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LG Viewty outselling iPhone in the UK?

updated 08:50 am EST, Fri December 21, 2007

LG Viewty versus iPhone

LG's Viewty touchscreen phone may well be outselling the iPhone in the UK despite the sheer amount of publicity, according to an update from the national phone reseller Dial-a-Phone. Also known as the KU990, the device has sold about 310,000 units since going on sale in Europe in early November, overlapping the same period as the British and German iPhone launches. The number amounts to about 6,300 phones sold per day and has outperformed sales of the already successful and less costly Chocolate and Shine lines during similar periods, according to LG.

By contrast, Apple has been exceptionally quiet regarding its sales numbers, says Dial-a-Phone. Although as many as 70,000 iPhones were sold through O2 in the UK during the first weekend and were backed by extra sales from French and German buyers, the company has declined to publish figures and has reportedly blocked analyst group Gfk from tracking point-of-sale numbers, preventing an accurate assessment.

"As far as I'm aware this is first time that a mobile phone handset's sales have been blocked," the reseller says. "I wonder why?"

Dial-a-Phone attributes the relative success to both technical features and cost. The 5-megapixel camera with flash and 3G Internet access are labeled as clear advantages over the current iPhone, which includes a 2-megapixel flashless camera and a slower 2.5G connection. Meanwhile, the iPhone costs 269 and is available solely through O2, the Viewty like many European phones is available for free depending on the nature of the plan; it can also be used with any one of several carriers on shorter contracts, the reseller says.

"The iPhone interface and usability are amazing but Apple's greed has resulted in the iPhone sales falling way short of its potential," the company argues. "The iPhone could have been market leader but when it costs so much, is only available on one network, and is only available in certain shops and websites, it is never going to reach its true potential."

Dial-a-phone's criticism is believed to stem in part from its exclusion from the iPhone's initial sales strategy, which limits the device's British sales to official Apple and O2 stores as well as the third-party firm Carphone Warehouse.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    viewty tempts me

    ...and i must concur on the classic greed & fear cycle of apple seeming to rear it's head after many quiet years with the intro of the new iphone...

    ...of course i don't use a phone much & am more interested in the convergence of devices than cell service - which iphone seems to currently focus on...

  1. Will53

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not understanding Europe

    I don't know, but perhaps Apple is not understanding the European market too well? If one wants to pay that much for a phone, one wants to be free to choose which service provider one wants, not to speak of being able to swap SIM-cards as one travels between the different countries, instead of roaming. Maybe we Europeans move from one country to another more often than Americans?

  1. mullum

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I know its not very sociable, but I prefer the iPhone to be a bit elite - I dont want to see everyone with them.

  1. CreativeEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is England...

    and we're not stupid...

    Apple have totally dropped the ball on the tariffs with 02

    I'm with 02 right now and have the Viewty - in one month i get as many free minutes and text as i would in 4 months on the iPhone tarrifs!! For the same price!!!! And the handset itself cost me 35.

    Dont get me wrong - the iPhones interface is better than the Viewty - its slicker and infinitely more charming to use.

    Most of the people i talk to love the iPhone but wont touch it because of its initial cost - and then ridiculous 1996-esque tarrifs.

    In england we don't have many (if any) wifi hotspots outside of the major 4 or 5 cities. So the wifi is a bust. Unless you're at home. And then your on your computer...

    Also, people in the UK love to text - and group text. And send the occasional stupid image. They love taking pictures too - we've had camera phones for nearly 7 years now. You'll find 2megapixel cameras on cut price fones being sold at the local supermarket chain with a flash, with effects, with control. The Viewty has an impressive 5mpx camera - with a large 3inch screen, with effects, a flash, and control...

    As a premium device it's 80% ready for the already mature European market. And it never ever was - I dont know who Apple we're talkign to in Europe when developing the iPhone - but they should have spoken to someone... or sent someone on a fact finding mission... they would soon have found that the currently released iPhone fails in too many ways.

    iPhone V.2 will be ready for Europe - and utterly blow the minds of the Americans... Until then - only the very hardcore (and rich, who by the looks of the tariff dont actually use a phone to make calls...) will buy the phone over here.

