iPhone Crowds? Don’t believe the hype!

As iPhone fever grips the country, we thought we’d bring you pictures of the day as the drama unfolds! The iPhone is of course due to go on sale at 6pm tonight (6.02 if we’re being exact, what a clever bit of marketing!) at Apple, O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores.

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Here’s the chaotic scene at Carphone Warehouse in Wimbledon.

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Likewise in Camden

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Whereas on Oxford Street, every one of Carphone’s five stores was thronging with people.

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Its not just Carphone either, the crowds were battering down the doors of the O2 stores as well.

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Ok, sorry to be so sarcastic, but you have to laugh at the incredibly stage-managed hype surrounding the UK launch of the iPhone.

This was the opening couple of lines of report in the Guardian earlier today.

Apple’s much-hyped iPhone is prompting a rush to stores when it finally launches in the UK.

Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Apple are braced for huge queues and a surge of customers when the must-have gadget goes on sale.

It continues…

Die-hard fans started queuing outside Apple’s flagship store on London’s Regent Street on Thursday morning.

Friends Graham Gilbert and Nik Fletcher huddled under umbrellas equipped with sleeping bags, food and chairs as they began their wait

What a load of rubbish!

Who in the world would queue overnight for something that has been out for six months already, is readily available on the internet to anyone who seriously wants one, and is in absolutely no danger of outselling supply!

I have my doubts about Messers Gilbert and Fletcher, could they perhaps have been persuaded to camp out by an eager PR agency?

I went down to the Apple store to take a look for myself. There’s about fifteen people down there, giving word perfect interviews to reporters and TV cameras. Here they are:

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Not quite enough of a baying crowd to fill the other half of the security gate however!

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Then literally a minute’s walk away at Carphone Warehouse’s store by Selfridges, there’s not even anyone reading the giant advert in the window.

Those pictures were taken about 3.00 this afternoon, so fair enough, there might be more activity later on. I’m going to take some more pics later on, and put them up tomorrow so we can really see what the furore over the iPhone is like!

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is a cool gadget, we’ve had one knocking around ourselves, but don’t believe everything you read in the papers!

Update: Here is the Carphone Warehouse store in Aylesbury at 6pm on Friday, looking a bit lonely.

Carphone warehouse aylesbury

Whereas in Camden…

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And on Oxford Street

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Update:

  • O2 Oxford Street at 5.10pm had 6 people outside.
  • CPW Oxford Street at 5.15pm had no people outside.
  • CPW Marylebone High Street at 5.40 had 4 people outside.
  • CPW Marylebone Road at 5.45pm had 12 people. By the time of opening at 6pm there were about 20. Once opened I think they had about 30 or so inside. Immediately about a dozen queued at the 4 tills to buy without looking round the shop. At 6.15 nobody had yet left the shop with their purchase. Whilst some of the people in the shop looked like serious purchasers, others were young kids wanting to know if you could have it on payg. Spoke to one of the staff and he said they had 100 units in stock, whilst the Oxford Street branches had been allocated 700 each. Shop was stying open till 8pm.
  • CPW Marylebone High Street at 6.25pm had 12 to 15 people inside.

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116 thoughts on “iPhone Crowds? Don’t believe the hype!

  1. The iPhone is a pretty big deal. I think it is no exaggeration to say that it has changed the mobile phone market. It has also created a new industry where little was there before – you can actually make a good living creating software for the iPhone.

    The opportunities for this device continue to be rather bright. I just upgraded my first generation iPhone with 3.0 software and the web browser is like 3x faster. It’s amazing! I have never seen anything like this.

  2. hey guys,

    I got an iphone….i couldnt wait,would look at it on youtube like a dirty old man lol,payed £260 odd quid …..and ……and……wait for it…….hold……. it total crap!! infact the textings murder and ive got normal sized fingers!..u always have to read over every text and if uv had a drink forget even attempting to use it..honestly folks i couldnt wait but now im paying £430 to get out my contract! and thats 3 months of having it, also bat life is really bad,anyone ive spoke to says the same ….so save ur money .

  3. I hoped the launch would be terrible and o2 would have a bad ride with it.

    I want an iPhone but I wasn’t happy with the tarrif assosiated with it. Now because of the lack of impact they’ve made the tarrif better. I’m still holding off for a 32gb version so I can at least store all my music.

    Can’t wait to get this phone. I’ve never been interested in the button nature of other phones. Unlimited Data and Safari/Mail direct ports make it an absolute buy for me. The maps, full screen video, OSX sync features are also very important.

    Hopefully by the time I get it iPlayer will be out, maybe 3G. I can’t fathom how incredible that will be.

    When you consider the iPod Touch is £230, it’s only £40 (or £100 for 16gb) more for the iPhone. That’s much less than what I paid for my Razr new (£180).

  4. omg are you people all actually crazy???? seriously its a shitty GB iPod wth a phone attachment a crap camera and at that price i think u need more than an iPod that rings! why dont you just go for the LG VIEWTY! looks basically the same does nearly all the same has inbuilt editing software! wifi internet browsing beautiful deisgn and for £30 a month on O2 you get unlimited texts and 600 minutes!!!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU CREAMING YOURSELVES OVER THE iPONE FOR its just another phone that is way too expensive for what it is when you know damn well within a few months it will be out in another colour with a new design and a fix for all the crap that comes with the iPhone just get a different phone and dont bloody bother with apple madness

  5. “Who in the world would queue overnight for something that has been out for six months already, is readily available on the internet to anyone who seriously wants one, and is in absolutely no danger of outselling supply!”

    Americans…hehehe.
    or better said, people from the US (since I am from America also) , the land where God tells the president what to do, and the average people to get iphones.

