back to article Europe too cynical for iPhone

iPhone sales around Europe have been disappointing, with the French only pocketing 30,000 in the first five days - though that's three times the number T-Mobile managed to shift in Germany. But that's not stopped Google releasing an optimised version of its mobile application suite specially designed for the finger-driven …


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  1. Neil Hoskins

    "Too Cynical"?...

    ... or "less gullible"?

  2. Alastair Dodd
    Jobs Horns

    either that

    or we realise that it's an overpriced, feature lacking, fashion item and not a serious item at all.

    That and all the fanboys have imported one before of course.

  3. Chris Wilson

    The iPod Touch is the reason for poor iPhone sales in Europe.

    Like most people I know, I really liked the touch interface, styling and non-phone features of the iPhone, especially the superb mobile browsing, but we probably all have phones which we're quite happy with that give us the communication features we need. Personally I use a Blackberry, which does an excellent job.

    Now the iPod Touch has been released, I get everything that I like about the iPhone, but without the contract issues, so I have a Touch (an early Christmas present from my girlfriend) sat on my desk as I type this. Had it not been available, I'd certainly have considered an iPhone instead.

    The Touch and iPhone are both very desirable pieces of kit, but I guess many people are quite prepared to put up with carrying two devices and have the flexibility and choice of mobile telecoms provider.

  4. Anarchy

    it's crap that's why

    It might have a flash interface, but compare what it can actually do to a decent pocket pc and it's piss-poor

    and it's bloody expensive too, you can get a PPC for £0 with a contract

  5. Smell My Finger

    Dead in the water

    Ancient technology combined with unpleasantly smug marketing in already mature markets was always a recipe for disaster. They're trying to sell in established markets where mobiles have become a commodity not a £300 commitment - we change them too rapidly to shell out that much money. They're also trying to compete with established players without having any knock-out blow to deliver. iPod and iTunes made MP3 players so simple and convenient to use there really isn't much point in considering anything else. The iPhone has none of that traction to make it so attractive. No company has a Midas touch, not even Apple. You don't bring coals to Newcastle.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    or, we don't like lock in

    It's a fantastic phone - and HSDPA aside, it does all I want in a phone. But why buy something and get locked in.

    I've never been big on corporate claustrophobia.

    I probably will pop over and get one in France tho

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    hmm, i dont think its expensive...

    When you look at it its £70 more than the ipod tough 8Gb and for that you get a phone, mobile web and email. Personally I love the device, the EDGE is usable for the sites I like, El Reg Beeb news etc.

    Yeah ok, the contract is a little pricey, but not much worse that other contract out there. The free data and The Cloud access more than make up for the price differential.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    270,000 units in the USA and somewhere around a 10th of that in the UK and similarly in other countries in Europe.

    I'm not sure of the total population of the USA but as a percentage those sales figures stand up pretty well in comparison.

    Like many others wouldn't have one at the moment, might in the future, don't see any reason to knock those who have or want one. Personal choice just like anything else!

  9. Sean Donnellan
    Gates Horns

    Not for the kids

    Yoof Customer: "Uhh, mate, how do I send this picture/video to my mate's phone"

    Apple Senior Salesman: "By email"

    YC: "Wot, no MMS"

    ASS: "No, sonny, that 3g technology, we use EDGE"

    YC: "Riiight" [exit right]

    ASS: Where are you going ?, Hello ??

    YC: Outta here.....

  10. Rich

    It's not £70 more than the iTouch

    It's £70 and a restrictive, long period, mobile phone contract more. You're agreeing to fork out £900 before you've even made a call.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    population of UK:USA

    Population of UK is about 60m, USA is about 300m, i.e. a ratio of 1:5. Sales are 1:10, so it looks like the UK et al are buying about half as many.

  12. Anthony Chambers


    "All this compares badly with the 270,000 sold in the USA"

    As much as I want to see the iPhone fail miserably, isn't the USA a LOT bigger than France, or Germany, or even the UK? So you'd figure that there's probably the same percentage of morons in each country and therefore sales of the iPhone in the US would be higher than in these individual countries?

    How many iPhones were sold in Montana? Or Texas?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Could it have something to do...

    ...with the US iPhone price drop, perchance?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down



    Pop: 302,939,000

    Sales: 209,000

    Percentage: 0.07%


    Pop: 60,587,300

    Sales: 30,000

    Percentage: 0.05%


    Pop: 64,102,140

    Sales: 30,000

    Percentage: 0.05%


    Pop: 82,314,900

    Sales: 10,000

    Percentage: 0.01%

    So yes, sales in Europe are pretty significantly lower as a percentage of population. UK's penetration is 28.23% lower, France 32.16%, and Germany is 82.39%.

  15. Chris Morrison

    RE: Statistics

    Population USA 300Million

    Population UK 60 Million

    UK/US = 20% population

    Iphone sales US 270 thousand

    Iphone sales UK 27 thousand

    UK/US sales 10%

    This coupled with higher phone uptake in the UK and the fact the iphone has been out for far longer than just a week means bad news for all the smug gits at apple. :-)

  16. Phil

    Old tech at an older price.

    I personally wouldn't bother with an ipHone as, apart from the multi-touch screen which has limited usability on such a small scale, it has absolutely 0 features above my 18 month old XDA Exec. A phone, I might add, that cost me £50 with an 18month contract (£30/mnth). Infact, my XDA Exec has more features and is more usable then the iphOne and it's 18 months old! It's open; I can use any sim I want without any lock in. I can read email and browse the internet on it - although that seems to be the innovative feature of the iphone..? And I even have the fabulous ability to quickly and easily type in a text/email and make calls.

    So where is the innovation that warrants the vast additional cost?

  17. Dave B

    Re: Statistics

    ~60 million UK population, similar in France, and 80+ million in Germany is over 200 million people in just those 3 countries (Europe as a whole is getting on for 800 million if I remember right). USA population is ~300 million so the stats are not looking good..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    sms? whatwhat?

    i love all my mac toys, including my iphone. But whats with the sms app? In denmark all teenagers ever do is sms each other to a degree that apparently has to be seen to be believed (and the mac marketroids obviously didnt see it).

  19. Jerome

    Self-made deception

    How can anyone say 30 000 French sales in 5 days are disappointing?

    This is ridiculous ; what predictions do 30 000 get compared to?

    As for German numbers, I have not seen an official numbers yet ...

    And for UK, I haven't heard that sales have stopped. So maybe the ElRegSuperSecretAgent allsonecessarilytrue evaluation of less 26K iPhone activations from 10 days ago might be even less true now.

    We have at least a quite good panorama of the different ways the human mind can relate to a new and trendy phenomenon ...

  20. John Bayly

    Re: Statistics?