    Sorry Apple, as a Mac user of 15 years - this product had me excited more than any other... But the more the British market found out about the device... the more the luster faded...

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's in this article?

    There really is no conclusion here. All it says is that Dial-a-Phone can't get sales numbers for the iPhone and therefore is getting hissy and making negative assumptions. Apple is always secretive about sales numbers, etc. That implies neither good nor bad sales. At the moment all we know is.....nothing. more FUD.

  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    When do they ever..

    ...release figures? People were saying this about iTunes & songs until Apple announced 1 billion songs, then 2, then 3...

    Wait until MacWorld in a few weeks for the real picture.


  1. henjin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good article

    My nephew's xmas present was going to be an iPhone. He called me to cancel as he could not afford the monthly fees and the coverage for any kind of networking was limited in his part of the UK.

    I owned an iPhone here but for found it so slow and AT&T couldn't get it to accept calls.

    I now use the crippled LG Voyager. And the experience is so much better. Full keyboard, touch screen for quick navigation, Vcast TV/Video/music and a good camera plus i can multi-cast text/pic/video messages.

    I love many aspects of the iPhone but it really is slow, really is filthy to touch and now already looks dated.

    That the iPhone is not selling well in the UK and I suspect Europe is no surprise to anyone who has eyed an unlocked phone for purchase.

    Apple freaks need to look around a little if they find this article biased. Fact is in Europe even the iPod does not rule like it does here.

    Europeans like the idea of being unique, got it from America... but Americans like to move in a pack. Line up to eat brunch for hours, line up to buy Apple products.

    Apple is actually in trouble and not many people can see it yet. Their designs are all looking the same. They might innovate but the look is already dated and that is dangerous. Sooner or later even Americans will tire of the VW look.

    That said the iPhone single handed has changed the culture here. Even RIM sales are up as a halo effect. People want more and are now being offered it.

    Apple's trick is to realize outside of the core cult customer base people expect the latest tech and if the battery life is short they will simply replace with a spare one... oops:)

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    US competitors to the iPhones all try to spread FUD by saying it's not selling well in the US, but once the sales number come out from Apple, Apple stock increased by almost 25%. They don't have the data, and are not qualified to make assumptions.

    "Apple is actually in trouble and not many people can see it yet. Their designs are all looking the same." Actually, it's modern, clean design that is more popular in Europe, no need to muck it up with 40 extra buttons, multi color warning lights, etc. It's not all looking the same either. Have you ever heard of Corporate brand identity?

    Value of Apple as a company is actually above other companies such as Dell. You need to do more research before you make uninformed assumptions.

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969


    at henjin

    what a weak attempt a cause and effect thesis to bolster your known anti-apple ranting on this board.

    i'm glad you love your voyager, but spare the subjective comments about typing (full keyboard? like a typewriter?), and the "dated" look. i guess the voyager brick doesn't look like a phone.

    but i digress. you being a sloppy american like to assume that your own subjective rants over the iphone actually are determining a lack of information on apple iphone sales, but you jump to conclusions not just about the iphone numbers in europe but their tastes as well.

    surely they would cringe to think you're the taste judge for them.

  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the world has changed

    Before iPhone went on sale on 28th on June not many people would belive that six months later "some handset is selling better than iPhone" will be the news!

    Wake up, people. Unlocked phones that you can get for free and use them on less expensive tariffs should sell better than iPhone. And if they don't then it means they suck in a big way. iPhone in its current form is not for everyone, far from it.

    If you want to compare devices just imagine for a second that Apple started selling iPhones like the other companies do: any tariff + low price and unlock on demand. And subsidies to lower the price all way down to free. How do you think, would LG Voyager (or any other iPhone killer brand) stand any chance then?

    That's why I consider the selling numbers Apple's getting as nothing short of amazing.

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