    Glad to finally see the iphone fail.
    cheers from Argentina
    Gonzalo

  6. I too have owned many hi-spec devices including the N95. The iPhone is by far the best phone that I have ever had the pleasure of using. It is beautiful.

    It is the simple things that I like, such as displaying the name of the person who sent you a text message, as well as displaying the full text message on screen when it arrives. Unlike the crappy N95 that tells you that you have a message, and thats it, you have to open the slider and click read.

    The iPhone is a joy to use, intuitive, sexy and intelligent.

  7. How to look an a gullable idiot in public in one easy step…pull an iphone out of your pocket..hahaha..you know.. these are very the same people who cried when diana died..they react very well to hype..they are very easy to control..

    When there are quite clearly much, much better, much more highly spec’d phones available..the sheep STILL buy it..oh well it’s not life or death..just amusing to watch I suppose..

  8. I was at Milton Keynes shopping on that Friday evening and completely forgot about the launch, the reason I remembered is because of the queues and as much as Apple does like to hype things it seemed to work a treat there.

    The O2 shops seemed to be employing a one in one out system and had one shop assistant per customer and they were handing out O2 branded water, it was probably the same marketing “genius” that came up with the 6:02 launch time anyway. Both Milton Keynes stores seemed to be getting a fair few people through the door. I would say about 20 in store and about the same in the queue. Nothing massive but it seems they did better than some of the London stores.

    As for the Carphone Warehouse it would seem they could have done with any marketing man as they seemed to be getting limited trade compared to the O2 stores despite being less than 100 yards apart.

  9. Apple gives iPhones including a paid contract to journalists for, as apple said, “writing a good story about our iPhone”. They do that with moviestars and so on, so don’t be amazed if you read faked news.

  10. Not suprised Iphone is just like the Ipod a overhyped and over advertised product that in terms of techinical ability is lacking.

    Ipod has very bad sound quality

    And as for Iphone No 3G and a 2mp for starters……Pfft

  11. As for people who keep talking about it being a great iPod, 8GB has never been enough for me (and it’s more like 6 after the other stuff on it fills up). I’m getting the 80GB iPod Classic; now that’s a value-for-money Apple product.

  12. It’s a nice piece of kit and a joy to use, but you’d be a moron to buy into the hype and spend 269 pounds on a phone in the UK, with a tariff that’s higher than most, when you can get a free N95 (which has a world class camera, GPS and 3G) on the same tariff or unlocked.

  13. Please excuse a “Colonialist”, you know, those of us in the “New World.”

    What the heck is a “Punter.” We use that term for a kicker of a football. He”punts.”

    Regards,
    Bob

  14. I think what people are forgeting here is that the iphone is a music player turned phone, if sony ericsson were to launch a better device spec wise and that is just as good looking it would never get the same attention. That fact that its the apple brand that has this quality crisp air around it, which i agree with the price eliminates the chav factor.
    I take my music verry seriously being a part time DJ and the ipod (30 GB) is the best thing that i have ever bought it fits purfect into my lifestyle. I also work for o2 and own an N95 so i deal with different handsets day in day out, the reason i own an N95 is for the fantastic camera/video has a decent browser 3g, but not for the music/mp3 player.
    I dont think that any device on the market has successfully bridged the gap well enough between the ultimate camera fone to a music player or in apples case from a music player to a camera phone.
    If anything the iphone is definatly not the closest device to bridge the gap, clever marketing and the fact that its just apple has put it up there, respect

  15. I forgot to add to a previous post that I was in Victoria, BC (Canada) over the weekend and went into a Rogers Communications store to see how much data charges were in roaming mode. For the record the only reason why I even knew about Rogers was because their name replaced ATT Wireless next to the signal strength indicator as we came into Victoria harbor. Anyway, I stood behind a guy (with a Scottish accent of all things) who was looking to replace his Blackberry. The phone salesman had three alternatives on the counter and the customer was umming an aahing about this and that and then says “what about the iPhone” and the salesman (who doesn’t have any iPhones to sell) says “they’re shit”. Enter stage right iPhone owner (me) who extracts Jesus device from pocket and hands to Scottish gentleman. Five minutes later the sales guy is almost at the end of his list of things to say about how bad the iPhone sucks while the customer is scrolling through my voicemails and ooohing and aaahing at how amazing it is in “real life”. To cut a short story even shorter the customer said he’d wait until Apple and Rogers get their shit together and start selling iPhones so he can dump his Blackberry.

  16. Vim you are sooo wrong. 4G is being tested in Asia but it certainly hasn’t replaced 3G, in fact commercial use of this technology is not expected within the next couple of years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G)

    “The BBC HATE Apple…”, what?? Are you mad – the BBC offer a balanced opinion. Read this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7085643.stm Maybe the story isn’t 100% positive but it is balanced.

    Most phones are locked but are available on multiple networks, for example the Nokia N95 is available on Orange, O2, Three, and T-mobile.

    Please do some research before posting!

  17. Hah… you Europeans are soooo behind in terms of tech, and especially phones. You think that 3G is a must-have for your phones when it’s already been replaced by 4G in Asia.

    Why the hell should Apple add a big additional battery-drainer/price booster and make the phone bigger to suit one of the smaller phone markets (only US is smaller) when the biggest consumers of tech have already moved way beyond that?

    If you don’t want one, don’t get one – simple choice. But for goodness sake, shut up already, you’re as bad as the over-hype surrounding the iPhone.

    All the BBC coverage I’ve seen has been anti-Apple. The BBC HATE Apple… when Vista was launched they creamed themselves, but whenever Apple launch something, no matter how much hype they (the BBC) pump out it’s always countered by digs at the technology or the company or Steve Jobs’ personality… FACT!

