Editor’s Note: The following report is reprinted from Techworld.
Apple’s much hyped iPhone has missed its UK sales targets, according to a report in a U.K. newspaper.
The Financial Times, quoting “people familiar with the situation,” said that O2, the U.K. mobile network operator that is exclusively carrying the iPhone, has sold 190,000 of the handsets in its first eight weeks of sales in the U.K.
When the iPhone was launched in the U.K. on November 9, O2 said that it expected to sell 200,000 of the devices, a figure regarded by analysts as a conservative estimate.
“Those figures did not come from us,” an O2 spokesman told Techworld. “We continue however to be delighted with the device, which is fastest-selling device we have ever had.”
A spokeswoman for The Carphone Warehouse, which sells the handsets, refused to comment on the figures.
Yet it seems the high cost of the device and the long contract could be putting off potential customers. In the U.K. the iPhone retails for £269, but customers must take out a 18-month contract with O2, starting at £35 a month. This means that a minimum outlay for the device is a staggering £899, in a market where consumers are used to either free, or heavily subsidized handsets from network operators.
Steve Jobs said at Macworld Expo’s keynote address last week that Apple had shifted 4 million iPhones worldwide since its launch.
And it seems that the iPhone is proving to be a popular device for accessing the internet. Last week, Google reported a surge in traffic from iPhones using its online services, surpassing incoming traffic from any other type of mobile device. This was despite Apple owning only 2 percent of the smart-phone market, and less than 1 percent of the overall mobile-phone market.