The iPhone has officially launched in the UK, and iLounge editor Bob Levens was on hand for the event. According to Bob’s report, the line grew substantially between 5:00 p.m. and 6:02 p.m., from 5 to “approximately 30 people” with about 12 or so queuing outside a nearby Carphone Warehouse store. Interestingly, “some tension was displayed between the staff of the two stores as the CPW staff tried to entice people from the O2 queue to join their line.” It is worth noting that this was not the case with Apple and AT&T employees that we observed during the iPhone’s U.S. launch in June. Apparently few were standing in line just to look at the phone, as Bob said “hardly anyone went to look at the display table - they had obviously set their minds on having the iPhone and as the first purchase walked out of the store they were applauded by the O2 staff.”
Unexpectedly, Bob said that upon visiting another Carphone Warehouse store and examining one of the display iPhones, “it was noted that they were all 4GB iPhones - Apple had apparently shipped all the discontinued models to UK (and Europe?) as display models.” Continue reading for more pictures from the UK iPhone launch.
Update: Another report, submitted to us by macitynet.it, said that the crowd at Apple’s flagship Regent Street location in London was quite large, with companies such as Starbucks and PizzaExpress handing out coffee and pizza to those waiting in line. According to the report, around “800 to 1000 people were in line at 6:02 p.m. when the doors opened. Cloud (the Wifi provider that partnered with Apple and O2 in providing wireless connectivity in United Kingdom) distributed sponsored sweeters and gave away a check of 269 pounds (enough to cover the cost of the iPhone) and a bottle of champagne to the person or group of persons that have done the weirdest thing while waiting. The prize went to a guy that licked the pavement.” You can see pictures from the Regent Street launch in macitynet’s galleries, which can be found here and here.
The iPhone was released in Germany at 12:01 a.m. local time today, and our friends at iFun.de were on hand to provide picures and video from the event. Along with the iPhone, T-Mobile stores were also stocked with iPhone Stereo Headsets, Dock Connector to USB cables, and a handful of iAcc accessories including cases and car chargers. More photos from the event can be found in iFun’s Flickr set, and you can also find videos from the event, along with further details of the launch, in this article (Babel Fish translation).
The iPhone is also set to launch in the UK today, at 6:02 p.m. local time — the “02” is a reference to the iPhone’s exclusive UK carrier, O2. Apple’s Regent Street retail store has received a large shipment of the devices in preparation for the event, according to ifoAppleStore. O2 CEO Matthew Key has predicted that sales of the phone from Apple, O2, and Carphone Warehouse stores will total 200,000 by the end of the year. Previously, Carphone Warhouse said that it expects to sell 10,000 iPhones in the first 24 hours the handset is available.
Coinciding with today’s release of the iPhone in the United Kingdom and Germany, Apple today released version 1.1.2 of its software for both the iPhone and iPod touch. Most notably, the software adds international language and network support to the iPhone, and the ability to both add and edit calendar events to the iPod touch. Other changes have also been made, including the iPhone’s categorization of built-in and custom ringtones.
Prior to its availability in iTunes, the iPhone software can be downloaded here, and the iPod touch version here, both in ZIP archives. Using the ZIP file rather than decompressing it, you can install the software by selecting your iPhone or iPod touch from the Devices menu in iTunes, holding down the Option key when hitting the Restore Software button in iTunes, and selecting the IPSW.ZIP file. [via TUAW]
According to a Dow Jones report, Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann has said it’s possible that holiday-season demand for the iPhone may outpace supplies. “We’re not giving out precise forecasts,” Obermann said, “but registrations on our web site lead me to believe (the holiday shopping season) will be a strong sales period. The real question for me is whether we have enough devices and can meet customer demand.” Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany. The iPhone will go on sale in the region at 12:01 a.m. local time tomorrow.
The first UK iPhones have arrived in the hands of journalists, who have reported that the devices are running a new version of the iPhone software — v1.1.2 — that disables jailbreak processes known to work on software version 1.1.1. According to T3, the new software closes the TIFF exploit found in software version 1.1.1 that is used to enable installation of third-party applications on the iPhone. Currently found only on UK iPhone models, it is expected that Apple will roll-out the update for US iPhones in the coming days, possibly as early as this week.