    Well according to Wikipedia (honest guv, it's a quick reference), the populations of the following countries are:

    Germany: 82.3

    UK: 60.6

    France: 64.1

    USA: 302.9

    Sooooo, by taking population only, by AC's reckoning 184,500 units should have been sold in the 1st week.

    The article implies that 40,000 were sold in Germany & France. So unless 140,000 have been sold by O2 (and I imagine they'd be releasing numbers like that) sales haven't stood up well in comparison.

    So, UK, Germany & France with 69% of the population of the US have managed to chip together to get 26% of the sales that Apple have had in the US. Let's be honest, that's shite.

    Anyone willing to pick a whole in my maths is welcome to do so, and I'm aware that this doesn't take into account wealth, price difference, cynicism, etc.

    A degree may be required to understand this post if you have done your A-Levels or received a Degree in recent years.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well, according to the allways reliable Wikipedia, the USA has about 300 Million people in it, while the UK has 60 Million. So, if about 10 times as many eye-phones were sold in the USA as in the UK, that means about twice as many per person.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Have any of the naysayers ever actually used one....

    .....for any reasonable period of time.

    As a communications device is it superb. Access to the cloud hotspots more than makes up for the lack of 3G and as another post says, Edge isn't as bad as most people think. I certainly do not miss 3G from my N80. In any case, 3G is over hyped on phones, web browsing on any Nokia device over 3G, in my experience, is not significantly better than the iPhone on Edge, and given that pretty much every major public location (read pub) in the UK is a cloud hotspot (it's that tv quiz machine in the corner), 3G becomes practically moot.

    As for "we don't like the lock in", Oh come on, show me a contract phone for less than 18 months these days and I'll show you a 12 month tariff that is artificially poor value for money. Unless you're happy with the poor mans/credit unworthy pleb-as-you-go then there isn't much option other than 18 month contracts.

  23. Mike Crawshaw

    Overpriced Junk...

    I used to work at O2, and still know a number of people in the biz, both at retail and network. iPhone sales are low, and a lot of users don't know what they're doing with them, so they're sucking up resource @ O2 customer services and the retailers trying to figure out how to use *insert feature X* or why they can't use a feature they had on their last phone, that they just "upgraded" from. Want to know why you can't get through to O2? Because their reps are explaining how to use iTunes to more important customers. Waiting forever in Carphone Warehouse to get your phone repaired? Yep, well, someone is trying to figure out why they can't use MMS on their iPhone.

    * sells for $399 in the US, which is about £190 (last time I checked). Sells in the UK for £269. Nuff said.

    * the calling plan is crap. £35 a month for 200 mins and 200 texts??? I get more free on my PAYG! Normally a £35/month contract with O2 will get you 600 mins and 500 text. Oh, and you pay for voicemail with the iPhone, which you don't on a standard £35pm contract with O2. Nice.

    * PAYING for a mobile phone with an 18-MONTH CONTRACT???

    * Lack of features - my 2yo Nokia has features the iPhone lacks, and mine wasn't a top of the range at the time of purchase. Little things that people like. Like being able to send a text to more than one person at a time. Like being able to delete a text message without erasing everything in the "conversation". Like being able to use MMS and 3G. Like...

    Overall, yeah, it looks ok. Wonderful. But it doesn't do the job, is poor value for money, and costs a damned sight more here than it does in other places (over 40% above US price). I get that over in the US, people jumped for joy at this, because of the low-tech cellphones they're used to. But here? In terms of functionality (leaving aside presentation), it's years out of date.

    Move along, nothing to see here....

  24. Paul

    UK v US

    UK = 60 Million people

    US = 300 Million people


    UK = 1 iPhone per 2000 People

    US = 1 iPhone per 1000 people

  25. Francis Vaughan


    It would seem that the obvious comparison stats have been ignored.

    Population of the USA - 300 million. 270,000 iPhones = 1.1 per thousand.

    Population UK - 60 million. 30,000 iPhones = 0.5 per thousand.

    Population France - 60 million. 30,000 iPhones = 0.5 per thousand.

    Population Germany - 82 million. 10,000 iPhones = 0.12 per thousand.

    Average across Europe so far = 0.35 per thousand.

    So very roughly, the uptake of iPhones in Europe has been about one third that of the USA, and nearly half the USA's rate in the UK and France. Not brilliant, but by the same token, not the utter disaster that many have predicted, and indeed not the disaster the tone of the commentary (without doing the per capita comparisons) would lead a reader to think. Indeed, given the well aired difficulties in the European markets, one might suspect that this level of market penetration might have actually exceeded Apple's hopes rather than dashed them.

    Germany however clearly is a disaster.

  26. Anthony Chambers


    OK, so yes, the stats prove that the iPhone isn't selling as well as it did in the US, but it's not the disaster that I'd have hoped it would be is it?

  27. Edward Pearson

    not cynical


  28. Rob
    Jobs Horns


    iPod Touch 8Gb is about a £1000!!! Blimey didn't think they were that much, as that's what you roughly pay for an iPhone when you tot up the contract cost as well.

    The reason the contract is a little pricey is because your still paying Apple for the device.

    Don't get me wrong I like the device for what it's shown is possible for a phone UI, but the figures are far too north of £100 which is all I'm prepared to pay for a phone. Most UK citizens won't even stretch to £100.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    simplified pricing plans, dual sim support, no roaming charges...

    at least i don't have to wade through reams of paper to find out how much i'll have to pay per month. well, unless i want to find out about roaming charges. so when iPhone2 surfaces with space for 2 SIM cards (and support for all carriers, which has just taken longer to achieve than expected), with autodetect of SIM use, and no roaming charges, things will become clearer regarding their motives.


  30. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Buy an iPhone and then crack it...simple really

    I can't believe that all the Elreg readers commenting here do not mention that you can buy an iphone for the price of an iPod Touch and then CRACK IT so that you do not have to sign up to a slave contract, get BSD subsystem, VT-100 Terminal, SSH, and all the third party apps you like...including BitchX.

    I thought that readers of Elreg readers were savvy!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    American Ovine

    If they want to sell a lot of products such as this, European companies and government need to help the schools to produce lots of stupid sheep. Just smart enough to read adverts, but dumb enough to believe them. works great in the USA!

  32. dumb

    Are Europeans that stupid?

    Listening to dribble from the likes of Mike Crawshaw makes you guys sound like a bunch of morons. If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about.

    You are making such a big deal about features that don't really matter. Like being able to send SMS to more than one person at a time. Who cares? Are you running a text spam business or something? I've NEVER had the need to send a text message to multiple people at once. No MMS? Can you say EMAIL? Idiot!

    And signing a contract? SO? You going somewhere? You're gonna need service, you're gonna get a better deal with a contract.

