updated 09:05 am EST, Thu November 8, 2007
UK iPhone lineup forms
In advance of the iPhone's UK launch, scheduled for 6:02PM on November 9th, lineups have already begun forming, reports indicate. A handful of people are said to be waiting in front of the flagship Regent Street Apple Store in London, dressed for the cold weather and resting on folding chairs. Between 2PM and 6:02PM tomorrow, those in line will be the only customers at the store, as the building will be closed to prepare for the iPhone's European debut.
While impressive by the standards of most product launches, the lineup pales next to those for the original American launch, which in the case of the Fifth Avenue store in New York City began forming a full four days before the June 29th release date. The iPhone faces more of an uphill struggle in the UK; Europeans are more accustomed to 3G broadband, which Apple's device lacks, and shoppers have already had forewarning of other potential drawbacks, such as "bricking" if users attempt to unlock their phones.
O2, the official UK carrier, says it expects as many as 200,000 iPhones to be sold through Christmas and New Year's, via Apple, Carphone Warehouse and O2 itself. This compares to the same number of phones sold during the American launch weekend, but Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Gartner, suggests that a more realistic UK sales target is 350,000 to 400,000 within two months.