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Apple's London flagship still warming initial iPhone supply?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
The slower than expected adoption of Apple Inc.'s iPhone amongst UK consumers may be most apparent at the company's local home base in London, where its largest flagship retail store is reportedly still working off initial inventories of the touch-screen handset.

Speaking to AppleInsider, an anonymous source claims the Cupertino-based company's high-profile retail store on Regent Street as of this week was still sitting on iPhone stock received ahead of the UK launch earlier this month.

The shipment of several thousand iPhones, received just prior to the November 9th roll-out, has since been moving slowly, at a rate of less than 100 per day, the source said.

Given that the prominent Regent Street shop is the largest of Apple's thirteen UK-based locations -- and also the largest Apple retail store worldwide -- those sales figures are considered "very poor," the source added.

A recent report suggested that Apple's exclusive UK iPhone carrier O2 activated just 26,500 iPhones during the handset's first two weeks of availability, well below internal expectations rumored in the ballpark of 100,000 units.

So what's to blame for the glacial pace of adoption thus far? According to market research firm GfK Group, it may have a lot to do with the handset's cost of 269 pounds ($554), which it claims is rather steep in the face of UK consumers who are not used to paying in excess of 200 pounds for a phone.

According to the firm's recent survey, 72 percent of respondents said that they would not buy an iPhone solely due to the price. In fact, only 2 percent said they were even considering placing the iPhone on their Christmas lists.

Potentially compounding matters may be early gripes from consumers about the quality of the signal iPhone's are receiving from O2's wireless network in the UK and the fact that the phone can not be used with rival service carriers.

Customers on Apple's discussion forums are blowing off steam, reporting that they are having reception issues, and that it appears to be the iPhone itself causing the problems. Some users are switching from an older handset to the iPhone, and noticing the drop in reception, whereas others are merely wandering around, watching the signal typically fluctuate between zero and three bars.

Curiously, when the iPhone is attached to the charging dock, reception increases to five bars for those users. In general, software restores have helped in some cases, and new phones have reportedly helped in others.

Still, the early adoption woes are noting new for Apple and its iPhone. The U.S. launch of the handset back in June was similarly marred by service related issues when AT&T's activation system left thousands of customers frustrated and unable to properly use their new phones. Initial sales also failed to meet Apple's internal expectations, spurring an unprecedented $200 price cut on the handsets just 8 weeks later, eventually getting the ball rolling.

That price cut and questions of whether UK customers could expect a similar move following the local iPhone launch were some of the topics reporters discussed with Apple chief executive Steve Jobs ahead of this month's UK iPhone launch.

Specifically, Jobs was asked what assurance UK customers have that Apple isn't going to turn around in two months and announce a dramatic iPhone price cut like it did in the U.S.

"I don't think that's going to happen," Jobs said, "but in technology there are no guarantees."
post #2 of 47
Of course it's not selling - it's way under-spec. There are LOADS of 3G devices to choose from, and many have GPS. Neither are in the iPhone.

And it can't work as a modem for by MacBook Pro, so I have to keep a data contract on my 3G laptop gadget, and couldn't afford a 2nd data contract.

And, O2 are a bag o' shite.

I don't understand the bleating about price though, it's only 70quid more than a same-capacity iPod touch.
post #3 of 47
I'm surprised by this news, the iPhone is too expensive and lacks important features like 3G and MMS.

Most people I know seem less bothered by battery life worries than by the lack of 3G so it's bizarre that Apple didn't include 3G because of battery life concerns.
post #4 of 47
I'm not sure it's fully the cost, the iPhone plans are pretty unattractive too.

£35\t200m/200txt
£45\t600m/500txt
£55 1200m/500txt

Yes you get the 'unlimited data' but that's not something people think of when they look at a plan it's voice and texts. You don't have to go far to look at alternative tariffs .. just look at O2.

£15 200m/400txt no phone but no contract

Free SE K850i 5Mp Cybershot phone
- Online 35 - £35 600m/1000txt 18 Month Tariff
- Online 40 - £40 600m/100txt 12 Month Tariff

Just a couple of examples, their are many other permutations.
post #5 of 47
Lets be honest.

Most consumers are idiots.

They do not realise that it is a iPod you would pay £xx for as well as a phone so don't see it like that.