    It costs what it costs, live with it. There are PLENTY of items that we Yanks have to pay a FORTUNE for coming from Europe that you guys get much cheaper. Stop whining!

    Pull your head out for a few minutes and you'll stop smelling shite!

  33. Carniphage

    You guys want this to fail *sooo* badly

    And it clearly isn't.

    It's obviously outselling the brick-like N95

    It's reportedly out-browsing all the PocketPCs on the planet.

    And the fact that it is too expensive for chavs .... well there's another reason to have one.

  34. Stephen Gooberman-Hill

    dumb europeans?


    if you never need to send texts to multiple people then it is clear that yuou have no mates.

    MMS? Picture messaging.

    Personally, I think the iPhone is overpriced. But I think it hits the market spot very well indeed. A better price and it would go like tickets for the Zep reunion gig.

  35. Allan Rutland


    The UK sends (from that info they said a few weeks back) over 1bn sms messages per week. But to Apples marketting fools sms is a old, useless technology...hmm, odd how its something most people want and use a lot.

    Cripple whats a massive feature on phones, add in lack of features and charge a fortune. And no matter how pretty or shiny it is, it stinks of a waste of time.

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. sektah

    Battery replacement

    The battery can be replaced for $US25:

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 and CPW Exploited by Apple

    O2 expected to sell 200,000 iPhones by the end of December 2007 - unlikely to achieve these sales given that you can buy a cheaper iPhone unlocked from France.

    Every night I see at least one O2 advert on TV for the iPhone - how much is this costing O2?

    The current UK sales are poor against projections.

  39. Rob Crawford


    You really are well named.

    Happily some of us live in a region that has a proper mobile phone network, even a proper choice of carriers.

    Obviously you have never been Treasure Island, where companys still and charge 1 UKP to the dollar.

    Next thing you are goint to tell us that Paris is the capital of Europe and we don't have running water.

    As for the iPhone I couldn't care less about it as I want a reliable phone that isn't locked into an over priced contract, and the iPhone dosn't fit my criteria.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @dumb (apt name)

    "If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about."

    Well firstly I have used an iPhone, and unless you live in Europe rather than telephonically-challenged USA you have no idea what YOU are talking about. Over here we are used to phones with a bit more to them than just making calls. Few things the iPhone doesn't do which we expect in a phone these days:

    No 3G

    No doubt the WiFi 'excuse' will be rolled out, but what if I'm not near a hotspot..?

    Can't change the battery (so no spares)

    No memory card slot

    No GPS

    Can't even connect to Bluetooth GPS (what is the point of having mobile Google Maps if you can't use a GPS..? Google Maps on Windows Mobile has full support for GPS)

    Can't send a text to more than one person at a time.

    Can't copy and paste (!!)

    No VPN support (bye bye corporate customers)

    No supported 3rd party apps (however to be fair they have said they are coming)

    Can't upload files in Safari

    Can't DOWNLOAD files in Safari(!)

    Camera but no MMS

    Camera but no video. (If you DID have video, then you couldn't upload to YouTube as the 'full featured web browser' doesn't allow you to upload anything.)

    The interface in the iPhone is beautiful - nobody disputes that but the phone part is simply not there yet.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    For the benefit of "dumb"

    Okay, I am going to use simple words here for the benefit of Mr Dumb.

    "If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about." - sadly many people on here do - we're techs, we tend to study technical things and draw we we in the UK call "conclusions".

    "Like being able to send SMS to more than one person at a time. Who cares?" - lots of people care. As an example, you want to go out with friends (well, not you obviously) so you want to organise a time and place. We don't all want to send individually crafted messages, we want to send one shot texts. Not everyone can receive emails so sending one is what is frequently refered to as "f**king futile".

    I have used the iBrick - I didn't like it. I wanted to see a phone and what I got was a pretty mp3 player and browser with a fairly crap phone attached to it.

    Maybe if you got your head out of your own arse you'd be able to make objective assessments about technology rather than start on the fanboi rant.

    Now shush and let the adults discuss techy stuff.

    <feels better for that rant>

  42. Robert Hill


    typical US-centric response from an appropriately named poster.

    SMS/MMS is huge in the EU to a degree that you cannot imagine unless you live here, especially among the youth. Hell, it's the only way my 43-year old girlfriend even talks to people - she probably sends about 30-50 per day. And compared to younger folks, that number is low.

    And email is grand, but asynchronous. In the EU, we have moved to synchronous communications that even notify us the second it is delivered to the recipient's handset - SMS/MMS. Don't know about you, but I like to KNOW that people have gotten my messages, in real time. Oh, maybe you can't do that in the US yet...doh!! Standard feature on my T-mobile account here in the UK. In short, email is a 1960's technology. SMS/MMS are the next wave: synchronous, guaranteed delivery reciepts, and native to all handsets. So I can send one to my mum, and not have to worry if she is out - her 5 year old handset will get it just fine, and let me know she got it.

    So, until you are enough of a social anthropologist to understand that the EU has many nice new technologies that are driven by social structures and environment, please keep your speculation to yourself. And I say that as a native American...

  43. Gilbert Wham

    Plus ca change...

    "Overall, yeah, it looks ok. Wonderful. But it doesn't do the job, is poor value for money, and costs a damned sight more here than it does in other places" And, surprisingly, this description is of an object with 'Apple' written on it. And I *have* used one. Did a stint with Apple as a hell-desk operator (they are appalling people to work for, at least at the bottom of the pile), so I saw it before quite a lot of people did.

    I maintained at the time that people wouldn't go for it in Europe, as we're used to free handsets and shorter contracts (note that with most of the 18m contracts, you can still upgrade at 12 months, at the expense of a continued lock-in). Aaaaaaand, I was right! Excellent.

  44. Hans-Peter Lackner
    Jobs Horns

    Too expensive... especially the plans

    It is too expensive.

    My phonebill is about 20 to 30 € a month. And I think, I am using the phone quite much. I can quit whenever I want to and I can get HSDPA too, if I like and pay 2 cent per MB.

    I didn't get a phone, but I like to buy my own phones...

  45. Macka
    Thumb Up

    Thoughts from the converted.

    I was a naysayer, ranting on about how I hated the lock in, and how lack of HSDPA would be a pain, etc, etc. But having played with a friends for a bit and first testing to make sure that it's Bluetooth worked with my built in car kit, I took the plunge and got one last week. It was worth it.

    I was on an over priced plan at Orange for the number of minutes I was using anyway (my fault really) so £45/m at O2 will be a cost saving. And I've discovered that the iPhone user experience is just not given justice by any of the reviews I've read. It's so slick, and the level of calendar and contact synchronisation with my MacBook has given me a noticeable productivity boost.

