provider out there that would care even the tiniest bit about the consumer.

I actually thought you were british.
It came off to me as a broad generaliation
I didn't look at your location.
So if I came off a bit bitter, I'm sorry.
You're right, we are usually locked into contracts and it does suck.
hawky84 16th January 2008, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomm
One day, I'll have a device that acts as phone + pda + iPod + GOOD point/shoot camera, and that'll be great, especially if it has a user interface as nice as on the iPhone. Like Nexxo said, Apple are pushing people to get closer and closer to this goal and that's a good thing.

Yes this sort of device would be a handy, but why is there always a need to get a new phone at the end of the year? Like I said I have a 5 year old Nokia, because I don't go for a new phone every year I know have a monthly contract that can be cancelled within 30 days, gives me shed loads of minutes n texts for £10 a month!!! Not tied down and dirt cheap.

I guess what I am trying to say is that so many people chuck out phones every year when there is no need to and it is such a waste, in my mind this is not such a good thing.

I like the peace of mind of not being tied down to a 18 month contract as I move a lot and signal is different depending on provider coverage in that area.

I'm not a tree hugging hippy or trying to force environmental views on people, I just don't see any sense in paying lots of money for something that incorporates and compromises a lot of different features. For the near £1000 it will cost you think of the eee pc and sweet digital camera you could get and like I said before we all have mobile phones and mp3 players already :)
kempez 16th January 2008, 13:16 Quote
I usually get a new phone as my current one is close to breaking ;) [old man]the quality of products nowadays![/old man] :p
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