    BTW – MOST people in the UK have PAYG, not a contract, and PAYG phones are locked to a provider, so the iPhone’s no different in that respect.

  18. I’ve had my iPhone since USA June launch.
    Some bugs now and then, at first, but subsequent revisions have made lockups a non issue.
    I’ve never bought anything where I got a rebate months later.
    I’ve never bought a device that got better and better. 3rd party aps will be great.
    Funniest effect of having the iPhone is the interface, multitouch/gesture recognition, (NOT the Treo style ‘touchscreen’ that might require a stylus). Well…once you get used to it, you find yourself approaching every device as though it’s so advanced!
    I was helping a friend find a phone number on his flip phone, and I found myself touching the name we wanted, as though something was going to happen! 2 seconds or so, and you snap out of it, realizing that the rest of the world is still operating in “less than” mode.

  19. My experience?

    First in line at Carphone Warehouse Tottenham Ct Rd at 5.30pm (staff actually telling punters to come back after 6pm). One person in a queue, others will join it. 6.02 maybe 30 people.

    Point of sale system failed at 6.03pm in London and didnt start again till 6.40pm (Apple required an additional security check Carphone dont normally do and of course this wasnt stress tested.) iPhone ‘experts’ knew nothing.

    Calls to support later on Friday. O2 Didnt bother saying that to get GPRS/Edge you had to restart the phone cos they are shipped disabled (nor was there any info on how to restart it). Anyone else with that problem?

  20. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about… there are plenty of smartphones on the market already that do everything that the iPhone can do for a fraction of the price.

    I have a MDAII which I got free on a £17 monthly contract from T-Mobile, not to mention unlimited data transfer for just £7.50 extra a month…

    Phone – check
    Email – check
    Instant Messenging – check
    Web Browsing – check
    mp3 player – check
    full QWERTY keyboard – check
    Google Maps – check
    video player (wmv, divx, xvid…) – check
    touch screen – check
    Streams Youtube (with a few hacks) – check
    plays LucasArts games via ScummVM :) – Check
    … and the list goes on

    People have been able to buy a phone that does everything iPhone does for almost two years! Sure it looks sweet and the GUI is pretty compared to ugly-ass Windows Mobile, but it’s hardly the technological revolution it’s made out to be.

    I guess it all comes down to clever marketing and promotion… Just like how people can buy a bog standard mp3 player for a fraction of the price of an iPod, but they don’t purely because of the branding…

  21. Yet another hyped up waste of time and money. Played with a friends over the weekend, he was nearly in tears when I managed to lock it up within minutes, forcing a restart.

    I have a xdaIIi, 2+ years old, and still by far the best PDA/Phone combo in existence. Add a 6GB SD card, and some decent earphones, download any piece of software you care to mention and it does everything the iBoner does, plus vastly more, on any network, for a fraction of the cost.

  22. I walked straight into O2 on Saturday. As an apple fan i couldn’t wait to see one, but if im honest, all my mates have had them for a month or two anyway – the launch was too late!!

    The ‘iPhone Expert’ in O2 couldn’t answer any of my questions, and told me that as I have an O2 contract that doesn’t run out until March, that i would need a new contract for an iPhone. When i asked him a few questions he couldn’t answer, i asked him why he was called Expert when he didn’t know – he told me ‘it only came out yesterday, how would I know!’

    Hence – I didn’t buy one, and at £269.00 i doubt i ever will!!

  23. I queued at O2 store in Tonbridge and glad I did.

    Makes Calls – Check
    Sends Texts – Check
    Gets Email – Check
    Surfs Web – Check
    Looks gorgeous – Check
    Chavs wont be able to afford it – Check

    I think if you dont see the iPhone as a neat piece of design and a UI experience then you aren’t really getting the point and should just buy an N95. I had a new E90 before this and sent it back – it’s a brick, the GPS is rubbish and WiFi unstable and sloooooooooooow.

    £269 + £35 for a Phone, Ipod, Internet device, unlimited data and wifi – VFM ? Er, yes …

  24. Quite a few of your photos are in daylight, so that would suggest to me they are quite a bit before launch, your bias is understandable, but decieving readers of your blog isn’t.
    The device is amazing to use. simple. if you don’t want to spend £269 on a device plus contract then don’t, but those who do are enjoying the experience the device gives them, something far more than a 5MP cameraphone can do.

    My store (which isn’t a busy city centre store) had 14 people outside when we opened the dooors, quite a few of them purchased 2, the rest of the evening and the weekends trade was extremely brisk, and so far we have done 140% of some pretty challenging targets, this is extra business for us on top of the paymonthly connections we’re already making, and if this performance is replicated around the other 800+ stores, then it has been a very successful launch

    Dialaphone’s existance is looking even more shaky with it’s limited range of devices on sale connecting to an even more limited range of networks, and using blogs to spread untruths and lies to prolong your existance is just demeaning

  25. Well we just sailed into CPW on Saturday afternoon and bought one. Brought it home and activated it on-line. Had wireless connection up and running in a moment, so internet and email working just fine at home. Made a playlist in iTunes so now have it full of music. It’s a joy to use and hold.

    Mobile phone, iPod, email and internet in one. Perfect.

  26. I have to admit that the locking to a network doesnt worry me, its the crappy contract price and the knowledge that I will not be able to move it to another network when the contract is up.

    All seems a little too restrictive to me, if apple had launched it on all networks and these networks offered the same tariffs as for any other phone then I would have one in my grubby little hands now.

    Seems Apple is trying to become another Microsoft with its restrictions on what you can and cant do.