They see it as £269 for a phone
post #6 of 47
BUT O2 is rubbish

Orange.. good deals
Vodafone more expensive but best coverage
02 worst of both worlds.

it's no surprise to me. I used to be with 02 and gave up on it when there was no reception in city centre glasgow... and all of us used to 3G data aren't going to take a step back, no matter how good the iphone is otherwise.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pashazade View Post

I'm not sure it's fully the cost, the iPhone plans are pretty unattractive too.

£35\t200m/200txt
£45\t600m/500txt
£55 1200m/500txt

Yes you get the 'unlimited data' but that's not something people think of when they look at a plan it's voice and texts. You don't have to go far to look at alternative tariffs .. just look at O2.

£15 200m/400txt no phone but no contract

Free SE K850i 5Mp Cybershot phone
- Online 35 - £35 600m/1000txt 18 Month Tariff
- Online 40 - £40 600m/100txt 12 Month Tariff

Just a couple of examples, their are many other permutations.

That is absurd. It's almost as if Apple is demanding cold hard cash per month rather than a % of tarrifs.
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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

So what's to blame for the glacial pace of adoption thus far? According to market research firm GfK Group, it may have a lot to do with the handset's cost of 269 pounds ($554), which it claims is rather steep in the face of UK consumers who are not used to paying in excess of 200 pounds for a phone.

Well, I'm a UK potential customer who'd absolutely love an iPhone, but I'm not going to get one in the foreseeable future.

As far as I'm concerned, the problem is the price of the contract, not the price of the phone. The phone's great, and if I could just buy the phone for 269 pounds then I'd snap one up, as I think that's a perfectly reasonable price for the hardware. The killer for me is the contract, because (a) it's a huge price to pay and (b) I'm not nearly a heavy enough phone user to justify the cost of it (nor could I afford to spend that kind of money in my current situation).

Currently I've got a mobile phone with a pay-as-you-go contract, and that's all I need or really want, phone-wise. I realise that it would be very difficult to organise a pay-as-you-go contract for the iPhone because it's a smartphone, so you're paying for a service that includes a great deal more than just calls. But nevertheless, some form of affordable pay-as-you-go tariff is what I'd like, rather than a wallet-incinerating contract.

I suppose the answer for someone like me is to buy an iPod touch. But I don't really want one of those. The point about the iPhone is that it's everything in one device, it's generally nicer than the touch, and it would replace my phone. The touch has more memory (another reason to wait for the next model of iPhone), but apart from that the iPhone is better. The touch has no camera and no phone, and I'd like both of those features. I'd just like them in a device with a reasonable 'pay for use' contract rather than the painfully expensive contract that's currently in place.

The iPhone is great for high-powered business users and people with money to burn, but I would like to see Apple and its phone partners realise that there's a big market for the phone out there amongst people who don't want (or can't afford) to be saddled with that horrendous contract. If I could pay for the calls I make and the data I transfer then I'd be buy one without hesitation, because my already low phone usage would make it perfectly affordable, and it'd do everything I want. But that kind of arrangement would be logistically far more difficult for the phone company (O2) to cope with, I'm sure.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by waytogobuddy View Post

That is absurd. It's almost as if Apple is demanding cold hard cash per month rather than a % of tarrifs.

Yup, basically a premium of £20 a month to get the same minutes/text + the cost of the iPhone. I wouldn't mind paying for the phone ... but not the tariff. That's an extra £360 on top. It's worth holding out for the French unlocked iPhones.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hallas View Post

Well, I'm a UK potential customer who'd absolutely love an iPhone, but I'm not going to get one in the foreseeable future.

As far as I'm concerned, the problem is the price of the contract, not the price of the phone. The phone's great, and if I could just buy the phone for 269 pounds then I'd snap one up, as I think that's a perfectly reasonable price for the hardware. The killer for me is the contract, because (a) it's a huge price to pay and (b) I'm not nearly a heavy enough phone user to justify the cost of it (nor could I afford to spend that kind of money in my current situation).

Currently I've got a mobile phone with a pay-as-you-go contract, and that's all I need or really want, phone-wise. I realise that it would be very difficult to organise a pay-as-you-go contract for the iPhone because it's a smartphone, so you're paying for a service that includes a great deal more than just calls. But nevertheless, some form of affordable pay-as-you-go tariff is what I'd like, rather than a wallet-incinerating contract.

