updated 04:50 pm EST, Mon January 21, 2008
UK iPhone sales disappoint
The iPhone did not sell as well as anticipated during its first few months in the UK, according to the Financial Times. Anonymous sources for the newspaper claim that although O2 publicly expected to sell 200,000 iPhones within two months following the November 9th UK launch, that number actually came out to around 190,000. The figures may be especially disappointing due to predictions by Gartner, a well-known research firm, which once argued that sales could be as high as 350,000 to 400,000.
The FT sources further claim that although sales were healthy leading into the Christmas season, they gradually began to fall. Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi defends her company's estimates, saying that price proved to be more of an obstacle than expected. The iPhone is currently on sale in the UK for £269 ($523); not only is this proportionately more expensive than a US iPhone, but buyers must technically subscribe to an 18-month contract costing at least £35 per month, for a total price of £899 ($1,748). Milanesi suggests that in order to keep up interest before a second iPhone arrives, Apple may need to instigate a price cut.
Unlike AT&T in the United States, O2 executives have long been resistant to sharing figures on iPhone sales. In response to FT's news, the company will still only say that it is "delighted with the response to the iPhone, which has seen unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction."