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UK Apple stores to sell iPhone 3G on launch after all

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Casting aside worries that iPhone 3G buyers in Britain would have to shop at O2 and Carphone Warehouse, a new report claims Apple UK will sell the devices itself -- albeit with an important catch.

Sources speaking to Ars Technica claim that Apple's official retail outlets in the country will accept iPhone customers either signing up as new O2 subscribers or else existing customers adding an extra line for a friend or family member.

These locations won't, however, accommodate upgrades. Anyone upgrading an individual or family plan will still have to turn to O2 and Carphone Warehouse to make the switch, according to the report; this could be a potential problem with expected shortages for at least O2 retail shops.

Conveniently, Apple's Regent Street flagship store has "loads" of iPhones waiting to be sold, the alleged insiders say.

The reason behind the partial access isn't known, though the update if true would stand as a last-minute save for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company that would prevent a potential imbalance O2 warned of last month: in late June, a company official cautioned that Apple stores might be locked out of offering anything but the simplest pay-as-you-go plans due to the absence of a proper sign-up system.

The extension of sales to Apple would also quash rumors that only American stores will be capable of signing up customers and activating their devices in-store. While it's unknown exactly how many countries with Apple retail locations will also sell phones directly, the purported addition of UK sales would weaken arguments that Apple Canada can't offer iPhone 3G for technical reasons and lend slightly more support to (since-denied) claims that Apple is punishing Rogers for scaring away customers with high data rates.

In addition to news of UK sales, Ars also hears that Apple has taken the extra precaution of excluding a SIM card from the iPhone box with the 3G model. An explanation for this isn't given, though it not only lets the company sell the iPhone more easily through multiple carriers -- it also prevents iPhones from leaving the store without an active account tied to the SIM card.
post #2 of 16
More iphone news changing by the hour... its an interesting read.... I WANT MY PAYG one....
Ho Hum... i have a gut feeling of November for PAYG iphone 3G
post #3 of 16
Is it just me or does it seem that this launch is a lot more sloppy than the 1G iPhone?

With all of the different countries and several different rate plans across the many countries where the iPhone is offered, it seems as though Apple has lost a bit of its touch in a clean launch of the device.

What, with Apple's Kampf in Canada over rate plans, and the egregious plans in New Zealand; there are also the mixups over upgrade pricing-vs-not, and other hoops that customers are going to have to jump through... I can't help but think that this launch is going to be rather lackluster.

Part of the problem has to be in the fact that above a new antenna (which bears no real meaning to the consumer, as far as I can see) and the app store (great, another way to spend money!! ), I can't see any real front-facing feature to this device that was not accomplished with the first phone. Is it a great phone? SURE, but on the same token, it is far less impressive to the general consumer this time around than last time, simply because there is nothing shiny!

I hope that I'm wrong, and that the launch of the iPhone 3G does incredibly well! I hope that all of the rate plans and other confusion that seems to be coming with the purchase of the phone dissipate over time. Moreover, I hope that Jobs, Ive, and co. really have something cool to show us in the next year. I hope that the 3G iPhone (as opposed to the iPhone 3G) has something to really make it sparkle!

Peace out.
post #4 of 16
Hi,
I whould like a PAYG too, but it seems O2 plans to launch that around November...
I won't wait that time.

I'm a french guy livin' in UK, I won't stay here long enough to sign a contract, and its no more possible to break the O2 contract when you leave the country without paying the rest of it...
What shoud I do to get an iPhone, damn, I just want the phone itself... It's an Apple product, will they sell it 'naked' (like a MacBook or whatever)?

I will go to Manchester's Apple Store tomorrow to get information about the process (activation, contract compulsory or not).
I read they took off the SIMS out of the box to prevent the phones to leave the store without contract, how stupid...
Is 'link-selling' prohibited in UK too? (I mean in France we have a law saying 'Phones can be purchased without contract' (OK the price is not the same, but you CAN have it)
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastfamy View Post

Is it just me or does it seem that this launch is a lot more sloppy than the 1G iPhone?

With all of the different countries and several different rate plans across the many countries where the iPhone is offered, it seems as though Apple has lost a bit of its touch in a clean launch of the device.

iPhone 1 was released one or two countries at a time, iPhone 3G is going to be at ten or so countries this week, with 60+ more over the rest of the year or so.

I think one of the biggest issues is that there's other companies to depend on. Another is having enough supply and production capacity to keep up with the roll-out.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastfamy View Post

Is it just me or does it seem that this launch is a lot more sloppy than the 1G iPhone?

