back to article O2 misses iPhone targets

02 has shifted 190,000 iPhones in its first two months of sales, just short of its target of 200,000. Neither O2 nor the Carphone Warehouse, which sells the handsets, would comment on the figures which were leaked to the FT. But it did tell the paper the handset was its best selling ever by a large margin. Carphone Warehouse …


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  1. Michael Jolly

    Still waiting ....

    ....for the 3G iPhone till then i will make do with my LG KU990 Viewty

  2. Alastair Dodd
    Jobs Horns

    3G is only one of the features needed

    I'd say the main one is not being totally ripped off as 270 plus one of the poorest 30 quid 18 month contacts seen in years is just a joke and makes me laugh at anyone who has bothered to be ripped off like that.

  3. Lloyd


    I've only ever seen 1 person with one and I travel on public transport every day, maybe they're only owned by people who drive?

  4. Glenn Gilbert

    Never see them on the train

    I haven't seen one being used on a train yet. I've seen lots of CrackBerries. The only people I've seen with them are 'leading edge' developers & geeks. I've seen no 'normal' people with one.

    "The fastest selling phone". Yeah right. Like the N95 et al haven't sold anywhere near that number. Even phone shop salesmen will admit that the iPhone is a slow seller.

    Haven't seen any porcine aviators with an iPhone either.

  5. Matthew Morrison

    @ Alastair Dodd

    It's not too bad a plan really - at least O2 have decent coverage in Northern Ireland, unlike some of the other networks.

  6. Kenny Millar

    Just waiting for iPhone 2

    Next year, or possibly even this summer, Steve Jobs will give a keynote speech in which he first tells us how many iPhones have shipped, then admits that some parts of the package weren't that great and then reveals iPhone2 - with 3G, Pay as you go, flexible contract terms and a whole load more ram for iTunesy stuff.

    So just as world+dog launches their 'iPhone Killer' Apple will launch the 'iPhone Killer Killer'.

    I think the iPhone is a distinct example of deliberately holding features back for the 2nd generation. They knew exactly what they had to deliver and they did that. It's makes them look great when then release the 2nd gen iPhone.

    All this from me, the worlds biggest mac head. And no, I don't have an iPhone. I may be a mac head, but I am not an idiot.

  7. Rob Griggs-Taylor

    We're not daft...

    Personally I was quite ambivalent about the iPhone until I tried one in the Apple Store. Now I want one but I'm not buying now because (a) my contract isn't finished yet and I'm not paying for two, particularly when (b) they've already said a 3G version will be released relatively soon.

    Given that the lack of 3G seems to be the only significant weakness in the handset it would be daft not to wait for that to be fixed before throwing a load of money at Apple and O2.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    And maybe people that don't want to advertise the fact they have an iPhone and get it snatched? Sort of like the iPod users that don't use the white earphones that came with it.

  9. Spleen

    Target market

    190,000 surprised me at first - given that we and the Europeans understand mobiles far too well to buy an outdated overpriced paperweight like the iPhone, I thought the number sold in the UK should be closer to 19. Then I remembered that there are Americans in Britain too. Some rigorous intertubes research later and I find that there are 220,000 Americans living in Britain. Mystery solved.

  10. Ross

    Wrong market

    I'm not sure even the iPhone 2 will see the heady US style sales here in Europe. Paying for the hand set puts it at a distinct disadvantage, texting will always be a bit of a struggle, and it's too darned big! Geek chic not geek brick plx.

    Frankly I just wish Nokia would re-release the 3210 or 8310 with colour screen, Java, 1000 hours battery life and about 75% of the depth taken out. I'd be there like a shot. Man I loved my 3210...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The iPhone will be nice...

    ...when it's finished. It's obviously a rushed product with the absolute basics of phone functionality. (The iPod part looks quite polished though). America being as telephonically backwards as it is obviously lapped it up like a remote tribe of technologically devoid pgymies being introduced to things like television for the first time but in Europe we are used to things like '3G' and 'Copy and Paste'.

    I personally am curious as to exactly how blatent the flip flops will be from the fanboys who insist that 3G is not required for the iPhone once the 3G version appears. Will they trade in their online IDs for new usernames to avoid the shame I wonder?

  12. Chris

    Nostalgy to phone

    Eh I still have a 2002 6310i! Does all i want but taking pics but all the new phones are do damm small ya know?

    I wish they would make the phones a bit bigger like the 6310i a true work horse!

  13. MrT

    We've been down this line before...

