The price on the 8GB iPhone in Britain had been £269, or
about $530 USD; more expensive than the U.S. version, which retails for $399
USD. However, O2, the carrier
for the iPhone in Britain, and Carphone Warehouse, Britain's largest mobile
phone retailer, slashed prices on the
low-end iPhone. The new price is 169 £ or about $333 USD.
The 16 GB model remains untouched at £329 ($649 USD), significantly more than
the U.S. price of $499. The price cut on the 8 GB iPhone lasts through
June 1st, according to the retailers.
The iPhone is already O2's fastest selling device. It hopes the new price
cuts will create even more momentum for the iPhone, which seems to be doing
quite well in Britain despite some sales slowdown.
O2's most basic plans start at £35 a month, or about $69
USD. Some analysts had predicted that slowdowns in the U.S. economy and
abroad could put a dent in the handset market, particularly for high-end models
like the iPhone. Carphone's Finance Director Roger Taylor refutes such
claims, saying the market for premium phones remains strong.
While some say that the cuts may be an attempt by O2 to spur sales of the
iPhone, which have slowed since its release, other analysts say Apple and O2
may have ulterior
motives. They point out that the mark down may be a precursor to the
release of Apple's
new high speed model of the iPhone, which will support faster 3G networks.
Apple declined to comment on these rumors. Astute observers will note
that T-Mobile similarly cut the price for the low-end model in Germany.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood commented, "More and more this is starting to
look like they want to clear stock of an older model, with a looming revision
to the iPhone which will likely include 3G. But also we think the iPhone
has slowed down during the first quarter and we think this (a 3G launch) should
give sales a bit of a lift."
O2, owned by Telefonica, and Carphone Warehouse received permission from Apple
to carry the iPhone, but have been tight lipped about precise sales
figures. O2 would only say that the phone is its "fastest selling
device". An Apple spokeswoman did mention that the cuts were a
"O2-led promotion" and that Apple's retail stores would not change
In the U.S. and abroad, the iPhone has sold well over 4 million units, although
as many as 1
million of these iPhones may be unlocked, putting a dent in Apple's
quote: The English have something to gloat about over their American friends
quote: In the U.S. and abroad, the iPhone has sold well over 4 million units, although as many as 1 million of these iPhones may be unlocked, putting a dent in Apple's revenue.
quote: although as many as 1 million of these iPhones may be unlocked, putting a dent in Apple's revenue.
quote: The only revenue they loose from unlocked iPhones is those which do not run on the Apple approved network which pays them a certain amount of the monthly service fees