iPhone launches in the UK [updated]

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.

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