    ...but there's the issue of the camera as well as the connectivity. For a media-focussed handset, there's no video capture capability, no flash, fairly basic functionality on the 2meg unit that's installed. Add to that being restricted about what can be uploaded to websites, and the crippled SMS/MMS functions - all stuff that would annoy anyone with a reasonably specced handset from the past couple of years (SE K800, N71 etc).


    They are really nice to use, (I know three users), and do the seamless switching between WiFi/Edge without a fuss. Even the screen keyboard is fairly accurate. Adding all that stuff would ruin battery life. Adding a larger capacity cell means bulking out the case, and style afficionado's (surely Apple's prime market with this) might not like it as much...

  14. Dave

    why does everyone care so much about 3G?

    Why do you all say, when its got 3G it'll be so much better etc? It's not that great a technology it just allows you to surf the internet a bit faster and make video phone calls....

    Does anyone seriously use the internet on their mobile (on the phone or through laptop) that much?? And if you do just buy a USB modem on a decent data tariff.

    And well I cant think of anyone that actually makes video calls

  15. Law
    Paris Hilton


    So exactly whats the point in a mobile phone you can't even use even on a commuter train without being mugged?! lol... maybe apple should stop hyping their products, its like they hate their fans so much they just want them all dead and/or poor.

    Incidently, I was disgusted in a recent series (called Moonlight) - everybody in the program has a iPhone or a mac... and the worst thing was somebody gets kidnapped, so quick as a flash somebody calls their hacker buddy and goes "we need to find him" - "No problem, his phone has gps in it, it will take me 45 seconds to find him"......

    PURE MARKETING LIES!!!! Well, apart from the hacked in 45 seconds bit! :D

  16. Andy

    3G? Meh.

    The iPhone's EDGE connection is faster than any 3G phone I've ever owned (this is not an exaggeration), because of a combination of a piss-poor 3G network over here, slow phones that can't render pages at anything above glacial speed, and possibly the number of handsets on the network (seeing as the iPhone pretty much has the EDGE network to itself). Anyway, the iPhone has wifi too...

    Couldn't give a damn if you like the iPhone or not (though it sounds like most of the people bashing it haven't tried it - it's really not about the feature list, it's the software, stupid) but can we please stop pretending 3G is some kind of network nirvana? It's slow at best.

  17. Henry Jenkins
    Jobs Halo

    never buy first gen...


    I'm a bit of an apple nut.... my ipod touch is my 5th ipod... it's great... and with the new software update for email etc it's even better... i don't find typing on them difficult at all especially with the autocorrect/dictionary thing.

    the software update makes me want to buy an iphone even more - however - firstly i'd never buy something 1st gen (you could argue that the touch is 1st gen but it's not quite, not in the same same way that the iphone is) but 8mb? no good. Rubbish camera? No good. No flash! no good. No choice and therefore competition on network? *cough*pricefix*cough*

    i love apple stuff but that doesn't make me deaf, dumb (in either meaning) and blind

    I love apple so much i bought a ps3 just because i'd be boycotting the xbox360.... lol JOKE!!!!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    oh look, an article on the iPhone..

    Since I neither have one or want one and because I have a strange pathological hatred for a iPod I'll not only read the article but rush to write a comment stating exactly the same things that 15 million other people have stated in previous posts. Can all the iPhone/Apple haters please just go and get a life?? ITS A PHONE FFS!!!!

    We all know it doesn't have 3G (which is hopeless anyway, well it is where I live and will ruin the battery life), we all know it doesn't do video capture (had it, never used it) or video calling (likewise), the tarriff isn't to everyones tastes if you spend every minute of your life on the phone, for normal people its just fine and with unlimited real internet browsing its more than reasonable.

    To answer someones question on internet usage, no, I didn't use it on my phone until I got an iPhone, since my rubbish tarriff has unlimited data and free wireless (also connects to my own wireless network instantly), and my rubbish phone has a full browser (apart from the annoying lack of Flash, but I have faith that'll come). My iPhone is a web browser first, iPod second and a phone third.

    I like it, you don't, now move along and get on with your lives, getting your blood pressure raised about an ipod/phone just isn't worth it (and its more than a little bit sad).

  19. Olly Molyneux


    Spot on chaps.

    I have an iPhone too and I love it. And I like to think I'm pretty normal. Yeah, it cost me, but I can afford it so boo. The Edge is excellent and fast enough for most things that you would need. I used to have a 3G vodafone datacard and that was pretty rubbish as it would drop down to GPRS speeds if it could not connect, which was most of the time. Give me Edge any day to be honest.

  20. Risky

    Mobile Internet

    Well on my commute in (to waterloo), there are a lot of people using mobile internet, maybe most on vodafone PC cards, but some like me via a handset. (T-mobile MDA Vario-II). I also use it on the mobile to find things on the hoof (or surf to site blocked at work).