AT&T, possibly in response to user complaints over extremely high international data prices, has introduced two new international data plans for the iPhone. A $60/month plan offers 50MB of international EDGE data access, while a $25/month plan offers only 20MB. Both plans offer service in 29 countries, and require a domestic iPhone plan. In addition, overages will be charged 0.5¢ per kilobyte in those 29 countries, and 1¢ per kilobyte at all times outside of that area. AT&T advises users to check on international plans and rates before traveling. [via Infinite Loop]
In a recent note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he estimates AT&T is paying Apple an average of $18/month for each iPhone subscriber, or $432 over the course of a two-year contract. Munster revised his previous estimate of $6.50/month based on iPhone sales and revenue figures disclosed in Apple’s fourth quarter earnings report. Munster explained that he was surprised by the higher estimate, and said that it showed the importance of Apple’s efforts to keep the iPhone out of unlockers’ hands. Apple recently instituted a new iPhone purchase policy, limiting sales to two per person and barring cash sales in an effort to reduce the threat of unlockers. Based on the estimate, Muenster boosted his Apple 2009 revenue estimate to $42.8 billion, and raised his price target on Apple from $220 to $250.
Citizen:Citizen is now offering the ccPhone, a limited edition iPhone with a matte black finish, done by Colorware. The phone comes with a black dock, and selected artwork, video, music, and Citizen:Citizen‘s address book, which will be updated twice yearly. The ccPhone is available in a limited edition of 50 and sells for $2000.
T-Mobile, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, has posted pricing and information for its monthly iPhone plans. The three plans, Complete M, Complete L, and Complete XL, are priced at €49, €69, and €89, include 100, 200, and 300 minutes of voice usage, and 40, 150, and 300 SMS text messages, respectively. The M package also includes 200MB of “unlimited” EDGE data, while the L offers 1GB and the XL 5GB. All three plans include Visual Voicemail, and require a 24 month contract. The iPhone launches in Germany on November 9. [via TUAW]
Update: All three packages also include Wi-Fi access at any of T-Mobile’s 8,000 HotSpots in Germany.
“This means that users can enjoy the fantastic experience of the mobile Internet on the iPhone with no worries,” said Philipp Humm, managing director, T-Mobile Germany. “The incredible combination of T-Mobile’s powerful EDGE network combined with the country’s largest offering of Wi-Fi HotSpots and the exclusive ‘iPhone Complete’ rate plans give T-Mobile customers everything they need to experience the iPhone to the fullest. The transparently structured Complete rates thus confirm our brand motto ‘simply closer.’”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with T-Mobile and can’t wait to start selling the iPhone in Germany in just a few short weeks,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Starting at just €49 per month, we think these three rate plans give customers the flexibility to experience all of iPhone’s revolutionary features at affordable and competitive prices.”
Apple has instituted a new policy regarding iPhone purchases, limiting sales to two per customer and prohibiting cash-only sales of the handset. The new policy, put in place on Thursday, aims to help discourage people from reselling the phones, and should also help reduce strains on inventory heading into the holiday shopping season. “Customer response to the iPhone has been off the charts, and limiting iPhone sales to two per customer helps us ensure that there are enough iPhones for people who are shopping for themselves or buying a gift,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said. “We’re requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers.” Previously, there were no cash restrictions on iPhone purchases, and sales were limited to five per customer. Last week, Apple said that it estimates as many as 250,000 iPhones have been sold “with intention to unlock.”
Barry Gilbert, vice president of Strategy Analytics’ BuyerTRAX, has said that iPhone sales of 1.6 to 1.7 million in the holiday quarter would likely make it the top-selling handset in the U.S. “The iPhone has momentum that is basically unparalleled,” says Gilbert. In a Forbes article comparing sales of the iPhone to the Motorola RAZR, the analyst claims that the iPhone is gaining momentum faster than the now-ubiquitous RAZR, which reportedly sold 750,000 units in the first 90 days. “If you add up all the RAZR products, it’s still the leading family,” says Gilbert. “But if you look at any given model, like the v3, the iPhone seems to have surpassed that.” Apple sold 1.12 million iPhones in its last fiscal quarter.
Apple has launched a new iPhone Dev Center providing resources and tools for developing web apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. In an email sent out to ADC (Apple Developer Connection) members, Apple described the new site: “Complete with technical documentation, sample code, and videos through ADC on iTunes, the iPhone Dev Center is your single source for information on designing, coding and optimizing web applications for iPhone and iPod touch.” In detail, the center offers Web Development Guidelines, iPhone Tech Talk Videos, Sample Code, an iPhone Reference Library, a place to register for future iPhone Tech Talks, links to grab the Safari 3 Public Beta for compatibility testing, and a place to submit your completed web application for inclusion in Apple’s web apps library. It is currently unclear whether this Dev Center will also serve native third-party iPhone developers once the official SDK is released in February. Use of the iPhone Dev Center requires an Apple ADC account; non-ADC members can sign up for a free Online Membership.
