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iPhone sales around Europe have been disappointing, with the French only pocketing 30,000 in the first five days - though that's three times the number T-Mobile managed to shift in Germany. But that's not stopped Google releasing an optimised version of its mobile application suite specially designed for the finger-driven …

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"Too Cynical"?...

... or "less gullible"?

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Jobs Horns

either that

or we realise that it's an overpriced, feature lacking, fashion item and not a serious item at all.

That and all the fanboys have imported one before of course.

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The iPod Touch is the reason for poor iPhone sales in Europe.

Like most people I know, I really liked the touch interface, styling and non-phone features of the iPhone, especially the superb mobile browsing, but we probably all have phones which we're quite happy with that give us the communication features we need. Personally I use a Blackberry, which does an excellent job.

Now the iPod Touch has been released, I get everything that I like about the iPhone, but without the contract issues, so I have a Touch (an early Christmas present from my girlfriend) sat on my desk as I type this. Had it not been available, I'd certainly have considered an iPhone instead.

The Touch and iPhone are both very desirable pieces of kit, but I guess many people are quite prepared to put up with carrying two devices and have the flexibility and choice of mobile telecoms provider.

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it's crap that's why

It might have a flash interface, but compare what it can actually do to a decent pocket pc and it's piss-poor

and it's bloody expensive too, you can get a PPC for £0 with a contract

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Dead in the water

Ancient technology combined with unpleasantly smug marketing in already mature markets was always a recipe for disaster. They're trying to sell in established markets where mobiles have become a commodity not a £300 commitment - we change them too rapidly to shell out that much money. They're also trying to compete with established players without having any knock-out blow to deliver. iPod and iTunes made MP3 players so simple and convenient to use there really isn't much point in considering anything else. The iPhone has none of that traction to make it so attractive. No company has a Midas touch, not even Apple. You don't bring coals to Newcastle.

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Anonymous Coward

or, we don't like lock in

It's a fantastic phone - and HSDPA aside, it does all I want in a phone. But why buy something and get locked in.

I've never been big on corporate claustrophobia.

I probably will pop over and get one in France tho

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Jobs Halo

hmm, i dont think its expensive...

When you look at it its £70 more than the ipod tough 8Gb and for that you get a phone, mobile web and email. Personally I love the device, the EDGE is usable for the sites I like, El Reg Beeb news etc.

Yeah ok, the contract is a little pricey, but not much worse that other contract out there. The free data and The Cloud access more than make up for the price differential.

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Thumb Up

Statistics?

270,000 units in the USA and somewhere around a 10th of that in the UK and similarly in other countries in Europe.

I'm not sure of the total population of the USA but as a percentage those sales figures stand up pretty well in comparison.

Like many others wouldn't have one at the moment, might in the future, don't see any reason to knock those who have or want one. Personal choice just like anything else!

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Gates Horns

Not for the kids

Yoof Customer: "Uhh, mate, how do I send this picture/video to my mate's phone"

Apple Senior Salesman: "By email"

YC: "Wot, no MMS"

ASS: "No, sonny, that 3g technology, we use EDGE"

YC: "Riiight" [exit right]

ASS: Where are you going ?, Hello ??

YC: Outta here.....

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It's not £70 more than the iTouch

It's £70 and a restrictive, long period, mobile phone contract more. You're agreeing to fork out £900 before you've even made a call.

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Boffin

population of UK:USA

Population of UK is about 60m, USA is about 300m, i.e. a ratio of 1:5. Sales are 1:10, so it looks like the UK et al are buying about half as many.

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Stop

Scaling

"All this compares badly with the 270,000 sold in the USA"

As much as I want to see the iPhone fail miserably, isn't the USA a LOT bigger than France, or Germany, or even the UK? So you'd figure that there's probably the same percentage of morons in each country and therefore sales of the iPhone in the US would be higher than in these individual countries?

How many iPhones were sold in Montana? Or Texas?

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Thumb Down

Could it have something to do...

...with the US iPhone price drop, perchance?