I suppose the answer for someone like me is to buy an iPod touch. But I don't really want one of those. The point about the iPhone is that it's everything in one device, it's generally nicer than the touch, and it would replace my phone. The touch has more memory (another reason to wait for the next model of iPhone), but apart from that the iPhone is better. The touch has no camera and no phone, and I'd like both of those features. I'd just like them in a device with a reasonable 'pay for use' contract rather than the painfully expensive contract that's currently in place.

The iPhone is great for high-powered business users and people with money to burn, but I would like to see Apple and its phone partners realise that there's a big market for the phone out there amongst people who don't want (or can't afford) to be saddled with that horrendous contract. If I could pay for the calls I make and the data I transfer then I'd be buy one without hesitation, because my already low phone usage would make it perfectly affordable, and it'd do everything I want. But that kind of arrangement would be logistically far more difficult for the phone company (O2) to cope with, I'm sure.

I agree, I think the price of the phone is fair for what you get, after all I paid £269 for an iPod touch which does have more memory but a lot less features. The issue for me was the cost of the contract. I simply will not use 200 minutes or 200 texts so £35 would be money down the drain for me. I have a company phone which I use in the week so I only need a personal phone for the weekends. If they had a tarriff that met my requirements, i.e. less minutes / texts but unlimited data then I would be interested.

Ian
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by parky View Post

The issue for me was the cost of the contract. I simply will not use 200 minutes or 200 texts so £35 would be money down the drain for me.
Ian

For me it's the opposite. I use a lot of minutes per month but the £55 tariff is just not a sensible price.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post

Lets be honest.

Most consumers are idiots.

They do not realise that it is a iPod you would pay £xx for as well as a phone so don't see it like that.

They see it as £269 for a phone

Unfortunately with the widespread convergence going on, this argument doesn't hold much water with the "idiot" consumer. For example, an N95 has 8GB, plays movies & music, yet it's selling as a phone. The iPhone may be an iPod variation, but it's now competing against phones, not mp3 players.

An unfortunate truth of the iPhone is that for many people it's never going to replace their iPod - 8GB just doesn't cut it, I don't want to go from some 5,500 songs on my 60GB iPod that I can shuffle each day to less than 1,000 (much less if I include some movies) that I have to chop & change constantly.

So, much as the iPod aspect of it is beautifully executed and the screen is wonderful for movies, it's not an either/or purchase. A great many consumers still would need both. Therefore it's sales demographic is the mobile phone market, not the iPod market and it needs to be priced to target this specific market.

I'd love one... I really would... I've played with them and enjoyed the experience, but even the lowest priced contract is £10 more than I'm paying with vodafone (250 mins / 250 txt / 120MB 'net) AND I didn't have to pay for my last handset (N80) so over 18 months that's 18 * 10 + 269 = £449 for the luxury of an under-capacity, not-quite-capable phone/ipod on an inferior network.

I'd have to be an idiot to pay that kind of money. It's interesting that the "unlocked" iPhones go on eBay for approx. £350 - that's the market setting its price, and Apple need to listen. They have to achieve close to that point (or slightly more) for a "genuine" unlocked phone in the UK market, then they'd be selling like hot cakes.

Just my 2p...
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post

Lets be honest.

Most consumers are idiots.

They do not realise that it is a iPod you would pay £xx for as well as a phone so don't see it like that.

They see it as £269 for a phone

Does your username refer to the Fiat Tipo Sedicivalvole?

I don't think you are correct. As an iPod, it would be worthless to many, as the capacity is not very great, so that 'feature' is of little use to anyone who needs the capacity of a HD based iPod. If you look at the total cost of ownership of this thing - purchase price + 18 months worth of contract, this thing is ludicrously expensive. Then there are all the areas where it is deficient compared to it's competitors - a 2mp camera in a phone costing that much? It is almost funny in a sad way.

Do you even get an unlocked phone you can use any way you like at the end of the contract?
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pashazade View Post

For me it's the opposite. I use a lot of minutes per month but the £55 tariff is just not a sensible price.

I'm on the same boat - you're already paying a premium for the handset but a premium price plan to continue using it? It's absurd. I really hope they lower the tariffs: I wonder if they'll admit defeat and do it before Christmas. The unlimited data plans can't add that extra £10 (Anytime 200 vs. iPhone £35)- they could even add that as a 'bolt-on' (which they love offering me every time I phone them) and drop the tariff!
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post

Lets be honest.