  27. Hmm, who should I believe, Nick and his Dial A Phone or the BBC. As a foreign guest to these pages (via the Registers rabidly anti-iPhone article) I’m seeing lots of reputable news sources showing pictures of lots of people lined up waiting for a phone that looks pretty cool. I’m sure there are no-hope locations that would have problems selling any kind of big ticket item, but who cares about those places. Ah yes, Nick the intrepid reporter ;-)

  28. What is a car phone?

    Oh, yes, I remember those bricks back in the ’80′s with those funny little antennas people used to steal. And there’s still a store named “Carphone Whorehouse”? I give it exactly 1 year before they’re completely bankrupt based on the name alone.

    Don’t mock the Jesus Phone… It WILL change your life.

  29. I have had the worst experience of my life dealing with Carphone Warehouse, the people there are so up their arse, I would rather stick a fork in my eye than buy anything from them. CARPHONE WAREHOUSE STAFF ARE A LOAD OF F**KING C**TS

  30. It’s a jack of all trades. Looks a master of none IMO.

    Is it a phone or music player or web browser or PDA?

    Is the Camera really any good?
    NOPE get a proper digiCam!

    What about the Music Player?
    Sure Looks good but then (if it is) I’d get the version without the Phone – hence no rubbish contract! I mean can you imagine how much your phone bill is going to be on those over priced tarrifs?!?!?

    What about the Web browser?
    Neat – I wouldn’t mind it. Especially if O2 have removed the fair usuage policy (?) but then for over £900 for 18 months use – I think i’ll wait till i get home to use the internet myself.

    PDA?
    Well still waiting on Apple to support third party products after the recent farce they had removing them from peoples phones in the US with a Software Fix to many peoples disgust. Heard they will support them officially Feb next year or so… so guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Sure I loved the touch control interface. But novelties wear off. and internet on the go… but no 3g?!??! And i REALLY like the interface… Gggggeeessss I WANT ONE deep down but know i’d regret it and seriously who can afford over £900 on a phone that ultimately will cost you heck of alot more of those tarrifs.

    I RECOMMEND EVERYONE AVOIDS THE IPHONE!!!! WAIT TILL THE NEXT RELEASE THEN WITH IMPROVED CAMERA, 3G, PROPER THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE SUPPORT AND AVAILABLITY AND MUCH BETTER VALUE TARIFFS IF OF COURSE WE ALL ABANDON THIS RELEASE AND OVERPRICE TARIFFS FROM O2!!!!

    I’ve never seen anything so over hyped and over priced in my life!!!!

    Get a cheap contract phone for now. Get a seperate mp3 player. Purchase a PDA if you must really do so. And definetely if you want to take photos you’d be purchasing a proper Digital camera eitherway.

  31. What I don’t understand is that I live in Wimbledon and it was pitch black when I got home at 5:30. Obviously The Carphone Warehouse have a way of turning night-into-day for the iPhone launch!

    You can’t expect people to queue up all day outside a carphone warehouse store – the geeks that would do that would much rather head to thelr local apple store (and it looks like some of them did :P).

  32. Anyone who wanted an iPhone has already had one for at least a month. Hacked it (which takes 15 minutes
    and the ability to read plain English) , and got it running with their SIM. Its a great phone, although bluetooth
    is crippled. I’ve had mine for 2 months now. Its great!

  33. Although I’m very, very happy with my new iPhone – and the nice fact that O2 let existing customers out of their contracts to switch over (nice one, Apple!), I had a bad experience with CPW, too.

    I got mine at the (virtually empty) CPW store in Brent Cross at around 6.40pm. I waited 55 minutes while their credit card system repeatedly broke – no-one ever said sorry or offered to hold one for me to come back later. When the payment system finally worked, the assistant lied and told me the insurance (which I cancelled immediately upon getting home) was compulsory and I couldn’t buy an iPhone without it. Then he forgot to give me the PIK transfer code, and promptly forgot about me to move on to chatting with his friends.

    That said, CPW was the only bad bit – the activation was a breeze.

  34. Theres no doubt the iphone is going to be successful and is has good design with a great UI but those who think that its a big seller should look at the figure. Apple sold x million units in the USA over the first couple of months, but in the same time how many Nokias were sold or Sony Ericsons OR even HTC windows phones. Does anyone have comparitive sales figures because only when compared with the rest of the market can we judge this phone on its success.
    It would be nice if someone were able to post the USA sales figures, just out of interest as I suspect that the likes of Nokia N95 etc… sold in days what Apple sold in months.
    Then add in the more knowledgeable and mature market ( 3G, HSDPA) in Europe and there’s every chance that the iphone becomes a niche product .
    At least it has prompted other manufacturers to rethink their direction in design and usability.

  35. If I hear any more bloody rubbish about this phone I’m going to go nuts.

    Lets try have some facts.

    Most phones in the UK are network locked as they are subsidised by the networks so the iphone being locked is noting to get wound up about. It can be unlocked as can almost all mobile phones but in the iphones case as it is purposefully designed to by sync’d to a computer it receives auto updates from itunes than can re lock it (or brick it).

    The reason for the slow sales is that the US market is very different than the UK one. In the UK we don’t really pay for our phones most of the time as they are subsidised. If this had launched back when a £200 phone was common place then it would have fared much better. I think we have been spoilt and don’t consider that I have been ripped off at all @ £269 for the kit that I have. The contract I had was 200 mins ans 100 texts @ 25 with o2 which is maybe not the best I could have had but I was happy with it. For £10 extra I now have unlimited data, unlimited wi-fi roam and a extra 100 texts. The data is a one I’ll get the most out of as the iphone will eat data.