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Stats

USA

Pop: 302,939,000

Sales: 209,000

Percentage: 0.07%

UK

Pop: 60,587,300

Sales: 30,000

Percentage: 0.05%

France

Pop: 64,102,140

Sales: 30,000

Percentage: 0.05%

Germany

Pop: 82,314,900

Sales: 10,000

Percentage: 0.01%

So yes, sales in Europe are pretty significantly lower as a percentage of population. UK's penetration is 28.23% lower, France 32.16%, and Germany is 82.39%.

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Happy

RE: Statistics

Population USA 300Million

Population UK 60 Million

UK/US = 20% population

Iphone sales US 270 thousand

Iphone sales UK 27 thousand

UK/US sales 10%

This coupled with higher phone uptake in the UK and the fact the iphone has been out for far longer than just a week means bad news for all the smug gits at apple. :-)

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Stop

Old tech at an older price.

I personally wouldn't bother with an ipHone as, apart from the multi-touch screen which has limited usability on such a small scale, it has absolutely 0 features above my 18 month old XDA Exec. A phone, I might add, that cost me £50 with an 18month contract (£30/mnth). Infact, my XDA Exec has more features and is more usable then the iphOne and it's 18 months old! It's open; I can use any sim I want without any lock in. I can read email and browse the internet on it - although that seems to be the innovative feature of the iphone..? And I even have the fabulous ability to quickly and easily type in a text/email and make calls.

So where is the innovation that warrants the vast additional cost?

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Re: Statistics

~60 million UK population, similar in France, and 80+ million in Germany is over 200 million people in just those 3 countries (Europe as a whole is getting on for 800 million if I remember right). USA population is ~300 million so the stats are not looking good..

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sms? whatwhat?

i love all my mac toys, including my iphone. But whats with the sms app? In denmark all teenagers ever do is sms each other to a degree that apparently has to be seen to be believed (and the mac marketroids obviously didnt see it).

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Self-made deception

How can anyone say 30 000 French sales in 5 days are disappointing?

This is ridiculous ; what predictions do 30 000 get compared to?

As for German numbers, I have not seen an official numbers yet ...

And for UK, I haven't heard that sales have stopped. So maybe the ElRegSuperSecretAgent allsonecessarilytrue evaluation of less 26K iPhone activations from 10 days ago might be even less true now.

We have at least a quite good panorama of the different ways the human mind can relate to a new and trendy phenomenon ...

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Boffin

Re: Statistics?

Well according to Wikipedia (honest guv, it's a quick reference), the populations of the following countries are:

Germany: 82.3

UK: 60.6

France: 64.1

USA: 302.9

Sooooo, by taking population only, by AC's reckoning 184,500 units should have been sold in the 1st week.

The article implies that 40,000 were sold in Germany & France. So unless 140,000 have been sold by O2 (and I imagine they'd be releasing numbers like that) sales haven't stood up well in comparison.

So, UK, Germany & France with 69% of the population of the US have managed to chip together to get 26% of the sales that Apple have had in the US. Let's be honest, that's shite.

Anyone willing to pick a whole in my maths is welcome to do so, and I'm aware that this doesn't take into account wealth, price difference, cynicism, etc.

A degree may be required to understand this post if you have done your A-Levels or received a Degree in recent years.

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Anonymous Coward

Statistics!

Well, according to the allways reliable Wikipedia, the USA has about 300 Million people in it, while the UK has 60 Million. So, if about 10 times as many eye-phones were sold in the USA as in the UK, that means about twice as many per person.

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Stop

Have any of the naysayers ever actually used one....

.....for any reasonable period of time.

As a communications device is it superb. Access to the cloud hotspots more than makes up for the lack of 3G and as another post says, Edge isn't as bad as most people think. I certainly do not miss 3G from my N80. In any case, 3G is over hyped on phones, web browsing on any Nokia device over 3G, in my experience, is not significantly better than the iPhone on Edge, and given that pretty much every major public location (read pub) in the UK is a cloud hotspot (it's that tv quiz machine in the corner), 3G becomes practically moot.

As for "we don't like the lock in", Oh come on, show me a contract phone for less than 18 months these days and I'll show you a 12 month tariff that is artificially poor value for money. Unless you're happy with the poor mans/credit unworthy pleb-as-you-go then there isn't much option other than 18 month contracts.