Most consumers are idiots.

They do not realise that it is a iPod you would pay £xx for as well as a phone so don't see it like that.

They see it as £269 for a phone

iPhone is basically a smart phone anyway, I think it's plainly obvious just by its appearance.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hallas View Post

Well, I'm a UK potential customer who'd absolutely love an iPhone, but I'm not going to get one in the foreseeable future.

Congratulations, you have succinctly summed up everything I feel about the iPhone and what is wrong with its European sales model. There are good reasons why most phones in Europe are pre-paid. If it were sold as hardware, as opposed to a cash cow revenue stream generator, Apple would be selling them by the tonne.

By the time Apple gets around to a product for the pre-paid market, the opposition may have beaten them to it.
post #17 of 47
We can talk about specifics, but ultimately the issue is that we in the UK are far more used to genuinely good deals, on tariffs and handsets, than many other countries. This is because of the relatively early nationwide adoption of mobile/cell phone networks compared to many other countries, the benefit of being geographically close to Nokia while being a better market than Scandanavia and of there being a long-running, and consumer-benefitting, retail war for our money. In comparision to the US market our phones and calls cost, and more importantly our expectations of these things, is lower. Plus of course as already mentioned we have a much more embedded 3G network due to a handy combination of terratory size vs. economy vs. a degree of consumer demand, that has us as a nation aware of the benefits of 3G over other nations awareness.

Simply put, we know it's not a top-spec phone NOR a class-leading deal, when one of these criteria is met then I'll consider one for myself.

Obviously there's a new radio chip on it's way in early '07 that provides the same 3G+ functionality as the current options but using 25-33% of the power which will be of great benefit to iPhone 2.0, as would better MS Exchange integration and a choice of apps/games. These will come of course, alongside large memory capacities and most will be happy.
post #18 of 47
While I think the iPhone is a brilliant concept and very Apple-like in its UI, I'm afraid Apple is getting too greedy and seems determined to screw us customers more and more.

Apart from the ludicrous tariffs, it lacks too many features. Add the missing features most of the competition already have, and make the tariffs comparable to existing schemes, then I'll buy one, not before. This is not like Apple to screw up like this, this is a worrying trend which I hope sensible consumers in Europe will put a stop to.
post #19 of 47
I'm glad I see I'm not alone from the above comments. Apple/O2 - your tariffs suck! Get real and we'll all get an iPhone. I'm daily waiting news of an unlocked UK version. Then I will just pop in my current SIM (O2 contract - 600mins/1000 txts a month which rollover into next month, long weekends (free calls all Saturday, Sunday and Monday) - all for £35 per month) and I'm sorted.
post #20 of 47
Richard Hallas, and others, have just about hit the mark with their analysis of the issue.

Apple have moved to issue OSX upgrades on a 18 month basis -and each release adds a few features to entice you to pay what is in effect a subscription for the software rather than a one-off purchase. Given the crud from M$ this scheme has been doing very well for Apple.

It seems to me that Apple have been looking for revenue stream from this device for as long as it has the edge on the competition.

I paid 365 pounds for the iPod when it first came out so the price of a vastly superior device like the iPhone isn't the issue - its the attempt to turn me into a monthly revenue stream that I dislike and its something that Apple appears to have slipped into as it has grown and become more successful. Share price isn't everything and when you start to pi** off your loyal fan base you are clearly drifting off line.

Apple makes wonderful pro-sumer devices. That is devices for the professional consumer market which have the money to endulge themselves with high tech goodies. But, as professionals we can all see when we are being taken for mugs. Apple isn't selling a corporate device its selling a consumer product aimed at the top 10% earning customers and those who would aspire to be in that bracket. They therefore need to sort their act out, refocus on the professional market. Sell the phone for 350 quid unlocked and with data plans that make sense. When they get to version 2 with a better camera and 3G ( JUST MAKE IT 2mm FATTER andinstall a higher capacity battery !!) they might just get it to take off in Europe.http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...s/1smoking.gif
post #21 of 47
I think the consistency in the reactions of European users in this thread should tell us something about the approach Apple has taken to overseas markets. Either they haven't done their research, or they've chosen to ignore their research. I suspect the latter. Apple has always focused very heavily on its home market in the US, overseas markets have always been an afterthought. Well, fair enough, in the past Apple haven't been that big a company and have needed to focus on their core domestic market.