    The iphone is not the most technologically advanced phone of all time in all areas but:

    The screen is awesome there’s nothing I have seen that is as bright and clear, It also has a super wide viewing angle.

    The Safari browser is 100% usable for Internet and is a such a joy to use.

    The touch screen works better than anything I have tried as well.

    The implementation of you tube is class especially as the low res vids that look out of place on desktop screens really suit the iphone screen format. I like the whole apps ease of operation as well.

    Texting is as quick as a keyboard on a xda mini and seeing the texts as conversations is really cool.

    The speed of operation of the whole device coupled with the way everything just works and there’s no lag is amazing. Considering the lack of buttons its one of the easiest most intuitive interfaces I have used.

    Yes it only has a 2mp camera and no flash but it is useful and works well, the photo viewer is much better than on any other phone.

    The ipod part is doddle to use and is better than any music player on any other phone.

    Google maps is quirky but I would have killed to have it when I was getting lost in Preston a month ago and had left my tom tom at home. I’d be very surprised if they don’t use the bluetooth as a way to add gps to googlemaps and make it a sat nav also in the future.

    I’m not an Apple fanboy, this is the first Apple product I have owned. I’ve had mobiles since they weighed as much as a house brick. I’ve had Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, xda II, xda mini s, Samsung etc and this is much better.

    As for the launch experience I was unable to buy one from o2 Kendal as they don’t take solo cards. There was only 2-3 people plus a few journos in the Q. There was also only 1 couple in the Q outside of CPW and when I went in to buy one I was prevented again by the card machine trouble that they had. Unlike others I was not allowed to hand over cash for one. I was lucky that I was eating out in Kendal that night so could pop back in to see the bored staff and buy one an hour or so later. CPW had also bought sweets and treats for the o2 staff to ease the boredom :-)

  36. Currently when you get yourself a mobile phone on contract, you get it “free” and as such pay only your tariff rate and any extras, and depending on the amount of calls you make, and where you’re calling to, the cost of that gets covered by your inclusive free minutes. Once this is used up, you pay something in the line op 10p per minute (I do, in any case). What is not well known is that the actual cost of the phone is subsidised by your contract tariff so you are actually paying for your phone.

    Most of the current cool phones comes free with contracts, with the exception of the majority of smart phones, but even when you get one of these, you can do wi9th it what you want to. O2 for a starter do not lock their phone (unlike Vodafone) so you can use it on any network with any sim card.

    Now, the iphone you have to pay something like 269 quid, then the cheapest contract tariff starts at 35 quid and then you pay for the calls. OK, you also get 200 free minutes on this tariff. To me this is way to expensive and does not represent good value for money and is too restrictive to my liking.

    Another thing that i don’t like, look it up on the O2 website is the following statement: “iPhone is restricted to use on the O2 network unless you are roaming. If you do not enter into and remain in an airtime agreement with O2 on one of our tariffs for iPhone, you will not be able to use the phone functionality of your iPhone. If you attempt to unlock iPhone and use it on another network, it may become permanently unusable. Making unauthorised modifications to the software on your iPhone violates the iPhone software license agreement, and the inability to use your iPhone due to unauthorized software modifications is not covered under your iPhone’s warranty. Our standard voice tariffs are not available for use with iPhone.”

    And that’s the reason myself and a lot of other people will not get this phone.

    BTW, did I mention it has a crappy camera?

  37. Apart from being more expensive,bigger, heavier, locked, saddled with a worse OS and the ability to make me look like a flaming homosexual, what can the iphone do that my nokia 6300 can’t?

  38. I think its only to fair to say that I have never any problem dealing with Carphone Warehouse, I have had lots of good free advice and no hard selling but have never had a contract with them. On the other hand, I am really fed up with T-mobile – outrageously poor service in the shops and on the phone, old models and expensive tariffs. I have an 16G ipod touch which I bought for £225 in Hong Kong and am pleased with it but it really is just another ipod. Note you don’y get access to all the 16Gig memory so it must be even worse on the 8Gig phone The best thing is it very thin but not easily lost in your pocket. No problem with the 3.5mm earphone on the iTouch. I never use the special features like wifi, browser and the bet features of the phone have been disabled and most of the accessories for other ipods are not-compatible. If you wan’t a phone, get a Blackberry – but not from T-mobile!!

  39. My brother was down in Lakeside in Essex, he said at 5:50 there were about 10 people outside. He said there were more outside carphone warehouse.

    I was after an SDHC memory card for my phone, and O2 happen to be the cheapest highstreet store for one, so I toddled down to my highstreet, took advantage of parking being free after 6, and wandered into the O2 store. There was a security guard and a guy at the door handing out numbers for the queue. Both looked bored to tears.

    The manager came over and said (in slightly excited tones as he’s obviously identified me as a bit of a geek – I think it’s the goatee) “Can I help you sir?”
    I took great pleasure in replying “Yup, I don’t want an iPhone, I’d like a 4gig card for one of these” and holding up an N95.

    Whilst I was there they sold 4 iPhones. One guy bought 2. Most of the people didn’t really know what they were buying, or the price! No idea what rock they were living under.
    A few people came in out of curiosity and played with the ones on display, which for some reason you weren’t allowed to remove from the cradles. Apple could have made it weigh 2kg, and nobody would know until too late! lol!

    Lucky there wasn’t really a queue of people wanting one, as selling an iPhone seems to take an absolute age. I don’t know if it’s paperwork, or if every person who bought one had stolen or maxed out credit cards, but it did seem to take ages.