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Flame

Overpriced Junk...

I used to work at O2, and still know a number of people in the biz, both at retail and network. iPhone sales are low, and a lot of users don't know what they're doing with them, so they're sucking up resource @ O2 customer services and the retailers trying to figure out how to use *insert feature X* or why they can't use a feature they had on their last phone, that they just "upgraded" from. Want to know why you can't get through to O2? Because their reps are explaining how to use iTunes to more important customers. Waiting forever in Carphone Warehouse to get your phone repaired? Yep, well, someone is trying to figure out why they can't use MMS on their iPhone.

* sells for $399 in the US, which is about £190 (last time I checked). Sells in the UK for £269. Nuff said.

* the calling plan is crap. £35 a month for 200 mins and 200 texts??? I get more free on my PAYG! Normally a £35/month contract with O2 will get you 600 mins and 500 text. Oh, and you pay for voicemail with the iPhone, which you don't on a standard £35pm contract with O2. Nice.

* PAYING for a mobile phone with an 18-MONTH CONTRACT???

* Lack of features - my 2yo Nokia has features the iPhone lacks, and mine wasn't a top of the range at the time of purchase. Little things that people like. Like being able to send a text to more than one person at a time. Like being able to delete a text message without erasing everything in the "conversation". Like being able to use MMS and 3G. Like...

Overall, yeah, it looks ok. Wonderful. But it doesn't do the job, is poor value for money, and costs a damned sight more here than it does in other places (over 40% above US price). I get that over in the US, people jumped for joy at this, because of the low-tech cellphones they're used to. But here? In terms of functionality (leaving aside presentation), it's years out of date.

Move along, nothing to see here....

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Happy

UK v US

UK = 60 Million people

US = 300 Million people

Therefore

UK = 1 iPhone per 2000 People

US = 1 iPhone per 1000 people

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Alert

Numbers

It would seem that the obvious comparison stats have been ignored.

Population of the USA - 300 million. 270,000 iPhones = 1.1 per thousand.

Population UK - 60 million. 30,000 iPhones = 0.5 per thousand.

Population France - 60 million. 30,000 iPhones = 0.5 per thousand.

Population Germany - 82 million. 10,000 iPhones = 0.12 per thousand.

Average across Europe so far = 0.35 per thousand.

So very roughly, the uptake of iPhones in Europe has been about one third that of the USA, and nearly half the USA's rate in the UK and France. Not brilliant, but by the same token, not the utter disaster that many have predicted, and indeed not the disaster the tone of the commentary (without doing the per capita comparisons) would lead a reader to think. Indeed, given the well aired difficulties in the European markets, one might suspect that this level of market penetration might have actually exceeded Apple's hopes rather than dashed them.

Germany however clearly is a disaster.

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Stats...

OK, so yes, the stats prove that the iPhone isn't selling as well as it did in the US, but it's not the disaster that I'd have hoped it would be is it?

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not cynical

s/cynical/sensible/

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Rob
Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

What?

iPod Touch 8Gb is about a £1000!!! Blimey didn't think they were that much, as that's what you roughly pay for an iPhone when you tot up the contract cost as well.

The reason the contract is a little pricey is because your still paying Apple for the device.

Don't get me wrong I like the device for what it's shown is possible for a phone UI, but the figures are far too north of £100 which is all I'm prepared to pay for a phone. Most UK citizens won't even stretch to £100.

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Jobs Halo

simplified pricing plans, dual sim support, no roaming charges...

at least i don't have to wade through reams of paper to find out how much i'll have to pay per month. well, unless i want to find out about roaming charges. so when iPhone2 surfaces with space for 2 SIM cards (and support for all carriers, which has just taken longer to achieve than expected), with autodetect of SIM use, and no roaming charges, things will become clearer regarding their motives.

McFanBoy

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IT Angle

Buy an iPhone and then crack it...simple really

I can't believe that all the Elreg readers commenting here do not mention that you can buy an iphone for the price of an iPod Touch and then CRACK IT so that you do not have to sign up to a slave contract, get BSD subsystem, VT-100 Terminal, SSH, and all the third party apps you like...including BitchX.

