updated 06:30 pm EDT, Mon April 21, 2008
UK iPhones sell out
Sales of iPhones jumped rapidly throughout England last week, according to reports. O2 stores in London, Newcastle and Birmingham are said to have sold out entirely on April 16th, and only recently replenished their stocks. Meanwhile, a staffer from Carphone Warehouse's Oxford Street store in London says the location received a one-time doubling of daily sales from 30 to 60.
The rush coincided with a £100 drop in the cost of the 8GB phone, from £269 to £169. The cut is subsidized by O2, the iPhone's official UK carrier, and cannot be found at official Apple Stores. Similarly, the 16GB model is holding universally at the standard price of £329. It is widely believed that Apple and its carriers are clearing inventory in advance of a new 3G iPhone.
Analyst Ben Wood, of CCS Insight, argues that previously low iPhone sales have been due to a lack of subsidies, which many Europeans take for granted. It is common for Europeans to upgrade their phones without paying any extra fees, whereas the iPhone has not only been unsubsidized until this point, but has remained considerably more expensive than comparable smartphones.