Reporting its third-quarter financial results, iPhone carrier AT&T revealed that it achieved a net gain of 2 million wireless subscribers, possibly close to one million of those being iPhone users, assuming Apple’s estimate of 250,000 unlocked iPhones is correct. The gain is the highest third-quarter subscriber increase in the company’s history, and represents a 46.8 percent increase over the year-ago quarter. Additionally, the company’s wireless data revenues increased 63.9 percent versus results in the year-earlier quarter, “driven by increases in both consumer and business data usage.”
Speaking during the company’s Q4 Financial Results Conference Call, Apple COO Tim Cook stated that the company “estimates 250,000 iPhones were sold with intention to unlock,” and that “many of those sales happened after the price cut.” The iPhone accounted for $118 million in revenue, which is derived from “handset sales, carrier agreements, and Apple-branded and third-party iPhone accessories.” Apple has previously stated it will use a 24-month subscription accounting model for the iPhone. Asked about the possible success of a 2.5G iPhone in Asia, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said there was “nothing to announce today,” while reiterating the company’s intentions to bring the device to Asia in 2008. Finally, $100 iPhone credits are being accounted for as customers redeem them, and the company expects most redemptions to be completed by the end of the year.
Researchers for Strategy Analytics claim that the iPhone could become the best-selling handset in the US within the next six months. In addition, the handset has already become the best selling device for AT&T, according to reports. “The iPhone has become AT&T’s top selling device, commanding some 13 per cent of AT&T’s overall handset sales, and the fourth top selling handset in the US market,” said Barry Gilbert, vice president of the Strategy Analytics BuyerTRAX programs. “Although the iPhone hasn’t had an expansionary impact in the market, the iPhone has quickly assumed a leading market share position and raised the ante for smart devices. The sales trajectory we are observing with the iPhone could make it the top selling device in the US over the next 1-2 quarters.” The current best-selling handset, the Motorola RAZR V3, has seen its lead diminished recently, according to Strategy Analytics.
According to the latest ChangeWave survey, completed October 2, 82 percent of iPhone owners report being “very satisfied” with their purchase, up five points from the group’s previous July survey. This places Apple well above all other cellular manufacturers in this regard; the only other company with a satisfaction rating above 50 percent is Research-in-Motion. In addition, Apple also placed tops in the future purchases category, with 16 percent of respondents who plan to purchase a cell phone in the next six months saying they plan to buy an iPhone.
Apple has posted three new iPhone ads, continuing the theme of iPhone users against black backdrops that debuted in three new ads that appeared last week. In “Delay”, aviation profession Bryce explains how his iPhone allowed him to check the weather from the plane, reducing a three hour delay to only 30 minutes. “The Winger” features ballet dancer Kristin, who uses her iPhone to update her blog, thewinger.com. Finally, in “My Show”, Ken, an off-broadway theater producer, uses his iPhone to communicate with the show’s director and keep tabs on what critics and fans are saying online. All three ads are available for viewing on Apple’s website.
In an update posted to Apple’s web site today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed that the company does plan on releasing a Software Development Kit for the iPhone and iPod touch, and that it will be “in developers’ hands in February.” Jobs goes on to explain the delayed release of the SDK, saying: “It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc…. We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.” Currently, the only way to run third-party native applications on the iPhone and iPod touch is through the unauthorized jailbreaking of the devices.
A photo posted by flickr user Jeff Croft shows that his iPhone has a sound icon on its ring/silent switch. According to an email Croft sent to Mac blogger John Gruber, the iPhone was purchased on June 29 in Lawrence, Kansas, so the icon is not a recent addition. Several other iPhone owners have commented on the photo, claiming their early-run units have sound icons as well, including one owner who provided a comparison shot of his iPhone, which has the icon, and his wife’s, which does not. This discovery follows several reports of iPhone users believing they have “broken” units, only to discover their lack of sound is due to the ring/silent switch being moved. Does your iPhone have a sound icon on the ring/silent switch? Let us know in the comments.
Apple and Orange have announced that Orange will be the exclusive French carrier of the iPhone, which will make its French debut on Thursday, November 29. The 8GB iPhone will sell for 399€, or roughly $567, and will be sold in France through Orange’s online and direct retail stores. Details of available service plans have not yet been released.
“We are excited to partner with Orange and bring iPhone to France in time for the holidays,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone is an amazing product and we hope mobile users in France will love it as much as we do.”
“The iPhone is a marvelous product and will change how people think about mobile. I’m delighted that it is launching in France through Orange, and I’m sure that our customers share my excitement. Our partnership with Apple is a natural fit because we are two global brands who share the same values of simplicity and innovation. It’s going to be a very merry Christmas for Orange customers all over the country!” said Didier Lombard, CEO, France Telecom.
This announcement comes less than a week after Apple stated that it had no set date for the phone’s launch in France, and confirms a statement made by Lombard that the launch would take place “during November”.