But the iPhone is different. Europeans (and Canadians) may have got used to being treated like the red-haired stepson when it comes to the Mac, in the end though we all got the same (great) hardware and software and user experience. But the US market for mobile phones is well behind the curve, globally. A mobile phone product created and priced for the US market is simply not going to succeed in other more sophisticated markets. This is obvious. I don't really understand how Apple thought it would? They have to bring more to the table. This is why so many people were surprised that they launched in Europe without 3G. Especially with these insane prices. If Apple wants to be a global player they need to stop thinking like a US-only company.

Either improve the spec, or reduce the price, or better still both. If not, Apple will not compete in Europe, and that would be really sad because the iPhone's UI has the potential to make the mobile comms experience so much better.
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbar View Post

While I think the iPhone is a brilliant concept and very Apple-like in its UI, I'm afraid Apple is getting too greedy and seems determined to screw us customers more and more.

Apart from the ludicrous tariffs, it lacks too many features. Add the missing features most of the competition already have, and make the tariffs comparable to existing schemes, then I'll buy one, not before. This is not like Apple to screw up like this, this is a worrying trend which I hope sensible consumers in Europe will put a stop to.

Sums up my position quite nicely. I have played with the iPhone and just love the browser, iPod apps but can't understand some of the missing features that are really quite basic (SMS, lack of MMS, inadequate synch with Outlook). Some mates say that the signal strength really is an issue and volume isn't loud enough. But, it's the tariffs are just too expensive for me. Its Apple's right to put whatever price they want on it, but Apple/O2 will struggle to have any real impact at these price levels. Cost of ownership is just too high for me especially as it doesnt have the basic features I "need".

I'll wait for competition to address the market need at price points more suitable for me, as I cant see O2 dropping their tariffs given how much flesh Apple wants out of the deal.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbar View Post

While I think the iPhone is a brilliant concept and very Apple-like in its UI, I'm afraid Apple is getting too greedy and seems determined to screw us customers more and more.

Apart from the ludicrous tariffs, it lacks too many features. Add the missing features most of the competition already have, and make the tariffs comparable to existing schemes, then I'll buy one, not before. This is not like Apple to screw up like this, this is a worrying trend which I hope sensible consumers in Europe will put a stop to.

I don't understand how charging more than the market will bear (if that is the case) is behaving like Microsoft or screwing customers.

Is there some kind of lock-in I'm not aware of that obliges OS X users to get an iPhone or no phone at all? Did Apple send out a secret memo explaining that unless people currently using Apple products acquire an iPhone posthaste their laptops and iPods and software will stop working?

If Apple has priced the iPhone too high for British buyers, or if the deal they made with O2 (or just O2 themselves) sets the tariff too high, then Apple or O2 or both have misjudged their market, and will suffer the consequences.

British buyers (even current Mac users) will get to keep their money, Apple will get to keep their iPhones, and (hopefully, if need be) some kind of rethinking will ensue.
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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemster View Post

Unfortunately with the widespread convergence going on, this argument doesn't hold much water with the "idiot" consumer. For example, an N95 has 8GB, plays movies & music, yet it's selling as a phone. The iPhone may be an iPod variation, but it's now competing against phones, not mp3 players.

I think it does hold water, perhaps it was mis construed. As a piece of hardware it is overlooked. People saying they would not buy it cause it is too expensive. When in reality the hardware is a good deal. The contract is a slightly different matter though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Does your username refer to the Fiat Tipo Sedicivalvole?

It does indeed

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I don't think you are correct. As an iPod, it would be worthless to many, as the capacity is not very great, so that 'feature' is of little use to anyone who needs the capacity of a HD based iPod. If you look at the total cost of ownership of this thing - purchase price + 18 months worth of contract, this thing is ludicrously expensive. Then there are all the areas where it is deficient compared to it's competitors - a 2mp camera in a phone costing that much? It is almost funny in a sad way.

Do you even get an unlocked phone you can use any way you like at the end of the contract?



The majority of iPods sold are not big capacity HD ones now though. The nano shuffle etc, so based on that it replaces peoples mini players as well. Obviously HD iPods are different but time will allow for an increase in space.

