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Poll confirms Brits believe Jesus Phone salvation too costly

US-centric strategy failing in UK. Shock.

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It's official: Brits believe Apple's iPhone is too expensive. Local pollster GfK NOP asked 500 people across the nation and found almost three-quarters of them say the handset's too highly priced to buy.

Some 88 per cent of the sample said they had heard of the Jesus Phone. Alas for Apple, a mere two per cent said they would be asking Santa for one this Chrimbo. A further five per cent of respondents said they like the look of the thing but are quite keen on a number of other phones too.

Only a slightly higher percentage - eight per cent - expressed a dislike for the much-hyped handset.

The fact only 12 per cent of the sample said they had never heard of the iPhone suggests that Apple and O2's marketing is creating awareness of the product. However, as The Register exclusively revealed today, that's not translating into sales and contract activations.

No one should be in the least bit surprised of course. With the iPhone being marketed as a handset, it looks overpriced. UK consumers are completely unused to paying a hundred quid for a phone, let alone the £269 Apple, O2 and Carphone Warehouse want.

Ironically, consumers will pay that amount for a fancy new iPod such as the rather good iPod Touch - reviewed here. Had Apple pitched the iPhone as an iPod that happens to make phone calls rather than the other way round, folk here might be keener to splash out.

"Apple needs more than cutting–edge design to penetrate this market and will have to work much harder in the UK than it did in the US to make iPhone a mass-market proposition," said GfK NOP spokesman Richard Jameson.

We'd suggest Apple adopts a UK-specific approach rather than simply parroting here what's worked in the US. Apple is perhaps one of the most notorious possessors of a 'US and them' worldview, and for once, it's becoming clear, this might just come to bite it.

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