I thought that readers of Elreg readers were savvy!

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Black Helicopters

American Ovine

If they want to sell a lot of products such as this, European companies and government need to help the schools to produce lots of stupid sheep. Just smart enough to read adverts, but dumb enough to believe them. works great in the USA!

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Are Europeans that stupid?

Listening to dribble from the likes of Mike Crawshaw makes you guys sound like a bunch of morons. If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about.

You are making such a big deal about features that don't really matter. Like being able to send SMS to more than one person at a time. Who cares? Are you running a text spam business or something? I've NEVER had the need to send a text message to multiple people at once. No MMS? Can you say EMAIL? Idiot!

And signing a contract? SO? You going somewhere? You're gonna need service, you're gonna get a better deal with a contract.

It costs what it costs, live with it. There are PLENTY of items that we Yanks have to pay a FORTUNE for coming from Europe that you guys get much cheaper. Stop whining!

Pull your head out for a few minutes and you'll stop smelling shite!

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You guys want this to fail *sooo* badly

And it clearly isn't.

It's obviously outselling the brick-like N95

It's reportedly out-browsing all the PocketPCs on the planet.

And the fact that it is too expensive for chavs .... well there's another reason to have one.

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Flame

dumb europeans?

dumb,

if you never need to send texts to multiple people then it is clear that yuou have no mates.

MMS? Picture messaging.

Personally, I think the iPhone is overpriced. But I think it hits the market spot very well indeed. A better price and it would go like tickets for the Zep reunion gig.

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SMS

The UK sends (from that info they said a few weeks back) over 1bn sms messages per week. But to Apples marketting fools sms is a old, useless technology...hmm, odd how its something most people want and use a lot.

Cripple whats a massive feature on phones, add in lack of features and charge a fortune. And no matter how pretty or shiny it is, it stinks of a waste of time.

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Boffin

Personally...

...for me, the deal-breaker is the non-replaceable battery. As someone who has owned a few Nokias, I know the battery conks out LONG before anything else (unless the handset is *really* crappy - in which case I wouldn't pay for it).

The iPhone has a fundamental design flaw in this, which is something I regard as quite an amusing irony - especially coming from a company that claims to remedy all the flaws present in mobile phones and their user interfaces.

Oliver.

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Battery replacement

The battery can be replaced for $US25:

http://www.ipodjuice.com/iphone-battery-replacement-products.htm

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Anonymous Coward

O2 and CPW Exploited by Apple

O2 expected to sell 200,000 iPhones by the end of December 2007 - unlikely to achieve these sales given that you can buy a cheaper iPhone unlocked from France.

Every night I see at least one O2 advert on TV for the iPhone - how much is this costing O2?

The current UK sales are poor against projections.

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@dumb

You really are well named.

Happily some of us live in a region that has a proper mobile phone network, even a proper choice of carriers.

Obviously you have never been Treasure Island, where companys still and charge 1 UKP to the dollar.

Next thing you are goint to tell us that Paris is the capital of Europe and we don't have running water.

As for the iPhone I couldn't care less about it as I want a reliable phone that isn't locked into an over priced contract, and the iPhone dosn't fit my criteria.

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Flame

@dumb (apt name)

"If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about."

Well firstly I have used an iPhone, and unless you live in Europe rather than telephonically-challenged USA you have no idea what YOU are talking about. Over here we are used to phones with a bit more to them than just making calls. Few things the iPhone doesn't do which we expect in a phone these days:

No 3G

No doubt the WiFi 'excuse' will be rolled out, but what if I'm not near a hotspot..?

Can't change the battery (so no spares)

No memory card slot

No GPS

Can't even connect to Bluetooth GPS (what is the point of having mobile Google Maps if you can't use a GPS..? Google Maps on Windows Mobile has full support for GPS)

Can't send a text to more than one person at a time.

Can't copy and paste (!!)

No VPN support (bye bye corporate customers)

No supported 3rd party apps (however to be fair they have said they are coming)

Can't upload files in Safari

Can't DOWNLOAD files in Safari(!)

Camera but no MMS

Camera but no video. (If you DID have video, then you couldn't upload to YouTube as the 'full featured web browser' doesn't allow you to upload anything.)