    Text entry is also much much quicker than before. For me, the trick is to peck at it with one finger. I don't know why all the pics and demos seem to insist that you have to use two thumbs, as being the biggest digits you have they just get in the way and are more prone to touching keys you don't want. On my old K800i I had to use thumbs because the keys require a certain amount of force to be activated quickly. The iPhone doesn't suffer from that, so you're only limited by how fast you can tap. After a bit of practice it becomes like touch typing; and though mistakes creep in, the iPhone's error correction (for me) is about 95% accurate. Once you learn to trust it, you just don't slow down and let it do it's thing. It's not as fast as typing on a keyboard, but is way faster than any other phone I've ever used.

    I also like the fact I can do stuff around the house while listening to my music or an audiobook and not worry about missing a phone call because I couldn't hear the phone on another room.

    Carrying 400+ wedding photos around in my pocket all the time has proved to be a real boon too. I've always got them with me friends want to take a look.

    There are some things I'd like to see improve a bit, but I'm sure that Apple will address those in time. And I expect that this time next year I'll be looking to upgrade to a much more capable device.

    As for the usefulness of EDGE, I can't say yet as I've not done that much traveling with it. Email doesn't seem to be much of a problem as I've got it syncing once an hour, and I don't care how long it takes to download an email as I'm not being charged per minute. At home over my WiFi, it's very quick. And browsing with Safari is so much more usable than I expected. I used it to book a couple of film tickets via the web the other day.

    Would I give it up having had one for a week? Not a chance. It's too much fun and I'm getting too much value out of it.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    To Dumb

    I think you'll find that very few people have the inclination to send email from their handsets just so they can send a picture. They're used to a perfectly good MMS system with which you can (and this is the great bit, listen carefully...) address by PHONE NUMBER to people who you have the PHONE NUMBER for, direct from your adress book which mostly is full of PHONE NUMBERS. And get this, it's bloody brilliant, almost 100% of handsets can receive them as you'd expect. Incredible, huh?

    *I* wouldn't mind sending emails, but then I'm used to these things having been making phones send emails for ten years now. Actually receiving email on a handset is still a rarity for most folks.

    Remember that almost all phone users are non-technical, we're just a tiny part of the market. Most people are just about familiar with MMS. *oh, you mean it's just a text with a picture? cool!*.

    The point is not that it's easy to send mails, that's great, the point is that unless you're content to only send mail to other iphone users or your business chums, you need to be able to address to their phone numbers. Maybe you apple types think the rest of us aren't stylish enough to talk to anyway?

    To be honest I don't know what the problem was for apple to integrate MMS, it's pretty close to email and quite well specified.

    Sorry for the rant, this gets right on my tits though.

  47. alphaxion

    @ dumb

    to be honest, I don't use MMS cause it's a waste of money but, your suggestion of using email instead is just retarded.. how many people do you know that either

    a) can pick up email using their phone

    b) have email functionality on their phone but simply don't use it

    Usage tends to congregate around a common communication protocol - pretty much most phones on the street support MMS (so no matter if you send MMS messages, you can still receive them) and not that many support the reception of email using their phone (that is changing but at a snails pace), every phone in the UK supports SMS however and it's no surprise that the overwealming amount of communication is done over this protocol.

    Also, who honestly thought "I know, we'll leave out copy and paste functionality" from the iphone? that engineer needs to be shot!!

  48. Mats Koraeus
    Paris Hilton

    Speaking of outdated...

    ...I just have to ask, how many actually use voicemail on their consumer phones these days?

    I find it immensely funny that Apple deem SMS and MMS as something old, preferably to be deprecated, but then improve on the most ancient (and, in my experience, least used) service of them all.

    If I can't reach someone, they will see that I have called; I will send them an SMS if I really need to get a message through; or I'll (to use the standard Apple excuse) just send an email... All of which do exactly the same as their newfangled (but obsolete) visual voicemail, only better.

  49. Brendon McLean

    More stats

    None of the statistics arguments so far have factored in that US market is fragmented into the following incompatible standards (in order of market share): CDMA, GSM, iDEN, TDMA and NMT. CDMA still has substantially more market share and coverage than GSM.

    Looking the markets again:

    * Europe: One universal standard, with near complete coverage and almost one mobile unit per person.

    * US: Three major standards that are incompatible, patchy coverage by GSM and a lower phones per person (about 0.8).

    Taking this into account, the US market is actually a lot smaller for a GSM-only device. Which means that Europe as a percentage is more important than you'd think. Which means that these lacklustre sales in Europe are even more worrying for Apple.

  50. Brendon McLean


    In fact, according this article ( there are 1.6 phones per person (active) in the UK.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    Difference != Differential

    "The free data and The Cloud access more than make up for the price differential"

    Will people PLEASE stop misusing the word differential? Mathematicians doing calculus are allowed to have describe a differential - anyone else using the word to describe the DIFFERENCE between two things is not.

  52. Sweep

    @ John Bayly

    Maybe i can't pick a hole in your stats, but i reckon i could pick a whole in your spelling....

  53. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    In reponse to Carniphage..

    "And it clearly isn't."

    Stock still being on shelves despite extensive hype and advertising suggests otherwise.

    "It's obviously outselling the brick-like N95"

    The N95, since it's launch earlier this year, has sold over 1 million phones. Based on what I have seen so far, it seems likely that the iPhone will fail to reach that in it's first year.

    "It's reportedly out-browsing all the PocketPCs on the planet."

    Erm, What exactly do you mean by that? Outbrowsing? Opera on most phones gives you the full web, and Opera Mini has the zoomed browsing. At full 3G speed and/or Wifi depending on the facilities you have available.

    "And the fact that it is too expensive for chavs .... well there's another reason to have one."

    They'll just mug the poor saps who buy one..

  54. marc

    a lot of folk are halfway through another contract

    I'd like an iPhone - but I have 15 months left on my 18 month contract! By the time I have finished the contract, there will no doubt be a better 3g iPhone.

    for now then, an iPod touch will do fine.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    @ Scaling

    "How many iPhones were sold in Montana? Or Texas?"

    No iPhones were sold in Montana. AT&T doesn't do business in Montana, so there are more than 900,000 folks who can't officially buy an iPhone.

  56. Dave

    @Mike Crawshaw

    "I get that over in the US, people jumped for joy at this, because of the low-tech cellphones they're used to. But here? In terms of functionality (leaving aside presentation), it's years out of date."

    The only reason Americans are using low-tech phones is because they are low-brow. The Americans that bought the iPhone are just low-intelligence.

