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iPhone launch a fizzle in England

Even though I’ve sipped the Apple Koolaid, I still really, really don’t get the iPhone mania.

It is a phone with a web browser and email…that works with one locked-in phone carrier (AT&T), costs well over $500, has no keyboard, is locked down to prevent users from installing third party apps, and has a non-replaceable battery. Yes, some of those things are changing- sometime next year developers will be able to start writing native apps for the iPhone, for example. And no doubt it has an innovative UI…but typing on a glass touchscreen keyboard? Uggh.

Anyway, 1.5 million sucker…er, American consumers have bought an iPhone, so I’m willing to assume it isn’t that bad of a product. But it isn’t going to revolutionize society- no matter how many dumbcommercials (parodies, but the real ones aren’t much better) Apple puts on TV.

It appears, however, that the British media got caught up in iPhone frenzy leading up to it’s release there. This new phone was going to change the way everyone lived, and people would be lining up in the hundreds of thousands, waiting overnight to get their hands on this transformational technology.

Or perhapsnot… on the plus side, I imagine it is pretty easy for folks in England to pick up an iPhone at the moment. Lucky them!

2 comments to iPhone launch a fizzle in England

  • Shun

    I just thought of something really odd. Think: if the iPhone launch is a flop in England, and Europe, generally, won’t there be a lot of stock left over, after launch? Will the retailers sell the handsets at a discount? If so, won’t it be easier to have, say a European “gray market” importer pulling iPhones from Europe to America? Talk about turn-about.

    Importing a technology which originally started in the U.S.A. back to the States, because people in the Euro-land didn’t want it. That would be a phenomenal development, if it ever happens.

    Fun times…fun times.

  • Greetings, Shun- welcome to my blog!

    The way I understand it, the iPhones are “locked” so that they only work with a single carrier. American iPhones only work with AT&T, and so I would expect the British ones only work with O2 (the company “blessed” by Apple to provide iPhone service there).

    So, at least without hacking, a British iPhone wouldn’t work elsewhere. I’m sure the phones could be unlocked using various unapproved hacks, but then you’d have a phone that could at any moment be disabled by Apple with the next OS update.

    This carrier lock-in is one of several reasons that I’m not really that impressed with the iPhone. The one thing it has going for it is an elegant UI, and I personally find its downsides significantly outweigh that singular benefit.

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