Feeds

O2 chief dampens iPhone hype

Always look on the bright side of life...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Peter Erskine, CEO of UK operator O2 said it's "early days" for the iPhone in the UK - and shot down some of the larger sales numbers being touted for the device.

iPhone sales were below tabloid guesstimates of 100,000 (The Sun & The Guardian) and 70,000 (The Mirror) - Erskine said the number was in the "tens of thousands".

Nevertheless, he said he was happy that people were coming into the stores, if only to play with the gizmo.

"It's the old story in retail, if you can get them in you can sell them something," he said. "What I don't know yet... is how much extra we are selling as a result of all the extra footfall."

That's probably not what O2 was thinking when it hired 1,400 extra staff ahead of the launch to cope with "unprecedented" demand. Apple's retail partners even shut up shop ahead of the launch on Friday afternoon to prepare for the crush.

So how well did the iPhone really do at the weekend?

Carphone Warehouse, with over 1,000 stores in the UK, did most of the heavy lifting. O2 has 300 high street shops here and Apple just 12. A channel source tells us that Carphone took stock of 50,000 but only shifted around 11,000.

In the much larger German market, T-Mobile shifted about 10,000 iPhones. So Erskine's "tens of thousands" claim is defensible. Just. But the Europeans appear to be far more circumspect about the wonderphone than Americans. Apple says it sold one million iPhones in the first 74 days in the US.

System down - activate manual

Erskine might also take some comfort from the fact that Carphone Warehouse's national chip and pin network went titsup just as the iPhone went on sale.

Readers have deluged us with reports.

"I was first in the queue for one at my local branch and I didn't leave until over one hour later. God help the poor sods who came in after me," writes one reader.

"The problem seemed to be related to proving my identity - the system was set up to use a credit card to identify customers via Chip & PIN," writes Paul from Cambridge.

"Unfortunately after doing so, it said 'further identification required', but would only accept Chip & PIN - which it rejected because it already had it. Deadlock."

Steve adds:

"With three staff on, they were only able to sell three iPhones in 45 minutes in the Parliament Street branch in York."

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Grab a bargain

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.