    My HTC phone (Cingular 8125) Has 3x the features of the iPhone, and was half the price TWO years ago. It's a bit slow compared to today's phone, but plenty fast enough that I have no reason to upgrade until the newer HTC's come down in price. (And get rid of the proprietary USB port w/headphone jack garbage)

  57. Rob


    Welcome to the world of technology, it's obvious you have been behind the times for awhile, there have been phones able to all those things you mentioned way before the iPhone was released (at least a good year before).

    So I think you have answered one of my questions which is the iPhone is obviously bringing a lot of possibilities to people that didn't think possible with a phone, it's just a shame it's on out of date technology.

    But as you say hopefully Apple will update a lot of things, they are new to the phone business, so no doubt it will have been a steep learning curve (espcially the european market).

    Just wait till you get GPS, Memory Cards, 3rd party apps and 3G, you'll have the dogs knackers of a phone (and maybe a tad smaller and cheaper and no lock-in would be nice as well... oh and maybe not taking a cut from the tariff as well which results in it being ranked up a few quid).

  58. Phil

    'You don't bring coals to Newcastle'

    What century do you live in?

  59. Frank Bough

    I'd Love an iPhone...

    ...but I'm not shelling out £280 as well as signing up to a £35pcm contract. Great product, poor pricing strategy. Still, makes the iPhone that much more exclusive, I suppose. FWIW, I'm not in the least bit interested in the lack of 3G - 3G is an answer to a question nobody asked.

  60. Maliciously Crafted Packet

    Apple, after all... the only company in the history of business to introduce a product so radical that distributors such as T-Mobile and Vodafone would go to court over the right to carry it.

    Tim Beyers

    The Motley Fool

  61. Jonathan Fitt

    It's feature list is precisely correct for what it is:...

    A US made phone for the US market.

    Americans don't text nearly as much. Most don't see the point. They never had the 50p/min vs 10p/text that we had in the UK in the early 2000s. That drove most teens on tight budgets to texting. Didn't happen in the US.

    Americans don't picture message. Only a small percentage of texters are likely to MMS, so it follows.

    America does not use 3G. The US has bugger all 3G coverage and will have for the next few years.

    Americans do mobile email. Blackberrys are waaay more common in the US, and have been for a long time.

    Americans are used to expensive crap-long lock-in contracts. The iPhone deal isn't that bad over here, it's just the initial price which is higher than normal. Only having 2 GSM operators means that there's little competition. Remember what it was like with only Vodafone and Cellnet? Imagine if Orange hadn't come along and undercut them.

    Combine that with the 5 month delay for the European release and it's clear that it wasn't really meant for Europeans.

    Get a Touch and wait for the 3G version. Trust me, those who are still stuck in version 1 contracts when it comes out will be kicking themselves.

  62. Carniphage

    Hey Stuart Castle....

    Without concrete sales data - it's impossible to tell exactly. But it's funny that everyone is lining up in the "it's a flop / it's a runaway-success camps"

    Checkout browser usage -

    It's data of some sort. Decide how to interpret it in a way which best fits your world view.

    My last phone had the same features as an iPhone. Email, Opera web browsing.

    Trouble was, all these great features, were, y'know "Special Olympics" features.

    3G - check

    MMS - check

    Make every website look like ass - check

  63. Anonymous Coward

    Why I would never own an iphone

    Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Moyles have both got one

  64. Smell My Finger

    @ Carniphage

    People would take you seriously if you could substantiate any of the crap you're talking. Of course we want it to fail, that's the only proper response to a ludicrously hyped-up load of bollocks that's being sold like it's the second coming. We're all tired of this nauseating hyperbole that simply shines a light on conspicuous consumption. I'd rather be a chav than a yuppie piece of shit.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    @ the Wikipedia generation

    There are other information sources out there, don't you know? If you want reliable country data, I would recommend (and this is the only time I will ever praise the CIA) the CIA World Factbook:

    Sheesh. Wikipedia, honestly...

  66. Carniphage

    Hey Smell My Finger.

    Sorry money is so tight for you man. Me, I just got me this wicked yuppie razor that costs more than me iPhone!

    You'd never credit it, but some people actually spend more on watches than 260 quid! These watches don't have GPS or nuffink! Insane!

    Think of all the Burberry you could buy with that! With 260 quid, you could probably afford a new fridge for the front garden.

  67. James
    Dead Vulture

    Dear Dumb

    As one person pointed out SMS,MMS etc.. are all methods of communication you can rely on to be accessible from most phones

    MMS probably goes back as far as the first phone with a colour screen so it's a very very safe bet (if not guaranteed) for sending pictures etc...

    Email support is patchy and consequently rarely used. So yeah, Apple have dropped the ball if half decent support is not there for "established standards".

    That aside, your questioning why someone would want to use "send to many" highlights how ridiculous you argument is. I send texts very infrequently but at least twice a year I “send to many”. Christmas and New year. The function makes sense and serves a purpose, even if it's used infrequently. If I sent a Christmas email only my corporate mates with their crackberries and the odd apple fanboi might pick it up.

    So, if I might be bold enough to make an adjustment to one of your statements... ...I suggest you stick your head back in so no-one else has to smell your shite.

    I guess I should also make a comment specific to the iPhone. statistics are well covered so I won't go there.

    Played with one for a few minutes. Got bored. Looks nice but there's a limit to how excited I can about gimmicky apps. There's definitely a limit to how much I would pay for a phone with a fixed battery so I know I will never own one.

  68. alphaxion

    re: Carniphage

    um, have you ever thought that the "unlimited" data tarriff is the reason behind why more people are browsing on their iphone than someone on their extortionate vodafone phone?

    don't confuse the effect of the device with the effect of the pricing - would you say that the early take up of net access in britain was speeded up by a move to 56k modems or by freeserve introducing a cheaper way of getting on the net?

    Also, as others have pointed out the figures for "iphone net use eclipsing all other mobile browsing" includes those who use opera on symbian phones or is that all lumped into one block without making the mobile distinction? stats can be fiddled with especially when it isn't broken down and mined enough.

  69. elder norm

    WOW, you guys must be really scared of Apple. just wow.

    I actually have to laugh when I read most of these posts. If you do not like a product, don't buy it. In fact, I have to wonder if most of these posts are Microsoft shills who get paid to trash Apple.

    Apple developed a cell phone. It was different than other phones in that its the best "iPod ever" and it has wi-fi and it also has a cell phone. Period. Its not make to be the cheapest or most-difficult-to-use phone, just an easy to use phone with neat features. And it looks cool too. PERIOD.

    It does not:

    defy gravity,

    change the time space continum,

    come free,

    Its not a movie cam corder,

    Its not a transport device.

    and it does not solve all your personal problems for $ 49.99, er $ 29.99, er for free.

    Sorry. ITs just a phone,....... that is taking the smart phone world by storm. ONE day sales figures, or even one months figures???? Please, give me a break. Lets look at Blackberry phone sales in the first month that it came out.