    Still I don't get the iPhone - except as a posing tool. It's got a great interface, apparently, but to what? It's not fully equipped for mobile data, it doen't have enough storage to bother putting your music on it (and no doubt won't support .ogg), no variant with a keyboard, no chance of replacing the battery, not very promising or 3rd part apps etc, etc.

    I can't see why anyone would over a Vario-II or N95? I can see from the ads that it has a bunch of fancy gui tricks to impress small boys but that's not what I'm after, I'm afraid.

  21. Greg

    @Henry Jenkins

    You've had FIVE iPods? In 7 years (or 6, seen as you don't buy first gen)?? Why? Did the first four die, or have you just been replacing one inadequate product with another for the past 6 years?

    I've had one DAP. I've only ever bought one DAP, had it 3 or 4 years, and I still use it heavily, daily. Never even needed to replace the battery. I'll restrain myself from fanboyism - *cough* iAudio *cough* - but you might want to rethink your choice next time if you're already on number 5.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For you, the spec sheet is everything. It doesn't matter how well the device does the job, as how many boxes you can tick. I've used Nokias and I was a satisfied BlackBerry Pearl user (on GPRS). Now I have an iPhone and it isn't just what it does - and it does a lot - but how pleasing it is to use. Apple fans get this. some people don't, or perhaps more chairably, don't care. That's fine. It most certainly is equipped for mobile data, and if you used one, you would appreciate that: it does email (certainly to receive) and the internet better than any other mobile device. That it may be slower than a hypothetical 3G device isn't the point because it's acceptably fast, and much more importantly, the output is the real page. It has 8GB, or enough space for about 2,000 songs. That's not enough to "bother" putting your music on it? And Ogg - I could just see that coming. No one uses Ogg except a few people in anoraks. Get over it. Enjoy your N95. I wouldn't. Oh, and I'm buying a MacBook Air. With the SSD drive. Because I can. I know I could buy a Packard Bell monstrosity with the same specs for a quarter of the price at PC World. I must be mad, right?

  23. Christopher Osborne

    @ Andy

    I have a N95, it also uses EDGE and it is a lot slower than 3G.

    Regarding the comment about features/software. The majority of features on a phone are software based such as your web browser, itunes, real player and photo editing. So when people discuss features they are including the software part as well as the hardware and the iphone is missing a lot of software features as well as hardware features.

  24. pctechxp


    Try the SonyEricsson K800i, think its's just what you would have ordered.

    I'll be keeping mine for a good few years.

  25. Steve


    "And maybe people that don't want to advertise the fact they have an iPhone and get it snatched?"

    What's the point of having one if you're scared to use it???? Why would you buy a phone (any phone) and not use it because it might get snatched? If that's your view of the world then you need some ancient, generic Nokia.

    Just for a change, I have used an iPhone and must say that it was very pretty. Didn't really like the interface and it seemed really slow to do anything. The owner was also in the process of lambasting it's call performance and interface speed while I played.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No way did O2 sell 190,000 iPhones. Some reports said O2 shop were selling one per day and CPW shops one per week (2 weeks before Christmas). Why don't O2 tell us what the massive sales were like Orange France did?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Where are the stats from???

    Never mind how good the iPhone is, or not, whichever side of the fence you are on, where does this number of 190,000 come from?

    I may or may not work for a certain company who may or may not be associated with a product that may or may not be being discussed here, and believe me, volume of product sold is Numero Uno secret in all companies involved, so how someone could know how to add up three very secret numbers (apple, O2 and CPW sales) to come to a sensible number, its beyond me, and yet more babble...

  28. Chad H.

    @ risky

    as a former Vario owner,.. The iPhone wins hands down, the browsing experience is better, its not prone to freezes nearly as much (once a fortnight on heavy use compared to once a day on medium use), the screen is bigger, and its not as buggy (the screen persistently kept leaving things out, like the windows icon next to the start button), plus htc's wifi is notoriously crap. Plus when did tmoblie last update the Vario ii rom? 5th of never if memory serves... And no need for a memory card to store small amounts of media.

  29. Christopher Osborne
    Thumb Up


    My sister has that phone bloody good camera on it but I prefer my N95

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    re: "Where are the stats from??? "

    The article states that the sales target of 200,000 was o2's, not the combined target of o2, CPW & Apple.

    Therefore there's no reason to suspect that someone would even need to "know how to add up three very secret numbers (apple, O2 and CPW sales) to come to a sensible number".

