Feeds

Tumbleweeds outnumber punters, as iPhone's First Night flops

Let me through - I'm a journalist

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Journalists and PR minders outnumbered buyers on Friday night as interest in Apple's iPhone miserably failed to live up to the pre-launch hype in the UK.

The iPhone went on sale at stores operated by retail titan Carphone Warehouse, exclusive operator O2, and Apple's own retail chain. The days preceding the launch had been filled with pages of coverage from posh papers and broadsheets alike. O2 announced it was employing 1,400 extra staff to cope with the short-term demand. Even Carphone's PR staff were dispatched to far corners of the land, to provide expert advice to the masses clamouring for iPhones.

But now it looks as if a tight-knit group of media and PR people got caught in a feedback loop. The "event" they imagined simply failed to take place.

The first signs that reality was not following the script came at 7pm, from a Reg reader at Brent Cross. Perched by Wembley on the North Circular, Brent Cross is a shopping hub reaching into millions of affluent punters in Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, as well as the metropolis itself. He noted that the Carphone and O2 stores were empty of punters, with only "the usual" smattering of shoppers at the Apple Store, playing with iPods.

Reader Ian Ferguson fought his way to the front of a non-existent queue at Carphone Warehouse to get his iPhone, he reported in our comments on Friday night. He was outnumbered by extra staff trying to "upsell" him insurance and over-priced accessories.

Up in Manchester, it was safe to go to the pub at 5pm, an hour before "launch" then get soaked in the rain.

An hour later, bored staff outnumbered prospective purchasers as the stores stood empty.

"An average Wednesday afternoon", reported AximSite.

Dial-A-Phone's Nick has a gallery of the non-existent iPhone mania that was failing to break out, here.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.