    This is the first phone ever from Apple. Most phone execs said that it would not even work. Well, I guess that they are wrong. :-) So, I am going to leave most of you to sulk to your hearts content. Just don't be surprised if you see Apple iPhones holding a10% to 25% share of the world smart phone market by the end of next year.



  70. parv


    can you all please remember that the iphone has been selling in the US since July while it has only been selling since Nov in the UK, DE & FR (& France started later). So therefore, please remember that when making absolute comparisons with the US.

  71. David Evans
    Jobs Horns

    @elder norm

    Well, first of all people wouldn't be getting so exorcised about the iPhone if it hadn't been hailed as the most revolutionary thing in telecoms since the smoke signal, or if Apple hadn't applied their usual breathtaking arrogance towards non-US markets.

    Fact is, its a nice UI in search of a decent phone. A year from now I'm pretty sure it will be on my shopping list, because Apple will have fixed its shortcomings (in order to compete) and it will be offered on competitive contracts. Will it have 10-25% of the World smart phone market in a year? I wouldn't bet against it; but not if they don't meet Europe (and Asia's) higher expectations.

  72. Carniphage

    Hey Alphaaxion

    So what you are saying is that perhaps the whole unlimited data thing means that folks are suddenly able to afford to use their mobile for browsing. It's just so darn sneaky of Apple. A cynical combination of a browser that does not suck alongside a feindish price plan where users and not charged by the kilobyte! No wonder people are using it like crazy.

    These guys are just not playing by the rules.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool vs anti-cool

    In the UK only fanboys, journalists and media studies graduates think that iPhones are anything other than the tech equivalent of a Gucci handbag. Yes, they are well made, yes they look cool... but unless you have money to burn they are very poor value for money because the only things you really need an iPhone for (listening to music, making phone calls, surfing the web) most of us can already do almost as well, if not better, with what we already own. If I had no MP3 player, no mobile phone and no web access an iPhone would be really great... but I do have these things.

    The fact is that it is now cooler to hate the iPhone than it is to like the iPhone. Apple is like a boyband - the kids like them and the adult fans will defend them to the death, but the rest of us know that a phone is just a phone, an mp3 player is an mp3 player and a PC is just a PC and anyone who likes one particular brand of technology that much is a bit sad.

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Why is SMS (and MMS) so much more popular in the UK????

    I just don't understand why SMS is so popular over there? My last phone did MMS too, never used it.

    Is there some advantage in Europe to SMS and MMS we don't have in the states? Does everyone over there like typing on a tiny keyboard?

    Serious, what is the appeal/advantage of SMS, or contrary-wise, why isn't SMS popular in the states? Is it our fat fingers? Our lazy hands? What WHAT?!? I must know!!

    When I want to get a hold of someone I call their damn ass!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    'It's obviously outselling the brick-like N95'

    Check Nokias quarterly report

    Volumes of the high-end Nokia N95 were approximately 1.5 million units during the quarter.

    And that is without Nokia tying Carphone Warehouse and O2 into a deal that costs them £10million in advertising which was the deal Apple demanded to get the 'exclusive' iBrick. That's also without the mega hype, free journalism reports, TV ads etc. With Apple, everything is HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE. If you take that away, you actually see that most of their products are expensive second rate toys fit only for fashion victims.

    'some people actually spend more on watches than 260 quid!'

    Yes, and those people expect the watch to last years. A mobile phone only lasts 1-2 years before it is upgraded

  76. Bruce Robinson
    Thumb Down

    this time next year....

    ...this time next year Apple may have learnt a very basic lesson and have an offering that meets user expectations. Just look at the ipod and see how far that has come, from a great idea to the omi-present icon of today.

    Apple will get it right eventually I'm sure, but this iphone Mk 1 isn't it.

    Luckily the rest of the market isn't really able to respond. Their phones are turgid and numbingly dull. Even with this feeble competition this phone can't make a real mark because it's just over priced (to purchase and contract ( the contract is actually laughable)).

    So over 10% of the mobile market by this time next year, it could be with realistically priced and capable iphone mk2 or 3, but not with this over priced, fashion accessory.

  77. J


    "A US made phone for the US market."

    The US makes phones? The wonders never cease indeed. :-)

    If other Apple kit is anything to go by, the box probably says "Made in China, designed in California".

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @ elder norm

    "In fact, I have to wonder if most of these posts are Microsoft shills who get paid to trash Apple."

    FFS, I wondered how long it would take for an Apple fanboy to come out with that old chestnut.

    What an ass hat.

  79. ad47uk

    looks nice but

    A mate of mine who have more money than sense decided to get a Iphone and to be honest it is nice to use, if you are indoors. but the blasted thing is useless in picking up weak signals. I have a Samsung s500I on 02 and it works very well at my mates place, but he had to go and stand by a window to get a signal on the Iphone.

    No MMS is a pain and it is not a 3G only service as someone else said, I don't use 3G and yet I can send MMS on my Samsung.

    Using the Iphone for internet browsing was extremely slow, without 3G or even Edge, it was painful to use, but the interface is great and I like the way Apple have done the interface, according to my mate even using Edge do not make a lot of difference.

    the touch interface for getting your music and video is nice, but I found it difficult to see even in our dull daylight we have at the moment. Mate found it ok to see, but then he have better eyes than me, but he still thought a proper keypad would be better.

    Anyway due to the fact that he could not get a very good signal on it even the replacement was not better, 02 decided to give him a refund and agreed to change his contract as he have been with 02 for years.

    the Iphone could have been a great phone, but yesterdays technology that is over priced, certainly out of my price range, even if I was after a contract phone.

  80. Jason Clery
    Jobs Horns


    HTC Kaiser from T-Mobile

    Tariff 22.50GBP 18 month contract Phone is 180GBP.

    Retail price of phone is approx 450GBP. Contract wise it's 585GBP over 18 months, so minus the cost price of phone its 135GBP for 18 months, which is 7.50GBP per month for voice, text and data ("unlimited", but in reality 1GB, which should be plenty).

    GPS, and the rest of the toys. I tad chunky though.

  81. Robert Hill

    @Anon Coward

    I moved to the UK from the States almost three years ago, and I too couldn't see the value in a system that began life as a cut rate version of a voicecall.

    Three years later, I am hooked. SMS is a great way to cut out "telephone tag", like an email, but is delivered to a device that almost everyone here has on their person constantly, so you know they will get it quickly - unlike an email.

    It also generates a delivery reciept when it is delivered to the recipient's phone, something that rarely works on email.

    Lots of times i will send a text to schedule a phone call, just to ensure the person will be free. Some people see that as polite.