  31. Andy Tyzack
    Thumb Up

    60 percent of people dont even know what 3G is. 99 percent of statistics are purely made up.

    no one uses 3g, its a flop, is the iphone? who knows and really lets be honest WHO CARES (why be mystical about the sales figures) steve jobs did say that he has sold 4 million units, but can we please delete all these comments with people commenting about the pissy iphone, (most of whom have never touched the thing, never mind used it.

    Also, you cannot judge a product on usability by sitting in an o2 shop on a saturday afternoon for a mere 5 minutes.personally im sick to death of hearing about it.


  32. Anonymous Coward

    re:re: "Where are the stats from???"

    to another Anonymous Coward (Like me)

    The sales target may or may not have been 200,000 what I'm saying is, how can anyone know 190,000 is what has been sold, as three companies sell the phone, and none of them are sharing the sold number internally or externally.

    I work at one of the companies, and only board members know the numbers, so how can anyone know the total, board members love secrets...

    It's all bull...

  33. Henry Jenkins


    LOL, think you missed my irony greg, you need to get that tongue firmly in cheek. you can't flame someone who's saying "i'm a mac fan i've had 5 ipods" when i never stated that it was actually a positive experience!! i can see how you'd misread it tho :) some were great, some were rubbish (build quality etc. replaced under warranty) always said i'd get something solid state as soon as capacity went 16mb+ and that just happened to be the touch. should be pointed out though that mine get HAMMERED - i have a dension cradle in the car and i plug it through my pc speakers at work so were talking ipods that have averaged a MINIMUM of 4-5 hours EVERY day - and the downside on the dension cradle is you can't stop it from charging so the batteries get knackered twice as fast. couldn't give a monkey's whether you've owned 1 mp3 player or 37 thousand - this isn't about ipods it's about not buying a first gen iphone - you're getting a little off topic and taking my moderately self deprecating "i love apple" comment way out of context ;)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @ anonymous coward

    "I work at one of the companies, and only board members know the numbers, so how can anyone know the total, board members love secrets...

    It's all bull..."

    The article is in the FT. Board Execs love talking out of turn to FT Journo's. Go figure...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Carousel fraud?

    It could just be that someone has realised there's lots of money to be had in the VAT game, and the same 5000 phones have been 'sold' again and again and again...

    I honestly don't believe the numbers, though they might be true - maybe the financial numbers will show the truth.

    Certainly they don't seem to be out in the wild much, no-one I know has one or intends to get one, and this includes the uber phone junkies who always get the latest toys.

  36. John Munyard


    I'm sorry but if they've sold 190,000 units how is it that no-one I know has one and I've yet to see one?

    I sense... bullshit...

  37. c

    90K sales per month aint that good

    if 90K per month ih the runup to christmas is O2's "best ever device" then they are in serious trouble. While this is a"good" figure it 'aint great. In fact it is damn poor in some respects for a carrier with 18M odd subscribers

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    its only supposed to be a phone+gadget...

    When I moved to the US 4 years ago, I was appalled at its "cellphone" experience and cost compared to Germany and France. I've recently got an iPhone and think it is quite good at what it aims to be -- an easy-to-use mobile/iPod/web-browser. For someone actively shedding neurons, its ease-of-use is a real plus. Unlike the Handspring and Treos I've had in the past, it has way too few apps, but what it does, it does very very well, and its changed my day in little but enjoyable ways. For example, I check weather from bed in the morning and now actually enjoy viewing youtubes while on the move. Its alarm has replaced my 20 year old travellers alarm clock (unlike all past mobiles that were phones/organizers, not fun gadgets). And its a reasonably good phone (better than the Skype i use from my desk). So, a bit more pleasure in life, never needed to look at a manual, and a phone that lets me review messages in an easy way and once again sync well with a mac --- not earthshaking, but better. I'd recommend one to any 'normal' person looking for an easy and good (and too expensive) mobile phone. I suspect that in a few years, all multi-feature phones will be iPhone wannabes -- and better than they are now.

  39. Danny Thompson
    Paris Hilton

    The iPhone is crap ....

    yadda yadda yadda .... Any article on the beastie brings out the same old faces like fish to groundbait. Gawd, do you lot stand on Speakers Corner on a weekly basis, dragging out the same old tired prejudices?

    The iPhone is what it is. If you don't like it then that is just fine and dandy. But for as many as 190,000 who used one particular outlet it is apparently good enough for them. And why dispute the figure published in the FT? Are you seriously suggesting that you know better? Get real, take the tin foil hats off and give it up!