As with most different things it will take time before it really starts to move, Europe is generally slow on these things certainly with Apple they are normally.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

If Apple has priced the iPhone too high for British buyers, or if the deal they made with O2 (or just O2 themselves) sets the tariff too high, then Apple or O2 or both have misjudged their market, and will suffer the consequences.

British buyers (even current Mac users) will get to keep their money, Apple will get to keep their iPhones, and (hopefully, if need be) some kind of rethinking will ensue.

Sadly I think Apple are more than aware of the situation and are happy to sit back for a while and take the cream customers.

This is no doubt why 02 went along with it. get the big spenders etc, people who do not go looking for the best deals down to the pound etc.

No pro sumer but certainly a good business move.
post #26 of 47
There is nothing forcing OSX users to buy the iPhone. The point is that regular $129 upgrades is an elective form of subscription an 18 month contract isn't.

Apple fans want to enjoy the latest product but they won't agree to being ripped off and, as you can read from the comments so far, are opting not to buy.. Commenting here is just a way of passing a message to Apple as to why their sales aren't meeting targets.

As you say Apple aren't in the storage business they want to ship product and if it isn't moving they will have to adjust their price point and tariff agreement with O2 and try again. If they had got it right first time the 2 per customer restriction would look slightly less comical.
post #27 of 47
I'm another UK potential buyer who'd love an iPhone.

Yes, I'd be happy with PAYG but price is not my major problem. I don't live near a major population centre, nobody at O2 (or Apple) can tell me if I can get EDGE coverage anywhere near where I live or work.

I can get Cloud near home but only in pubs that I don't frequent (I ain't paying good money to have to go and sit in a pub I don't want to be in, just to browse the web!).

Orange have good coverage down here but O2? They are crap. Roll on a UK Orange iPhone! (5 years away?)

IF Apple can give O2 a kick up the arse to QUICKLY expand their EDGE coverage (or give us 3G) then I'm onboard, but their are a quite a few people down here who are already less than impressed with the web access on their iPhones. All was good while the novelty factor was there but as the reality kicked in, I've heard a few comments from people saying they are considering going back to their 3G phones. Apple isn't gaining much "halo" effect thanks to O2 not warning people that without EDGE they won't get the best out of their shiny new toy.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedicivalvole View Post

It does indeed

I still don't agree. I drive one as well Mine's a white two door.
post #29 of 47
Well... maybe. I don't really know enough or care enough about the UK cellphone market (even though I live there) to know if it's over priced or not.

I've been on a contract of one sort or another since the year dot, any my last contract (which only just finished) was £35 or £40/month - with NO data (or something completely daft like £4/megabyte, which meant I never used it, even if I had been able to get my phone to actually access the internet, which despite about a dozen calls to Vodafone and a zillion text messages which supposedly contained the relevant settings I still never managed to do).

So, I bought an iPhone, and am very, very happy indeed with it. Very happy indeed. Unlimited data (and Internet access that actually works) are well worth the price as far as I'm concerned. The main thing is that everything actually works as expected, and it's the only device I have that still brings a smile of pleasure to my face every time I pick it up.

-Rolf
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottocrat View Post

Either improve the spec, or reduce the price, or better still both. If not, Apple will not compete in Europe, and that would be really sad because the iPhone's UI has the potential to make the mobile comms experience so much better.

Well said. Those O2 plans are dire too to be fair though.

PS, I have my own iPhone on the way from the US €269
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post #31 of 47
[QUOTE=ottocrat;1177544]I think the consistency in the reactions of European users in this thread should tell us something about the approach Apple has taken to overseas markets. Either they haven't done their research, or they've chosen to ignore their research. I suspect the latter. Apple has always focused very heavily on its home market in the US, overseas markets have always been an afterthought. Well, fair enough, in the past Apple haven't been that big a company and have needed to focus on their core domestic market.


I think you have a very good point. Apple throw great products at the Europeans, But that is it! The rest is pretty poor:
-Try an Apple TV in Europe. Its just a glorified music server, the rest of the functionality/Interactivity is useless here.
-Video iPods. Where in Europe can you buy movies? In ANY language? Music videos yes, but compare the price to the US.
-Compare the prices of ALL apple products to the US.
-Ever tried a Mac in a foreign language. If Steve were a German, he'd be having the heeby jeebies about the pathetic translation.
-It's taken the EU to take Apple to task on the iTunes Store not allowing cross border purchases.

