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02 predicts sales of 200,000 iPhones

06 ноября 2007

Up to 200,000 Apple iPhones will be sold in Britain over Christmas and the New Year, according to 02, the largest mobile operator in the UK.

02 predicts sales of 200,000 iPhonesApple’s much-hyped iPhone goes on sale in the UK on Friday at 6.02pm. 02 will be the exclusive mobile network for the handset and predicts that the iPhone will be its fastest selling handset yet.

Matthew Key, chief executive of 02’s UK business, told the Financial Times he expected “a couple of hundred thousand” iPhones to be sold in the first two months by Apple, 02 and Carphone Warehouse, the mobile phone retailer.

He added that 02 had ordered “hundreds of thousands” of iPhones from Apple for stores and online outlets run by 02 and Carphone.

Some analysts said the 200,000 sales projection was conservative. Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Gartner, a consultancy, said between 350,000 and 400,000 iPhones could be sold in the first two months.

After the June launch in the US, 1m iPhones were sold in just under 2½ months.

The iPhone combines a mobile phone with a music player and Internet browser, and 02 predicts the device will enable it to poach customers from rivals such as Vodafone.

Analysts said the only mobiles that have provoked similar excitement to the iPhone are Motorola’s Razr and Sony Ericsson’s Cybershot and Walkman phones.

As well as being much-hyped, the iPhone will be one of the most expensive mobile handsets yet.

It will be sold for £269, but customers must take out contracts with 02 that start at £35 per month. It means the cheapest iPhone deal will cost £899 because the contracts last 18 months.

Mr Key shrugged off the price differential between the iPhone in the UK and the US, where it is available for $399.

The iPhone price was cut in the US by $200 less than 10 weeks after launch, but Mr Key played down the idea of swift reductions in the UK.

The one glaring weakness with the iPhone is that it runs on 2.5G mobile networks, which offer markedly slower web browsing speeds than their 3G equivalents.

Mr Key expressed confidence that 02 would get the 3G version of the iPhone, which is due in the second half of next year.

Источник: Financial Times

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