    And the other major fact about texts are that they are VERY constrained in terms of how much attention you will require from the recipient. They know when they look at a text that it will be brief, and they can do it when they choose. Answering a phone call they have neither of those - they have to answer it then or play phone tag, and they have no idea how long it will go. So in some ways, texts are just more polite, and take less time.

    Texts don't replace phone calls - they just give another channel. One that is very different than either emails or voicecalls, and has it's own set of uses.


  82. Mats Koraeus

    re: Why is SMS (and MMS) so much more popular in the UK????

    @Anonymous Coward

    Robert Hill gave a good list of reason, but left out one of the main ones:

    SMS are dirt cheap. European TelCos have been racing each other to the bottom to provide cheap SMS as a competetive advantage to gain new customers. Originally, it was mostly aimed at younger people, but since the prices benefitted everyone, it caught on outside that group.

    Also, unlike in the US (as I understand), we don't pay to receive messages -- only to send them, which makes it easier to justify sending one. You know that sending a message won't annoy the other party (well, apart from the potentially spammy bit) -- it's all out of your pocket.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cautious Europe?

    I'm not totally surprised by the slow start to the iphone's career in Europe. When the iphone was first sold in the states, eager hoards bought their hand sets with much excitement. Some months later Apple slashed the cost of the phone by between 30-50% I believe I saw quoted. Apple found themselves having to give refunds or vouchers to the initial wave of top whack payers in order to play fair.

    I am a Brit, I am very aware that things rarely get much cheeper round here. I am sure that there is a whole swathe of "knowing' brits sat in arm chairs and around bars in good old blighty happily talking through the top of their hats,

    "...well they'll get cheeper after christmas.'

    "...'ll be like the yanks, they all got 'arff their money back'

    '... once the first lot 'ave paid for the technology the price will drop like a stone'

    Rule number one for British retail is realize what you can get for the product. Rule two is once realized, you can clearly get that, so why drop the cost, regardless? Rule three is any alterations to the product mean it must be better, so, it must be worth more!. So for those waiting for a bargain iphone, or refunds, remember if the 3G version is on it's way,......"they gion' get a whole lot more 'spensive'

  84. MacroRodent
    Thumb Down

    No MMS in iPhone?

    >YC: "Wot, no MMS"


    >ASS: "No, sonny, that 3g technology, we use EDGE"

    What? Is that true? MMS was already introduced with 2G phones. All Nokias sold in the past few years support it. It was supposed to be the anointed successor of SMS, and while not a big advantage unless you want to send pictures, sound or video, it is sometimes quite useful. It is surprising if Apple really tries to sell an "advanced" phone without this feature.

  85. Jared Earle
    Dead Vulture

    Too cynical?

    Most people I know who want an iPhone are just waiting for their current contract to be up. Personally, as long as it's supported fully, I don't really care about how many they sell. We know El Reg wants this phone to fail, even if we don't fully understand the reason for having their prams installed with toy-launching vectors, but it's not performing anywhere nearly as badly as they'd hoped or predicted.

    Wait until Christmas is done and dusted and get back to us about those sales figures, eh?

    Yes, I have an iPhone and yes, I spend considerably more than £260 on mechanical watches. Some things are worth caring about.

  86. Ascylto

    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    The usual Apple hating trolls are out, I see.

    Fanboi here.

    I had an iPod touch and was determined not to get an iPhone. Saw the iPhone ... wanted it. Sold the iPod touch. I am so happy with the iPhone because it does what I want it to do and it does it with panache!

    No, it doesn't make tea or make love to me (though I do need to get out more). And no, it's not a pocket PC. When will the naysayers realise that it's not so much about what is does but the way that it does it. Proof of this will be the attempts to copy it by all the big boys. Criticism has been made of the touch keyboard. I actually use it and, despite some podginess of the fingers, it is amazingly accurate and forgiving ... it's at least as good as my typing skills on a normal keyboard.

    The americans are (or were, recently) over here to see why the iPhone didn't sell as well as anticipated. The questions could have been answered before launch ... pay for phone AND contract, no 3G etc., er - no! ... but the US knows best (ahem!).

    The trolls should understand that Apple are not going to achieve world domination with this or any other product in their current lineup, Bilge Gates and his convicted monopolist outfit has that accolade, but Apple will do what they often do, they'll set the marker for others to try to beat. The trolls will shout "Here's an iPhone killer" just as they continue to shout "Here's an iPod killer". Well, Zunes to you!

    For once, be satisfied with the fact that, for some, the iPhone is just what they want. For others it's not the right bit of kit. And most of us will pay (even unfair) amounts of money for what we WANT, rather than less for what we DON'T WANT. Logic be damned!

  87. Matthew Brown
    Jobs Halo

    It's not about the price, or the software...

    It's about the marketing. The iPod came out of nowhere. Be honest now, how many folk in the industry actually saw it's popularity coming? The iPod sold because it looked cool, made MP3 players "easy" to use (I know, I know, but The People thought so...), and was gradually endorsed by cool bands and celebs.

    The iPhone was built up for months by marketing executives in both the phone industry and Apple before it even existed, not to mention the press coverage of it. How long did we have people punting supposed "this is what it will look like... probably" photochops? Months. Maybe even a year.

    Apple missed the buzz. In the US they let the hype reach it's peak and start to fade away before actually releasing the product. By the time they released the damned thing over here people were barely talking about it outside tech circles. Sure folk like ITV did little bolt-on reports on it during the evening news, but no one cared.

    Of course, they could've still salvaged a reasonable level of sales revenue had they targeted people like us... but they couldn't because they knew the actual phone was about as technologically advanced as a Siemens A60, save the fancy graphics.

    Put simply - they tried too hard.

  88. JayB

    Why is it...

    If you disagree with the statement "the iPhone is the greatest technological and marketing acheivement in Mankind's history" you are either

    a) A Microsoft shill paid to trash Apple


    b) An Apple hating Troll

    Why is that?

    What's wrong with option c) Someone who doesn't need, has no desire and doesn't terribly like <insert Apple product here>"?

    Comparing the iPhone to a watch is without a doubt the most asinine comparison I've seen here yet. Yes, my watch is considerably more than 260 quid, but then I wear it every day, bash it off things left, right and centre, expect it to survive at 40m depths in cold water when diving and generally keep working regardless of the dumbass shit I do to it. I paid for top end hardcore mechanical engineering.

    Not for fluff and fanfare for an item of delicate electronics that can't do half of what my SonyEricsson can but looks infinitely prettier.

    Let's keep the comparisons pertinent.

    Oh, and just to upset the Apple fanbois - I can't stand Microshaft either.

  89. Danny Traynor

    Alright already.

    I have to wonder why, every time there's an iPhone article the same old hats come out and bash it EVERY time.

