Brits Aren’t Feeling The iPhone iLove

Brits Aren't Feeling The iPhone iLoveDespite the explosion of hype that surrounded the UK launch of Apple’s iPhones, the Great British Public have failed to match the gusset-moistening levels of excitement that followed the US launch, with moderate sales and punters distinctly cool about the price.

A recent report in the Register based on ‘reliable sources’ found that the UK’s sole carrier O2 had activated just 26,500 iPhones since its launch two weeks ago, a figure way short of the 100,000 units anticipated by some pundits.

Although the Register observes that the number of activations may not actually match the number of iPhones sold (some may have been sold as gifts or have not yet been activated), they calculated that, “the gross is unlikely to be significantly higher.”

A new survey by research firm GfK NOP won’t generate much iCheer at Apple UK either, with its findings saying that just two per cent of UK consumers had put the phone on their Christmas lists.

Brits Aren't Feeling The iPhone iLoveThe hefty expense of owning an iPhone was seen as a major reason for the lack of wallet-opening amongst punters, despite a general enthusiasm for the way the thing looked and operated (indeed, our well-heeled reviewer was very positive about the phone in our in-depth review).

GfK NOP (try saying that with a mouthful of Weetabix) found that three-quarters of the 500 people surveyed knew about the iPhone, with over a quarter of that figure digging its looks.

Apple’s hype-balloon had also managed to successfully convey the iPhone’s star features to consumers, with more than three quarters associating it with music, and just under two thirds linking the device with internet use and email.

“Apple’s history proves that it has the magic touch when it comes to product development and marketing, but the iPhone has yet to capture the imagination of the UK public,” said Richard Jameson, top dog at GfK NOP Technology.

“IPhone hype is in full-force, but our data shows that it is very much a considered purchase, and that its high price is turning many consumers off. “We must take into account that the UK mobile market’s success has been down to subsidised handsets, so the iPhone’s price really stands out. Consumers are not used to paying in excess of £200 for a phone,” he continued.

Jameson added that, “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.”

14 thoughts on “Brits Aren’t Feeling The iPhone iLove”

  1. Alien to us is downgrading your phone (no MMS, lousy camera, no group texting, etc…) for more cash and an 18-month contract. I love Mac but I know my friends would laugh if I signed up for what is effectively a 5 year out of date Barbie phone that costs the earth.

  2. So only a quarter (or so) of the people who even knew about the phone actually liked how it looked?
    That’s not eaxctly high praise, even before you look at the diminished feature set!

  3. The difference with the uk and the us is that the uk like to text on the keypad system where as the americans prefer the keyboard approach that they have on their blackberry or sidekick. The iphone is not really in keeping with the uk texting tradition that we have build up.

  4. Its not so much the cost imo, alot of people i know who really love gadgets are just put off having to move to 02… So many people have had bad experience with 02, specifically in customer support and billing mess-ups. If the iPhone was on T-Mobile, or vodaphone I think I would grab one in seconds, ok, T-Mobile have their issues, but they nearly always reply to emails within 24 hours and their unlimited data usage is a plus on Web ‘n Walk. Ideal for a ‘real browser’ based iPhone….

  5. there are many problems with iphone apart from its stupid high price for a fancy pda . here in blighty we are text mad and as mentioned already using a keypad just isnt as fun or fast. secondly we like to customise our phone and make them individual but it seems the iphone and its little brother the ipod touch are locked down and apple will even destroy them turning them into a fancy ipaperweight if you try to alter any of its programs or make it your own style as soon as its pluged into itunes. hardly what you could call being british ehh ?

  6. I noticed the adverts on tv were claiming that the iphone would ” have the internet not a watered down version of it ” ? well thats strange because i had an iphone and correct me if Im wrong but it cannot view half the web pages visited as it cant see any macromedia or flash or java even though it claims it can and as for any video content or streamed video forget it . it just says safari cannot open this file. the only way to play internet video is through its own utube program or via one of the now added web applications which is apples answer to everything they forgot to include.
    so its no wonder people arnt flocking to buy iphone quite as imagined probably because they know half if not all the features are already on cheaper phones and that nokia or other makers will soon have it beaten with something far more european that works and available on all networks at deal prices.

  7. Britain is a nation of diehard cynics.
    Much less prone to market hype, smoke & mirrors than the American market.

  8. I’ll wait till nokia bring out a clone with java and flash and a decent camera that’s available on vodafone at a sensible price. Don’t believe the hype!!

  9. “iPhone lives up to, even surpasses the hype. Another triumph for Jonathan Ive and his design team, Apple have made a wholly desirable and beautiful object. Only a cross and silly person would pretend to be unimpressed or make claims of parity about their O2 xda Trion or similar lumpen beast”

  10. Put it on PAYG and I might consider buying one. I can’t see many people wanting to lock themselves into an 18 month contract.

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