We'll have to wait and see, but so far I agree, there has been contradictory information flying left and right.

What is the silliest thing to me, is the possibility that some countries you won't be able to buy the iPhone at the Apple Store. Let's just say that once more, to emphasize the absurdity - You won't be able to buy the *Apple iPhone* at the *Apple* Store.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by blastfamy View Post

Is it just me or does it seem that this launch is a lot more sloppy than the 1G iPhone?

With all of the different countries and several different rate plans across the many countries where the iPhone is offered, it seems as though Apple has lost a bit of its touch in a clean launch of the device.

What, with Apple's Kampf in Canada over rate plans, and the egregious plans in New Zealand; there are also the mixups over upgrade pricing-vs-not, and other hoops that customers are going to have to jump through... I can't help but think that this launch is going to be rather lackluster.


Interesting comments from yourself and others -
here is Apple with what could be<edit: going to be> it's single biggest consumer device and they appear to have opted to handing control over it's adoption to the vested interests of the greedy telco's.

I think your point is valid and Apple really need to pick the ball back up and run with it themselves.

I understand that here in NZ you can drop the data paln and go with a more normal monthly cell phone plan - but really forking over the best part of 1000 kiwi to vodaphone is just sick.
I mean - the 8 GB handset should be around 300 mighty kiwi max - (oh, I forgot + another $50 or so for the Apple Australia tax).
$1000 for a handset only so you drop the data plan is plain daylight robbery by a supposedly good corporate citizen - a sad, sick joke.

Apple need to take control of this - the other guys have already demonstrated their intentions.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Casting aside worries that iPhone 3G buyers in Britain would have to shop at O2 and Carphone Warehouse, a new report claims Apple UK will sell the devices itself -- albeit with an important catch.

Worries? Oh the horror, darlings, of having one's personal shopper being seen shopping in non-Apple stores. Phew, shopping panic over.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Worries? Oh the horror, darlings, of having one's personal shopper being seen shopping in non-Apple stores. Phew, shopping panic over.

Mate, Carphone Warehouse and O2 shops, IMHO, are shite compared to Apple Stores.
post #10 of 16
If all goes well you will see me in a yellow jumpsuit/ like thing in front of Regent Street in a few hours starting my lining up. I will have a little foldout chair, some signage, and hopefully begin my "project". I have a few things planned and hope to be in some media coverage too. Wish me luck...
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Mate, Carphone Warehouse and O2 shops, IMHO, are shite compared to Apple Stores.

I know. Who wants to talk to an f'in Mobile Phone salesman? Why can't I mail order my iPhone and activate through iTunes?
post #12 of 16
I know this is a little off topic, but yesterday I was invited by Vodafone Portugal to show up on their iPhone release party! Said that, will be able to get an iPhone at 00 a.m. (GMT).

So, is O2 and other carriers doing the same type of things?

Regards
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Mate, Carphone Warehouse and O2 shops, IMHO, are shite compared to Apple Stores.

They may be a bag of shit, but with 800+ CPW stores, and 300+ O2 (I'm guessing) stores compared to 15 Apple Stores you can bet who will sell most!

I've had to preorder mine with CPW as O2 claim my house doesnt exist and so far ive had confirmation an iPhone is sitting in a warehouse with my name on it and will be delivered on Friday, confirmation my preorder has been cancelled and advised i should go into store, and confirmation that i will receive a call on friday to complete the credit check and all going well will be delivered on Sat.

So, as usual CPW dont have a clue whats going on, they are all too buy trying to sell TalkTalk in the stores to bother learning anything about what they sell or providing decent customer service.
post #14 of 16
I am first in line. w00t. liveblogging at http://iphone3g-london.blogspot.com/

...spoke to MacWorld UK and another mobile magazine so far. Will be wearing Selk'Bag for promotional purposes.

Follow me at
http://iphone3g-london.blogspot.com/
post #15 of 16


I'm getting up at 6.30 on Friday morning to queue outside our local O2 with 5 mates.

We'll see what happens.

Oh, and our price plans in the UK are still the best in the world for the iPhone! Something must be wrong - is that hell freezing beneath my feet?
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I am first in line. w00t. liveblogging at http://iphone3g-london.blogspot.com/

...spoke to MacWorld UK and another mobile magazine so far. Will be wearing Selk'Bag for promotional purposes.

Follow me at
http://iphone3g-london.blogspot.com/

Be a real bummer if you've forgotten one of your forms of ID at home...
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