In Germany the general press reception for the iPhone is pisspoor to put it nicely. Anyone who stops me with my iPhone (of course I have one) can list all the issues the press have been hammering home since day one, wether these are relevant is another issue. But they know them by heart and believe them. Changing this attitude is going to be a long hard pr slog, and it is not gonna work doing it from San Fransisco.
Blaming the country Apple outfits would be a laugh, they probably have zero influence in anything (except making sure the profits stay ih line).

So I really do not see the iPhone translating into the short term success it should be.

The worst gripe about the iPhone. I cant even listen to music. The earphones are beyond §$%% and try and find a pair that fit the slot... let alone a pair that have a mic.

The point I am trying to make is that the same way his other famous countryman has lost the hearts and minds of the Europeans, Steve has too. Or maybe he has never had them to start with.
post #32 of 47
I would love to have an iPhone but I've bought an iPod Touch instead. I'd prefer an iPhone, but I'm not prepared to pay the inflated rip-off price for it (£269 against what should be roughly £169 - at the current exchange rate taking VAT into account). Apple may get away with it for Macs (although it's one of the reasons I haven't bought a Mac portable yet) but it's a different matter in an aggressive marketplace like cellphones.

In addition there's the matter of the O2 lock-in and the rip-off price plans. Why would I commit to something like this? O2's service is cr*p and known to be so, and most people already have a very reasonable price plan with someone else. Not to mention all the people whose cellphone is provided by their company on a different carrier than O2 - no way they can get an iPhone.

I'm quite prepared to pay a reasonable price for a good product, but Apple seem to be expecting us to pay a ridiculously inflated price for an OK product. I really do think that they need to grow up - they are showing a singular immaturity in terms of understanding the realities of this new market they are attempting to enter.
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post #33 of 47
I would love to get an iphone, the problem isnt the £269 for the phone or the £35 per month tariff, for me i am forced in to the 18 month contract, which i dont like to be tied down for that length of a period!....and especially for a phone that does'nt have 3G , GPS , only 2 meg camera , no MMS , not able to play movies , APPLE YOU LISTENING. where only talking Macworld in January before we see the next version, why dosent O2 do a Pre Pay option on there network??????
post #34 of 47
Two lacking features that are commonly deemed critical to the iPhones success by critics, I just don't understand:

1. Lack of MMS. MMSs are insanley expensive and (IMO) absolutely useless.

2. Camera (or its resolution). I just recently had to take some pictures with my mobile (SE K800i, 3.2MP camera) because they forgot to fetch the SLR. Not only that it took forever from pushing the button to taking the picture, the pictures turned out horribly and barely useable. I wish Apple would have omitted the camera.

3. Lack of 3G. What would you use 3G for on an iPhone, what do you use it for on other phones? In Germany, 3G is reliantly available in urban ares only whereas T-Mobile's EDGE coverage will be extended on the whole country by year's end. The included data plans allow for HTTP trafic only anyway.

Has anyone ever tried Vodafone's iPhone competitor, the SAMSUNG F700 (aka QBOWL)? I think it's horrible despite its better specs. It might look better than the iPhone on paper but the UI is very inconsitent and simply "user-unfriendly". Its browser does not scale and zoom the page, it renders them according to available screenspace (which is scarce) and the only way to zoom out is by reducing the font size (same as pusing command + "-" on the Mac). Despite it having 3G, the Web is just a pain to use.

I haven't seen LG's latest but the one I played around with had a "nice" first menu screen. Underneath, it was pure Win mobile and as such unusable without a stylus.

Although the tarifs could offer more (e.g. roll-over minutes) and be more flexible, I think a data flatrate is essential as tech unsavvy users don't count the bits transmitted (and I think they shouldn't have to).
post #35 of 47
I, for one, would like to thank UK customers for NOT buying the iPhone in droves.

By setting a slow sales pace, it sends the message that:

1) The high cost of the unit in addition to (and most of all because of) the high cost of a fixed length contract is a serious financial commitment.

2) The lack of availability of an unlocked phone, in order to give choice of either provider or option to use pre-paid SIMs, shows a serious lack of understanding of the European market.