The interface in the iPhone is beautiful - nobody disputes that but the phone part is simply not there yet.

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Flame

For the benefit of "dumb"

Okay, I am going to use simple words here for the benefit of Mr Dumb.

"If you've never used an iPhone for more than 30 seconds, you have no idea what you're talking about." - sadly many people on here do - we're techs, we tend to study technical things and draw we we in the UK call "conclusions".

"Like being able to send SMS to more than one person at a time. Who cares?" - lots of people care. As an example, you want to go out with friends (well, not you obviously) so you want to organise a time and place. We don't all want to send individually crafted messages, we want to send one shot texts. Not everyone can receive emails so sending one is what is frequently refered to as "f**king futile".

I have used the iBrick - I didn't like it. I wanted to see a phone and what I got was a pretty mp3 player and browser with a fairly crap phone attached to it.

Maybe if you got your head out of your own arse you'd be able to make objective assessments about technology rather than start on the fanboi rant.

Now shush and let the adults discuss techy stuff.

<feels better for that rant>

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Bronze badge

@DUMB

typical US-centric response from an appropriately named poster.

SMS/MMS is huge in the EU to a degree that you cannot imagine unless you live here, especially among the youth. Hell, it's the only way my 43-year old girlfriend even talks to people - she probably sends about 30-50 per day. And compared to younger folks, that number is low.

And email is grand, but asynchronous. In the EU, we have moved to synchronous communications that even notify us the second it is delivered to the recipient's handset - SMS/MMS. Don't know about you, but I like to KNOW that people have gotten my messages, in real time. Oh, maybe you can't do that in the US yet...doh!! Standard feature on my T-mobile account here in the UK. In short, email is a 1960's technology. SMS/MMS are the next wave: synchronous, guaranteed delivery reciepts, and native to all handsets. So I can send one to my mum, and not have to worry if she is out - her 5 year old handset will get it just fine, and let me know she got it.

So, until you are enough of a social anthropologist to understand that the EU has many nice new technologies that are driven by social structures and environment, please keep your speculation to yourself. And I say that as a native American...

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Plus ca change...

"Overall, yeah, it looks ok. Wonderful. But it doesn't do the job, is poor value for money, and costs a damned sight more here than it does in other places" And, surprisingly, this description is of an object with 'Apple' written on it. And I *have* used one. Did a stint with Apple as a hell-desk operator (they are appalling people to work for, at least at the bottom of the pile), so I saw it before quite a lot of people did.

I maintained at the time that people wouldn't go for it in Europe, as we're used to free handsets and shorter contracts (note that with most of the 18m contracts, you can still upgrade at 12 months, at the expense of a continued lock-in). Aaaaaaand, I was right! Excellent.

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Jobs Horns

Too expensive... especially the plans

It is too expensive.

My phonebill is about 20 to 30 € a month. And I think, I am using the phone quite much. I can quit whenever I want to and I can get HSDPA too, if I like and pay 2 cent per MB.

I didn't get a phone, but I like to buy my own phones...

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Thumb Up

Thoughts from the converted.

I was a naysayer, ranting on about how I hated the lock in, and how lack of HSDPA would be a pain, etc, etc. But having played with a friends for a bit and first testing to make sure that it's Bluetooth worked with my built in car kit, I took the plunge and got one last week. It was worth it.

I was on an over priced plan at Orange for the number of minutes I was using anyway (my fault really) so £45/m at O2 will be a cost saving. And I've discovered that the iPhone user experience is just not given justice by any of the reviews I've read. It's so slick, and the level of calendar and contact synchronisation with my MacBook has given me a noticeable productivity boost.

Text entry is also much much quicker than before. For me, the trick is to peck at it with one finger. I don't know why all the pics and demos seem to insist that you have to use two thumbs, as being the biggest digits you have they just get in the way and are more prone to touching keys you don't want. On my old K800i I had to use thumbs because the keys require a certain amount of force to be activated quickly. The iPhone doesn't suffer from that, so you're only limited by how fast you can tap. After a bit of practice it becomes like touch typing; and though mistakes creep in, the iPhone's error correction (for me) is about 95% accurate. Once you learn to trust it, you just don't slow down and let it do it's thing. It's not as fast as typing on a keyboard, but is way faster than any other phone I've ever used.

