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O2: iPhone is 'fastest-selling device'

updated 01:00 pm EST, Mon November 12, 2007

iPhones fly off UK shelves

(Updated with O2 sales claims) iPhones flew of store shelves in the UK this past weekend, with one estimate placing as many as 70,000 Apple-branded cellphones in the hands of customers. Apple, its exclusive UK-based carrier O2, and Carphone Warehouse stores extended their hours to accommodate high demand for the touchscreen-driven handsets, according to Upwards of 400,000 iPhones are expected to sell in the UK during the busy holiday shopping season, and Apple expects sales of 10 million devices globally in 2008.

UK-based wireless carrier O2 doesn't appear overly worried about customers unlocking their iPhones, either. The company is aware of the growing number of consumers who use various hacks to make their iPhones work amongst competing carriers, but says the sheer number of handsets being sold is encouraging.

"Demand has exceeded our expectations and we believe it will be the fastest selling mobile ever," a spokesperson for O2 said. "We've hundreds of thousands of devices to sell and we are extremely happy with how things have gone." British newspaper The Times cites O2 CEO Peter Erskine, who calls the iPhone the fastest-selling device the company has ever seen, and claims that sales are already in the "tens of thousands" since the Friday launch. Two-thirds of these are said to be for new O2 subscribers.

Apple's iPhone sold out in almost every retail outlet that carried the device shortly after it hit shelves in the U.S., dwarfing sales of other handsets in the same time span and helping the Cupertino-based company to report another record quarter.

by MacNN Staff




  1. henryblackman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm in the UK and whilst I did buy an iPhone on Friday, most stores did not have iPhones flying off the shelves. This just isn't true at all.

    Of course, 1200 stores in a small country is a lot, and whilst they weren't flying off shelves, even relatively small Carphone Warehouse stores (there are lots of various sizes) were selling 5 to 10 a day over the weekend. That's not too shabby. I'd estimate more like 20,000 sold over the weekend.

    I think Apple has ensured stores have plenty of phones in stock - and because of the quick purchase system, people pay and walk away. No 20 minute credit check and upsell of various options. In terms of stock small stores have 20 whilst big stores, and Apple stores have 500. Big stores in bigger cities were selling plenty because you'd find 10 stores selling them in a square mile. Perhaps Apple should have underestimated as Nintendo have, and ended up with a peak of interest because of the lack of availability.

    On the other hand, European mobile phones are generally free, have 12 months contract (as opposed to 18 months), and lower monthly tariffs. Europeans use calls and texts more than our American friends, who might well use data a little more, and Europeans expect 2nd generation 3G (ie. HSDPA), and probably a better camera. The iPhone has taken a beating in the reviews because of those two things, but those who do use it (rather than just comment without even seeing it) find the touches in the browser almost make up for it, the email client streets ahead, and the general user interface nothing but a pleasure to use. Compared to the clunky N series phones from Nokia, this really is the Jesus phone.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Jesus phone?

    And who exactly would Jesus have on his speed-dial? I'm guessing his omniscience would negate the need for caller ID or any form of texting for that matter seeing as he should know what it says before it's sent. Come to thing of it, he should know what's going to be said before the call arrives so why would he have a phone at all. No, wait a's his dad that's omniscient, so he could have told him what was coming and that Judas was...a Judas, if only he could have called him. Now I geddit, that's why Jesus could have used a phone!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Way

    From first hand experience, various blog posts and online photos, there is absolutely no way they sold that many phones over the weekend. 10,000-15000 tops

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Could this be why Apple's stock has tanked over the last three days????

    Hey jarod! Where are you! Why aren't you calling out all the idiot sellers!

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: no way

    The nice thing about this information sharing medium called the internet is when a fool opens his mouth the record is there forever for us to judge you by. Of course you are an anonymous poster and will be able to slink off with no consequences, but we here will know you by your true name. Troll.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: henryblackman

    "On the other hand, European mobile phones are generally free, have 12 months contract (as opposed to 18 months), "

    This is not true. It may be true in the UK (I noticed T-Mobile UK lists both 12 and 18 month contracts) but in Germany, T-Mobile lists 24 month contracts for most phones -- same as most US carriers.

    So most Europeans are NOT used to 12 month contracts. It varies widely, as it does in the US.

  1. pottymouth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That's still a helluvalotta phones. And what, like 1/6th the population of the US? Sounds like great numbers to me.

  1. VinitaBoy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Stock Drop

    A year ago last summer AAPL dropped about 40& of its value from year's high, going from the mid 80's to the low 50's. Remember that? There was absolutely NO reason for the drop, and yet it happened. Smart folks increased their holdings at the time, almost tripling their investment in the past 15 months. Fact.

    Now, in the last three days AAPL has lost about 20% of its yearly high; once again, everybody is soiling his pants. And yet, if it is truly possible for past to be prologue . . . .

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Unlike many others, this comment system does not allow you to put in your name unless you register, which I do not want to do; if it makes you feel any better, my name is Anthony.

    My intention was not to bait, I just did a quick post on how I feel that article is incorrect; if comment systems are solely for agreeing with a post, then clearly I need to read up about this internet thing some more!

    I posted here as the title says “fastest selling phone ever” which is slightly misleading as O2 said “will be…”

    To extrapolate, I was in a queue of 6 on Friday, due to system problems and insurance hard sell I was in the store for ~45 minutes, in which time only 4 of those 6 actually bought an iPhone. The nearby O2 store had no queues, and passing by later saw them shutting up shop early. These are the largest CPW and O2 stores in the area.

    When in the local Apple Store early next morning, they had still not cleared away from the night before and a trolley with over 350 phones had still not been put away, clearly they were expecting a higher demand. Regent Street only had 300 people when the doors opened, in the grand scheme of things that is not a big number imho.

    I’ll not spam the comments with links, but a short persual will reveal much anecdotal evidence (blog posts/photos) of very short or non existant queues, and throughout the weekend anecdotal reports of people playing with the phone in store but not purchasing.

    With 1300 outlets, this means an average of 53 phones per store over the weekend, the large CPW I bought from only had 20 in stock, so yes, I find it hard to believe that this total number of sales was achieved.

  1. Pennywigeon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Internet Accuracy

    Wow it seems that those that have no clue speak the loudest.

    Assumptions and conjecture. I think I would go by the companies actually reported sales more so than some nim wit counting people at his local shop in some obscure location.

    As to the drop in AAPL. This is normal for many stocks that "rocket". SHORT TERM investors dump their stock in order to make their quick buck. The stock plummets. LONG TERM investors pick up the stock now that the price drops and it slowing increases in value.

    Go figure. A common occurence. But I think instead of actually talking to a stock expert and looking at data what we should do is what it seems some do now. Walk outside. Make an inexperienced guess. Then log onto a website and claim your opinion is actual fact.

    Like "Anthony" above. He managed to make it into three stores for only 45 minutes and already has the sales figures figured out for over 1200 stores in different locations and marketing "bubble"

    /golfclap for Captain Obvious.

    If research was that is to extrapolate then I would guess that accuracy is something not needed for the fast food generation.

    "My way right away."

    [shaking head] What is even sadder is one to claim such inexperienced expertise with hardly any real documentation or data to base the idea on and then for them to demonstrate with a firm belief that of course they have to be correct because they just know exactly what they are talking about.

    I guess it is much easier to "guess" and pick a random number out of the air and base this on "blogs and photos" than it would be to actually wait and see what the real sales report numbers are.

    LOL It is amusing though watching "internet experts" debate their own ignorance.

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