3) The premium price is not justified by the lack of development since the June release - the phone is still very much 1st generation, for the following and other reasons:

- The lack of 3G for such a high-priced (cost + contract) phone is intolerable.
- At the very least, a 16GB model should have been presented as an enticement.
- The software, while adapted to international formats (essential for release), has not had much other development, eg, the lack of MMS, notes syncing, other apps, etc.
- Apple seems to have spent more time revising its security lockdowns to prevent illicit unlocking - a fool's errand that simply demonstrates how greedy they are for network revenue.

While the UI of the iPhone is superb and still state of the art, the slow pace of sales in the UK vs the US market demonstrates that Apple should not rest on those laurels alone.

So, again, thank you non-buying UK customers! It provides proof to what many have previously claimed.
post #36 of 47
I bought a UK iPhone and am now regretting it. the price of £269 is fair enough, what is not fair are the tariffs. I'm on the cheapest £35 per month for 18 months, including the price of the iPhone, That's a total of £899 (more than a Mac Book) in the US that would be an extortionate $1,855,94! The iPhone is great, but not that great, with it's lack of 3G, GPS and poor (after thought) camera. Opting for the £55 per month option does not bear thinking about... £1,094 or $2,258.70! - at the end of the day it's only a phone and these are NOT phone prices.

The iPhone is a beautiful product and that was the reason I bought mine, not thinking too much about the O2 contract. I would recommend that anyone thinking about an iPhone, thinks more carefully than I did. I am now counting down the months until I can break free of this horrible contract, put my iPhone on Ebay to recoup a fraction of the cost and return to a more reasonable tariff or Pay as You Go.

Apple needs to urgently rethink it's UK strategy. The iPhone, despite it's lack of features is a great device and deserves to sell better in this country. Everyone wants one but is waiting for a price drop.

At it's currant price I'm not able to recommend it to friends. Also who is going to buy an iPhone as a Christmas gift with these contracts attached? the unreasonable ownership cost is a huge deterrent. If Apple were to sell the iPhone unlocked with a reasonable choice of tariffs they would be flying off the shelves.

The fact that Apple has abandoned Firewire is also dissapointing.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post

I, for one, would like to thank UK customers for NOT buying the iPhone in droves.

.

There is no doubt that the capability of the iPhone itself as a phone are very poor:
1) no MMS
2) no recognition of international numbers. If you store a number as +44 123456789 and your operator send the ID 0123456789 the iPhone cannot make the match. All the phones can do that!
3) You cannot clear the missed call logs only. You must clear everything!
4) You cannot set different ring profiles.
5) Another interesting thing is that the contacts country list is very limited. There are countries like Yemen but no Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia. Why Yemen is so important?

Max
post #38 of 47
Let's face it, you could advertise dogshit on a stick enough in the states, and people would buy it. Also true in the UK, but slightly less so. The difference is that US customers are used to being locked in until the phone is obsolete, and overpaying, which Europeans aren't. We're used to way more value when it comes to mobile phones, and the iPhone just doesn't have a lot of basic features that cheaper phones here have. While it has a touch screen (gimicky), it's already been detailed what it doesn't have, and using it as a primary MP3 device means charging it almost every day so I can still take calls after watching a movie or listening to music for 4 or 5 hours... I'm used to charging my nokia (with 2gig memory, cost about 150 WITHOUT CONTRACT) every 6 or 7 days.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jingo View Post

I would love to have an iPhone but I've bought an iPod Touch instead. I'd prefer an iPhone, but I'm not prepared to pay the inflated rip-off price for it (£269 against what should be roughly £169 - at the current exchange rate taking VAT into account).

Sorry... where did that figure come from????

U.S. iPhone = $399 ... exchange rate approx. $2.05 / £ = £195

V.A.T. = 17.5% = £34

therefore UK price (if no other costs involved) should be £195 + £34 = £229

So we're paying £40 for the privilege of being this side of the pond. Although I don't agree with paying more (After all, these things aren't made in USA so arguing additional shipping costs doesn't hold water) a £40 difference is not nearly so bad as the £100 you're stating. Is there a cheaper iPhone I've not heard of?
post #40 of 47
Apple simply didn't do its homework properly for the European market.
The iPhone may be a revolutionary product in the states, but for an European market, it's -at least the current offerings - an overpriced, underpowered gimmick that simply asks for too much ties and restrictions to be really appealing to a broad European mass market.
They will have to adapt to this in the future, maybe with a 2nd generation iPhone, or they'll never take off in Europe.
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