    I have an iPhone, so do several work colleagues. I also have an N95. Where there are touchpoints between the two the iPhone wins hands down over the N95 - and don't forget this is a 1st gen product compared against Nokia who were in the game from the start. But in other ways the N95 scores over the iPhone, and that is fine for those that need such features.

    3G on the iPhone would be nice, but is not vital to what it does and sets out to do (which is no secret). But if all you're ever going to do is trade spec sheets then you're never going to be able to make a sensible practical comparison. As if one needs to be made anyway. It is all so very pointless.

    So deal with it, 190,000 sold by O2, great. Possibly similar amounts sold by the other outlets, great too. But really, who apart from the analysts cares? I've got mine, I'm happy with it. You've got whatever it is you have, so enjoy. But keep the "mine is bigger and better than yours" for the playground.

    Paris for all the rabid iPhone/Apple haters - for all their similarly vacuous utterings.

  40. Andy Worth

    Re:Haven't seen one in public.....

    You'll probably find that the reason you don't see any in public is because the owners know that any time they put it on public display, they open themselves up to muggings from pimply-faced chavs. If I had one, I wouldn't ever show it in public for fear of it being nicked, which kind of defeats the object....

  41. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    But what is a sale?

    Jobs says he's sold 4 million - and I'm sure he has. To resellers. He can honestly claim enormous sales even if not a single iPhone ends up in the hands of a user, or even gets shipped from the factory. he has made a sale.

    What about 02? I don't know how thier business model works, but they may well have sold 190,000 phones to CPW. Again, they've made a sale of 190,000 units, even if CPW still have 189,999 still sit in CPW store rooms.

    And as for CPW - are CPW shops franchises? If they are, CPW Head Office can claim to have sold whatever number, and again they're correct - they've sold them.

    A much more interesting question is "How many people are actually using an iPhone?" and the man On The Clapham Omnibus (Hammersmith & District line tube/Network Southwest train) says "not many"

    I've had a play with an iPhone in the Apple store in Birmingham. The user interface is wonderful and I'm strongly tempted, but it would simply be replacing one block I have to carry with another. If it had enough ram to replace my mp3 player two, so I'd be replacing two bricks with one - that would be much more tempting...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lack of information is information

    Given that O2 have not said officially how many they have sold tell me that the sales are lower than 190k. Orange France have publicised their sales figures because they sold 70k in the first month. Apple restrictions don't apply if the news is good news!

    And remember 1 million mobile phones were sold in December in the UK - this puts the iPhones sales in context. The iPhone is not as compelling as some claim.

  43. Risky
    Jobs Horns

    @ Chad and Coward

    Ogg - yes I use it, would be mad not to give the size/quality advantage over MP3. Is one automatically an Anorak if you choose a non-apple audio player?

    YEs T-mobile released a WM6 upgrade for the Vario-II (and some others)- it's on their site, or you can install any of a range of home-cooked versions.

    Clearly given the fact that every iphone user has discovered that 3G isn't needed then the iPhone-3G is pointless.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    re the stats

    well now then i happen to work at a place that i cannot discuss here, and believe me, each exec has a PA and each PA is more than happy to discuss such things with me as I unjam her fax machine, re network her secure printer, etc.

    In our business, as any true BOFH knows, there are NO secrets.

    Interestingly 190000 is a little higher than I had actually been led to believe ...

  45. Mark


    "O 2 said shortly before the iPhone's UK launch on November 9 that it expected handset sales of 200,000 in the first two months, but people familiar with the situation said the actual figure for the first eight weeks was about 190,000."

    2 months: 9 Nov to 8 Jan = 61 days

    8 weeks = 56 days

    190,000 in 56 days = 3393/day. At that rate they'd have sold 206,900 or so in the 61 days that make up the two months.

    Just sayin'

  46. Danny Thompson

    @ Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    "If it had enough ram to replace my mp3 player two, so I'd be replacing two bricks with one - that would be much more tempting."

    It does, and you could. Unless you are going to carry your entire music collection with you then I reckon that 8GB is quite enough to see you through a few days no bother. Unless your Dr's job is so lightweight that you have sufficient time to listen to all 8GB in a working day, in which case you should get a real job :)

  47. Jim

    Hang on...

    "And remember 1 million mobile phones were sold in December in the UK - this puts the iPhones sales in context. The iPhone is not as compelling as some claim."

    So you are saying that (roughly) 1 in 10 phones sold in December, in the UK, was an iPhone? I'm obviously assuming these figures are correct and this is the comparison that you intended.

    Given that smart phones make up a minority of phone sales, just how many high (over?) priced devices needed to be flogged for it to be considered compelling?


    I think you may be being a little on the pedantic side, rather than simply accepting journalistic license ;-)

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