I also like the fact I can do stuff around the house while listening to my music or an audiobook and not worry about missing a phone call because I couldn't hear the phone on another room.

Carrying 400+ wedding photos around in my pocket all the time has proved to be a real boon too. I've always got them with me friends want to take a look.

There are some things I'd like to see improve a bit, but I'm sure that Apple will address those in time. And I expect that this time next year I'll be looking to upgrade to a much more capable device.

As for the usefulness of EDGE, I can't say yet as I've not done that much traveling with it. Email doesn't seem to be much of a problem as I've got it syncing once an hour, and I don't care how long it takes to download an email as I'm not being charged per minute. At home over my WiFi, it's very quick. And browsing with Safari is so much more usable than I expected. I used it to book a couple of film tickets via the web the other day.

Would I give it up having had one for a week? Not a chance. It's too much fun and I'm getting too much value out of it.

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Coat

To Dumb

I think you'll find that very few people have the inclination to send email from their handsets just so they can send a picture. They're used to a perfectly good MMS system with which you can (and this is the great bit, listen carefully...) address by PHONE NUMBER to people who you have the PHONE NUMBER for, direct from your adress book which mostly is full of PHONE NUMBERS. And get this, it's bloody brilliant, almost 100% of handsets can receive them as you'd expect. Incredible, huh?

*I* wouldn't mind sending emails, but then I'm used to these things having been making phones send emails for ten years now. Actually receiving email on a handset is still a rarity for most folks.

Remember that almost all phone users are non-technical, we're just a tiny part of the market. Most people are just about familiar with MMS. *oh, you mean it's just a text with a picture? cool!*.

The point is not that it's easy to send mails, that's great, the point is that unless you're content to only send mail to other iphone users or your business chums, you need to be able to address to their phone numbers. Maybe you apple types think the rest of us aren't stylish enough to talk to anyway?

To be honest I don't know what the problem was for apple to integrate MMS, it's pretty close to email and quite well specified.

Sorry for the rant, this gets right on my tits though.

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@ dumb

to be honest, I don't use MMS cause it's a waste of money but, your suggestion of using email instead is just retarded.. how many people do you know that either

a) can pick up email using their phone

b) have email functionality on their phone but simply don't use it

Usage tends to congregate around a common communication protocol - pretty much most phones on the street support MMS (so no matter if you send MMS messages, you can still receive them) and not that many support the reception of email using their phone (that is changing but at a snails pace), every phone in the UK supports SMS however and it's no surprise that the overwealming amount of communication is done over this protocol.

Also, who honestly thought "I know, we'll leave out copy and paste functionality" from the iphone? that engineer needs to be shot!!

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Paris Hilton

Speaking of outdated...

...I just have to ask, how many actually use voicemail on their consumer phones these days?

I find it immensely funny that Apple deem SMS and MMS as something old, preferably to be deprecated, but then improve on the most ancient (and, in my experience, least used) service of them all.

If I can't reach someone, they will see that I have called; I will send them an SMS if I really need to get a message through; or I'll (to use the standard Apple excuse) just send an email... All of which do exactly the same as their newfangled (but obsolete) visual voicemail, only better.

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Boffin

More stats

None of the statistics arguments so far have factored in that US market is fragmented into the following incompatible standards (in order of market share): CDMA, GSM, iDEN, TDMA and NMT. CDMA still has substantially more market share and coverage than GSM.

Looking the markets again:

* Europe: One universal standard, with near complete coverage and almost one mobile unit per person.

* US: Three major standards that are incompatible, patchy coverage by GSM and a lower phones per person (about 0.8).

Taking this into account, the US market is actually a lot smaller for a GSM-only device. Which means that Europe as a percentage is more important than you'd think. Which means that these lacklustre sales in Europe are even more worrying for Apple.

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Boffin

Addendum

In fact, according this article (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/09/14/now_we_have_16_mobile_phones_each.html) there are 1.6 phones per person (active) in the UK.

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