    Anyway, thanks for the iPhone hype Apple, you just saved me having to pay for parking :-)

    Oh, one last thing… Did you guys see the TV footage from some London store of the first one being sold? The guys coming down the stairs to the cheers of the crowd… The crowd who all seemed to be dressed alike, and wearing the iPhone cardboard cut out things round their necks… Yes you saps, you’ve just been applauded by employees for parting with so much cash! Muppets.

  40. Maybe everyone is starting to wake up to the fact that much of this technology is actually tacky rubbish, possibly dangerous to your health and certainly allowing the authorities to spy on you and catalogue your consumer and personal profile.

  41. CPW had about 10 people, although their service was shocking, they turned me down on a ‘security check’ after asking credit-style questions that they didn’t need to know.

    I went to the o2 shop up the road in the main shopping centre, and they were busy, that was at almost 7pm. They were giving out chocolate muffins and bottles of water to those who bought an iPhone. I asked for the iPhone, paid £269 and walked out in a few minutes. Activation was flawless and it was a good experience overall, except for the number of CPW sales reps who stood between the entrance into the shopping centre from the car park and the o2 shop.

    OK, not a HUGE amount of hype, but there was hype wherever I went. I also learnt myself a valuable lesson, never to set foot in CPW again.

  42. I was working Friday night and therefore unable to join in all the fun

    However , I went out Saturday morning and picked myself up one from my local o2 shop
    There was a lot of interest , about 20 people around a table looking at the display iPhones , I asked if there were any left and the assistant said “Yeah , loads !” – I then realised the previous evening hadn’t been quite the success they were expecting
    I am quite pleased the way things have turned out – I won’t have to endure every 16 year old in the country telling me “Nice phone, I got one innit ? ” as I did with the N95
    I currently own three of the highest specced handsets on the Planet (The HTCAdvantage , The Nokia E90 and the Nokia N95 ) – I understand about HSDPA , Megapixels , available RAM , Operating systems and all other aspects of Mobile phone spec – yet against the “advice” of the “experts” in the newspapers – I have bought an iPhone
    The problem is , it has become essential for any self respecting journalist to write a piece on how “terrible” the iphone is – Journalists who cannot normally spell 3G , let alone know anything about it , are citing it’s abscence as the reason why the iPhone is a terrible , terrible device
    But the truth is , as Apple have demonstrated beautifully here , there is FAR more to making a good product (of any kind) than simply cramming lots of high spec numbers into a box , The Three devices I mentioned above absolutely blow the iPhone away in terms of spec – but where it counts , USER EXPERIENCE , the iPhone is far ahead of any device I have ever used !

  43. I bought mine from the O2 shop in Chiswick. Had to queue for about 15 minutes but no problem getting one and no bully tactics on insurance (just asked me if I wanted insurance and said nothing more when I said no.)

    Only real issue is that the sales clerks were telling people that they had to register them online and then we would be sent our SIM cards, which I wasn’t happy about. However, when I got home and plugged it into my computer, the registration took about 5 minutes in total and there is a SIM card in the phone after all, so don’t know what they were on about.

  44. Well, first I wouldn’t buy Apple if they paid me. Second, buy a phone at over 300gbp AND a 1800.00gbp contract?? and third, if I wanted the touch screen and interface, I’d simply buy one of the many smart-phones on the market that already have that and run WinDos – oh hang on, I already have that and it’s not locked in to a contract, it’s pay-as-you-go – this costs me almost nothing in comparison.
    Still, I’m a techie and not as stupid as most of the general public, though it seems that the Great British General Public finally seem to have started catching on to the Apple con and getting a bit tech-wise themselves (at last!).

  45. Actually the reason the window was empty ws that the store next door complained. The lines went in to Hanover Street and Hanover square. Starbucks delivered coffee and the Cloud arnged entertainment. I ws not queing. I was parked waiting for clients. Whilst it was not the line that formed behind me in Moorgate at the HMV when the Wii was launched (I was the second in line) There were over 30 Security. Any one wanting to check cn call Starbucks to confiirm thier actions. I don’t care for the phone. (I’m a T- MObile HTC and Blackberry guy) But hate sour grapes.

  46. ‘Project’, I went to the central O2 store in Manchester at 18:45, and there were like 5 people there, plus a rather obnoxious, pushy sales drone (some nice ones too, for fairness). I then hopped to the Apple store inside Arndale’s, and there were like 10 people at best here trying iPhone amidst an army of store employees. The CW shops inside Arndale’s were pretty much empty. Shitty contract + locked phone = no good.

    Crowds? More like flash mobs ;)

  47. My 02 shop around the corner in the West End of Glasgow had a small queue of 10 people at 6pm on Friday night (mostly students). I bought mine on Saturday morning, plenty of stock. Staff were friendly and helpful (and chuffed they had a wee queue the night before).

    Great phone. Raises the bar.

  48. I tried desperately not to get sucked in by all the hype. However, by 6:20pm on Friday night I realised I didn’t have to try that hard – it was easy, I just carried on using my ‘old’ phone and accepting that the whole ‘user experience’ was going to be slightly less awesome…