    We get it! You don't like it! You prefer your WM or S60 device more! You have to send the funny picture of that bloke being sick outside the pub immediately to everyone you know!

    DON'T BUY ONE! Just get over it. In the spirit of Christmas, live and let live!!

    Admit it though, deep deep down inside, you really, really want one but it just ain't cool to like Apple ;)

  90. Ben 'SBB' Taylor


    It's a shit phone. People need to get over it

  91. AnHero


    what's an iPhone? 0_o

  92. Howard

    N95 has already sold 4m units

  93. elder norm

    Really??? :-)

    ""In fact, I have to wonder if most of these posts are Microsoft shills who get paid to trash Apple."

    FFS, I wondered how long it would take for an Apple fanboy to come out with that old chestnut.

    What an ass hat."

    Speaking to the MS fanboy / linux fanboy that left that message:

    Hey, when I read articles that come right out of the "be an Apple hater for fun and profit" handbook, I have to assume the obvious. :-)

    Like said above, If you do not like Apple products, fine. Just do not buy them. Apple fans get tired of people that only speak up against Apple products. No positive input, just "it sucks cause........ and its Apple. "

    You do not see Apple admirers putting down other products. If you like Microsoft junk or like building your own PC from the ground up, ...... fine. I enjoy Apple products because I have more to do than patch my computer all the time, or spend days trying to get my cell phone to do its "extra things".

    Elder Norm

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    further to my last post....

    People who understand Apple also realize that a phone is a device for making phone calls. Apple have produced an amazing phone for doing just that and have added some features further to that of a standard phone.

    If I want to take a picture I use a camera, a video I use a video camera, serious and prolonged web access I use my mac powerbook and so on.

    Do the same people dissing the iphone whinge on about their olympus mju being unable to make phone calls?

    Frankly its' generally only kids and perverts who use phone cameras and due to the increasing quality of the cameras and ability to send captured images, those two groups of people are getting frighteningly closer all the time.

    Well done Apple for making a phone a phone!

  95. Anonymous Coward

    @Elder Norm

    'You do not see Apple admirers putting down other products.'


    WTF planet do you live on? All you ever hear is 'problem with MS, buy a Mac', 'Linux to complicated, buy a Mac they are so user friendly', 'Problems? Wouldn't have happened with a Mac'

    But they really sulk when the boot is on the other foot

  96. Danny Thompson
    Jobs Halo

    Still waiting for some objectivity .....

    ... to these comments. All I can read so far is "I hate Apple" or "I love Apple" with a smattering of "I hate you too..." for good measure.

    The article was about the Cynical Europeans not buying the iPhone in droves. Fair enough, that does seem to be the case as you can walk into any official outlet and pick one up there and then. But that does not necessarily mean that the Europeans have taken a cynical approach to the new device. There are many factors at work, not the least being the strange paradigm of having to buy a handset in addition to a contract.

    In the UK, at least, that is currently an extraordinary situation. We are generally given [even high end] handsets as part and parcel of the contract. Some choose to buy SIM-free at full manufacturer price (£450+ for the classic N95) but the majority of us take it in contract, sometimes for an initial fee. The N95, again, was usually £100 initial fee on a contract although it is now generally free of charge.

    I do believe that the Apple iPhone's £267 is a very fair up-front charge for the device. The O2 contract is not all that bad either when taking into consideration the overall product. Most UK operators still charge extraordinary amounts for mobile data (Orange being the current joker in the pack).

    That the iPhone is not a world-beating technology marvel is indisputable. It is, overall, rather average in the phone department. But it has its creditable features, not the least being the screen size, the unique UI, the browser even with its limitations and the close coupling with Apple's OS X Tiger and Leopard. The latter may not make much sense to the PC world, but then again WM devices tend not to interface too easily with OS X without some additional expense and effort.

    I wonder, objectively, how many other manufacturers of mobile handsets brought out anything close to the iPhone in terms of its very apparent technological milestones and overall build quality. That in a first generation product. I mean, FFS poor old NEC [for example] still cannot get it right even after all the years that it has been manufacturing the devices. LG try, oh they try, but are blighted by quirky OS in their entire range. The actual number of successful and capable mobile manufacturers is quite limited really - although there are many out there. That Apple are held up to Nokia's light I think is an accolade for Apple by the naysayers. Nokia being the undisputed world champions are years ahead of Apple in terms of market share. So a comparison is not only futile but also lacks objectivity, it serves only to obsfucate - perhaps on purpose to try an score points in a pointless game.

    In the end Apple will bring out successive generations of iPhone. As it does so the technology will improve and, perhaps, cater for a wider spread of the buying population. Unfortunately, I predict, that in its wake will be the same group of naysaying wolves howling futilely into the cold night air.

  97. alphaxion

    and elder norms last comment

    "I enjoy Apple products because I have more to do than patch my computer all the time"

    I'm sorry, but apple produce a fair amount of patches to their software too - every time I boot up my gf's 10.3 based mac it has something new to update, and the itunes I run on my pc (I have been a windows ipod user since the very first generation to support windows, I even had to use ephpod because itunes didn't exist for the pc at that time and musicmatch is a blight on computing) is forever telling me there's a new version.

    I'm guessing you don't have your automatic updates running then ;P

    I grew up with macs and acorns (and it's RISC OS that has my heart when it comes to OS's) and do like a fair amount of their products, but that doesn't mean I have to like or support every apple product regardless, when I see a bad product I will comment on it regardless of who it is from..

    It leads me to notice stark similarities in attitudes between the fevered brand fanboy and the nationalist fruitloops! (just swap "unpatriotic" with "m$ shill" and you even get the same mantra!)

  98. Jason Clery

    @paid shill

    "In fact, I have to wonder if most of these posts are Microsoft shills who get paid to trash Apple."

    Really. What does it pay? How often are we paid? Do we have to do an annual appraisal?

  99. Anonymous Coward

    If you've got an iphone, jailbreak it, and put on - there are absoutely LOADS of third party apps out there, the quality is improving every day, and this neat little program tells you when one of your installed programs has been updated - installs are an absolute breeze.

    And as this forum has been mainly about MMS/SMS - there are a whole bunch of the 3rd party apps that cover this off!

  100. Sigurd Hogsbro

    Ludicrous O2 charges

    I have been using my iPhone since early December, accessing email via IMAP. My account just got barred for spending £323 over my monthly line rental this month. My O2 web 'Recent Charges' just shows the initial £36.16 charge, no breakdown of these charges. I am being told to pay £300 to reactivate the phone, with no basis for the claims. There was no call, email or SMS to tell me the phone was barred from further use.

    This is hardly 'unlimited' use. I love the iPhone but I'm not impressed with O2.

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