  49. I think that the reason the iPhone has only a trickle of fans (even amongst avid mac users such as myself) is because apart from the interface, it’s really old tech. Whilst most manufacturers are rolling out HSDPA, and a few HSUPA.. Apple chose to go with 2.5G to save a few millimetres of battery. It’s incredibly pretty, but I favour function over form. That’s probably why I didn’t get into Mac until OS X. Even its bluetooth implementation is limited to pairing with headsets. Want to bluetooth sync to your mac? Sorry. You have to tether the phone and have a dock/cable whereever you want to sync. Apple should have waited to enter the European market until they had a 3g phone. I think they’ll sell very few units here. Those queueing on the first day will probably be about 80% of their total customer base. I’m looking now for a tiny HSDPA phone with BT 2.0 to use as a phone, and as a modem for my N800 tablet with its mozilla browser, flash 9 and 800×480 screen (and installable Linux programs). Apple tout their iPhone in the ads as “an ipod in your phone” which I fully agree with. If you don’t want internet browsing, and just want to consolidate your ipod nano and phone.. it’s a pretty neat way to go. they also tout it as “the full internet experience” and I’m sorry, but safari on such a small screen isn’t the full internet experience. Where’s the IM? IRC? SSH? It’s a web browser on a phone with a small screen, and that’s IT. The multitouch interface is LOVELY though, and the second or third generation that solves the devices current shortcomings will be a must have. (It took 3 generations to make the iPod must have.) With an 18 month contract, you can’t easily replace it like you did the iPod though.. so most people will just wait.

  50. Nick,

    If you’d bothered to do any research at all, that ‘empty’ barrier block was actually put in place to allow people to EXIT the store after their purchase at 6.02pm. But what the hell. Go knock yourself out on lies. As someone who writes for an Apple Weblog, we routinely get scoffed at for supposedly not having proper editorial integrity (something we actually pride ourselves on): it’s idiots like yourself that seem to drag ‘bloggers’ reputations into question. That said, some professional (as-in: do it all day everyday, words-written-pay-the-bills) journalists were still unaware of the iPhone even HAVING a camera, so I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on you. You’re all probably bitter at being unable to sell the thing.

    You should have come and said hello – it’s not like we were going anywhere: then we’d have clarified facts from fiction. Or at least given you some facts to base your article on about ourselves.

    So, to break the bubble: No PR agency paid us to show up, or queue. We did it of our own free will. If you don’t believe it, so be it. I guess bloggers can expect to be derided based on the shoddy work of others.

    Now go back to flogging the N95, will you?

  51. 12 people outside the Trafford Centre store?
    I count more than 12: http://gallery.mac.com/ajanssens#100062/09112007232&bgcolor=black
    Furthermore, I was around 20th in line at Manchester’s other Apple Store in the Arndale Centre, with about another 60-80 people behind me.

    I’m sure my claims of knowing Graham and Nik will be disputed as above, but it’s rather pathetic of Dial-a-Phone to suggest a PR agency paid them to be there. Heck, I was gonna go down with them, sans recruitment from said agency.

    If you did *actual* investigative journalism (ie, more than driving around London with a shoddy cameraphone), you’d find dozens of people camped outside Apple Stores in the U.S for the iPhone launch, along with hundreds more that I have waited overnight for the opening of stores around the world.

  52. Well, there were about 800 people in the queue on Regent Street when joined – went back almost as far as Conduit Street. And there were definitely also (much smaller) queues outside the Carphone Warehouse across from John Lewis, and the O2 a bit closer to Bond Street. Each had 15 – 20 people in it, and that would have been at about 6.30 (I wanted to check out other cases). Before 6pm, I was in Selfridges and there were definitely people waiting here too. So no, don’t believe the hype, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and Dial-a-Phone: nice try.

    pao: too bad. I had trouble getting my bank account details recognised but phoned up the help number on the o2 iPhone website and was called back within 90 minutes, on the Friday night. I was mentally composing my furious complaint letter; I ended up being quite impressed with o2.

    As to Dan: “don’t mind rubbish browsing speeds” – clearly we would rather have 3G but the balance of the rest of the package is worth it *for us* (and I was using mine all day yesterday and it still has a decent charge so…), but more importantly, “O2s excessive data charges” – what part of *unlimited* *included* *data* and unlimited wi-fi (sure FUP but it’s no like these things run BitTorrent) are you still having trouble with? I’m really sorry if o2 stiffs their other customers but it does not apply here.

  53. I don’t know who “Project” is (since he/she/it doesn’t leave their name) but I can confirm that Nik and myself were NOT paid by any advertising company. We were looked after by The Cloud (food and drink etc.) for wearing their hoodies and hats, but that happened AFTER we arrived. This article is total bullshit. Maybe if Dial-a-Phone had actually bothered to talk to us they’d have discovered this. We’ve been totally honest bout our relationship (or lack of) with Apple and The Cloud.

  54. You say that the launch was at 6.02pm on 9 November, but one of your Oxford Street photos has the date/timestamp on it – 14.00. Go on, tell me that the clock on your camera is wrong, and you really honest-to-god-gov’nor didn’t take the photo *before* the launch to make your story look better…

  55. “Project”, if that is your real name. You sir chat SHIT. I was in the Trafford centre shopping from 3pm till gone 6:30 and at very most there were 12 people outside the Apple Store, 2 people outside The Carphone Warehouse and 1 sad old git outside o2. And you know “Graham Gilbert”? PMSL you talk out your arse.

    The only bullshit is that from Apple/o2/CPW and YOU. Now please go run off and play with Graham, your imaginary friend, on the M25.

  56. Hi David Choy,

    I agree with you, but that was the point of the post, we were trying to point that all the stories in the UK press about “Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Apple are braced for huge queues and a surge of customers when the must-have gadget goes on sale.” are hype generated by Apple’s PR agency. There simply isn’t the huge rush in the UK becuase the device is 6 months old. Eager UK buyers would have purchased it from ebay, the spec is less than we are used in the UK and the price is a lot, lot high than UK phones.

  57. If they had released the phone as a handset on all networks, all main tariffs, and as an unlocked sim free unit, then yes there may well have been queues.

    But tied into a rather basic, 18 month contract with O2 is not the way to sell. Firstly, it’s only good to people who are with O2 or want to switch, don’t mind rubbish browsing speeds and O2s excessive data charges and a contract tying them up for 18 months.

    No doubt unlocked units will appear soon, though, on ebay…

    This is a bit like the PS3 scenario. People got fed up of waiting, so they have bought one of the other great devices on the market, such as the N95 and are now tied into contracts.

    It may well sell loads of units but it won’t be an overnight success.

    As I understand it, it is illegal in France to lock phones to specific networks, so give it a couple of months and there will be loads of units flooding the UK from over the channel, unlocked and ROM hacked.

  58. Well it’s the same here in Germany. The so called hype sold 10.000 iPhones on the first day. Uhm , OK that’s (statistically on the 82 million Germans) just 1/7 of the USA sales. And that’s bad. Apple made a big mistake by choosing T-Mobile. The tariffs are unbelievable expensive: 2 year contract 50 Euro a month with only 100 free minutes and 40(!!) SMS? Well that’s the truth. And worst thing: every next minute will cost 39 Euro-Cent!! To remember: at a 2 year contract.

    A lot of people will buy their iPhone unlocked in France and take another company like O2, BASE or whatever.

  59. Heh.

    In Canterbury there was no one at the Carphone Warhouse except overly agressive bored staff, trying to tempt me with their ‘exclusive insurance’ at 10gbp a month – when I innocently asked why they had queue lines set up outside the store at 5:45.

    The O2 shop just over the road had about 50 people in a queue at 6pm, but then the O2 staff were handing out free muffins, water and were nice polite and friendly. One silly sod had been there since 8am so they let him on on his own first – which was a nice touch I guess.

    And yes I did buy an iPhone, no I can’t register it as my address does not exist in O2s database – the house has only been here for three years and amazingly is in the instore database – which is no good on-line. So I have to wait till Monday when the ‘address team’ are back at work to add my address.

    Sigh.

  60. Carphone warehouse used to be ok… but unfortunately an absolutely shocking customer service experience would send me to an unauthorised seller (with no stars) on ebay, before I deal with them again!!!

  61. Julian,

    There might not be “only a handful” of Apple stores in the US, there is at least one or two per state, but that is still dwarfed by the number of AT&T stores. So your logic does not work.

    As reported when the Iphone was released in the US there were many AT&T stores not mobbed by iPhone customers.

    I am not surprised there aren’t many queues in the UK for so many reasons:
    (1) people know what the Iphone is and does already, so there is much less hype and excitement than the original US launch
    (2) Many have bought a US version already (especially the eager)
    (3) traditional british conservatism lives!

    Nevertheless I expect Apple to sell heaps of these, similar to what is happening in germany, and a multitude more next year when the 3G version arrives.

  62. I wouldn’t call a dozen a “handful,” but it would still be more of a reflection to see the crowds at the Apple stores. Even if it’s easier to find other stores closer by with stock, so long as an Apple retail outlet is in reasonably easy reach, I think most people would consider it worth the trip. It is an “event,” after all.

    Even if they wait longer on line, they’re waiting and chatting with people, and they DON’T have to wait to get their phone activated. The UK experience may be different than here in the US, but every time I have to deal with a cell phone store, I’m sitting around for half an hour while they hem and haw with the specifics, take down all my information, etc. All stuff that I would leap at the chance to take care of in five minutes at home, while enjoying a nice cup of tea. ^_^ (At least we have that in common, eh?)

    As well, since it’s pointed out that “Carphone has hundreds (of locations),” it would be quite easy to find locations with no line, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    The “hype” and everyone’s fixation on it is always stupid anyway. The iPhone’s “hype” and platform strength will be evident from their sales figures, and pretty much nothing else. Anyone who thinks either “hype” OR “overhype” is important is pretty foolish.

  63. I went to carphone warehouse to get mine as it was just down the road. Ive never been to a carphone warehouse and hope i never have to ever again.

    Bully tactics on insurance that costs more than my house insurance. quoting how many people have been mugged for their iphone. Trying to sell accessories and worst of all the taking of a lot of personal information that i know they are going to bombard me with marketing and cold calling.

    All in all a poor experience.

    I became an apple fan earlier this year with ipod and a week later macbook. I was sold on the apple experience. If anyones first experience of apple is carphone warehouse i reckon thy will never come back. Its a shame apple did the deal with 02 and carphone warehouse but at the end of the day its about the shareholders.

    Finally i love the phone and am very pleased.

  64. There was around 150 people in the queue at the Apple store in Manchester and more at the Trafford Centre.

    Graham, who was first in the Regent Street queue is somebody I personally know so your staged theory is complete bullshit.

  65. Hi Bob,

    You might be right but the post was about the reports in the press about:

    “Apple’s much-hyped iPhone is prompting a rush to stores when it finally launches in the UK. Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Apple are braced for huge queues and a surge of customers when the must-have gadget goes on sale.”

    You may not know that Apple only has a handful of stores in the UK, whereas Carphone has hundreds. So if you wanted the iPhone on the day of release it more than likely that you would have to buy from an Carphone or O2 shop.

  66. One reason for there being no lines at non-apple stores could be the horrible experiences most U.S. customers had when they bought the iPhone from AT&T stores. Most people that bought their iPhone from an Apple store had no issues, no waits, and were personally helped through the process one-on-one by a helpful Apple store employee. There were rumors that non-Apple stores that sold the iPhone forced buyers to buy accessories, or the fact that some stores treated the $100 iPhone rebate for early adopters as a “Manager’s special”. Totally awful.

    These are just speculations as to why there might be a line at Apple stores, but you could shoot a cannon through O2 without hitting a single, iPhone-buying soul.

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