Daniel Eran Dilger
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Europe Sells Out at iPhone 3G Launch


European retailers were sold out of the new iPhone 3G before stores in the US even opened on Friday, thanks in part to strong marketing from Apple’s mobile partners. The initial sales surge not only blew through stores’ inventory but also delivered a knock-out punch to Apple’s iTunes activation servers.
The Swiss daily newspaper “20 Minuten” reported that hundreds waited in line for hours in Zürich in front of the central Swisscom store. The mobile phone provider opened 100 of its retail stores at 6:30 AM and served snacks and water to those waiting in line.

Continues: Europe Sells Out at iPhone 3G Launch

  • jodyfanning

    Saying that Europe sold out based on Switzerland is like saying the US sold out based on Florida.

    At least here in Finland there was almost no interest at all and the media called the iPhone overpriced and old technology wrapped in a new package.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    Yes Jody, there are iPhones available in parts of Europe. And it shouldn’t be surprising that Finland, home of Nokia, is snubbing the iPhone.

    Switzerland is the richest country in Europe however, so outside of Nokia fanboyland it’s pretty clear there is genuine interest in technology with style.

    Nokia’s press calling the iPhone overpriced and old technology in a new package is pretty much the height of irony, given that Nokia’s closest phones are far more expensive and running the old Symbian dog. At least Nokia phones have a fake LED flash and take enormously-sized mobile pics so you don’t need to carry an extra camera (unless you want to take actual photos that is!).

  • Vertti

    You two stop it. iPhone was sold out here in Finland too…
    Nokia is with Ericsson those two companies that invented the mobile world. Nokia still is The mobile phone manufacturer till The Apple starts making iPhones 300 000 000 pieces or more per year. (That will happen soon though)

    The media critics are aimed towards the Sonera that keeps the price high. Though when you start comparing the prices against the Nokia you will notice that iPhone actually isn´t that expensive.

    Price comparison can be done here:

    Daniel can´t speak Finnish but you will get the idea quickly…

    Cheers Daniel have a nice holiday!
    Why aren´t you here in Finland? Maybe next time…

  • Doxxic

    I’m afraid that in Holland, although the iPhone sold out about immediately nationwide, there were less rather than more customers in both the T-Mobile and the Premium Apple stores in Amsterdam, compared to usually on friday. This and some other things make me think that there really were only very few iPhones available at all in the Netherlands.
    The whole Europe-sells-out story feels a *lot* like a media stunt planned by Apple.

  • PerGrenerfors

    I believe the iPhone sold out in Sweden too although not that many were sold. There has been some debate whether this was a publicity stunt or not. Overall, the mainstream media have given positive reviews (except from the usual MMS complaint) to my surprise. No sign of Enderle quotes… Most of the complaints have been directed at Telia, offering the same style of plans as Rogers and at high price points.

  • gus2000

    According to Apple, they sold over 1 million 3G iPhones this weekend. It took over 2 months to reach that milestone after last year’s launch.

    Apple would not intentionally understock the stores just as a “publicity stunt”, since there is far more value in actual sales. Besides, they couldn’t possibly get any more publicity without going offworld.

    Looks like 10M phones for 2008 will be no problem. Are you paying attention, Richard Sprague?

  • Boregard

    Annecdotal evidence is, well, annecdotal. Time tells the tale.

    Let us not forget just how wrong people can be in predicting success or lack thereof with a new product, as Colligan, CEO of Palm, was quoted on announcing on the iPhone:

    Quote from San Jose Mercury News follows:

    Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.'”

  • brisance

    >>“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.’”<<

    And that’s precisely why Palm has not been on the radar for the longest time. My last Palm was a m505 that interested me for the better part of a week. I have not used it in years.

    Palm can continue to flounder by trying to invent a better “phone”. And be bound by the pre-conceived limitations of a “phone”.

    Steve Jobs has been talking about this from the very beginning yet his competitors/detractors are not grokking it. Yes it can make phone calls, play media, manage contacts etc. These are just things people see on the surface. But the iPhone is so much more. The only mainstream, non-tech journalist I’ve read who gets it is Walt Mossberg.

    The iPhone is a bit of a misnomer. Apple has to dumb it down so ordinary people think of it as a phone.

    It really is an ultra-portable Mac.

  • jodyfanning

    It was widely commented that individual shops had just a few phones each to sell and it seems that stocks of the 16GB version were very limited.

    But anyway, the plans in Finland were terrible compared to other mobile operators. It is easy to get a normal 3G phone for free with all-you-can-eat data for about 55EUR a month. The iPhone plans were much more expensive than that, plus you had to pay for the phone.

    It is easy to see that all operators world-wide were taking advantage of the hype to make a quick buck (or Euro).

  • russtic

    well they sold out in the UK almost instantly. Online sales for both o2 and CPW sold out on the Thurs despite a shamefully poor website by o2.

  • db4dawn

    The Apple store in Glasgow had stock in on Sunday a had received stock Saturday & Sunday morning according to the guy who sold me mine.

  • http://www.io-rocks.com CSimmons

    In my hometown of Stuttgart, Germany, every single retail outlet that carries the iPhone is sold out, that includes all 50 + T-Punkt stores in the greater Stuttgart area, but also the Mac reseller Gravis (Europe’s largest Mac retailer) and the retail chains Saturn and media markt were sold out.

    It must also be said that Apple / T-mobile severely understocked Retailers in Germany, probably based on the less-than-stellar performance of the first iPhone. Many shops I visited I was told that they were only allotted 6 – 10 iphones, and the waiting lists were at least 50 deep.

    The demand here is crazy.

  • Rich

    “given that Nokia’s closest phones are far more expensive and running the old Symbian dog. At least Nokia phones have a fake LED flash and take enormously-sized mobile pics so you don’t need to carry an extra camera (unless you want to take actual photos that is!).”


    Why are you comparing Apples [sic] and Oranges again? Nokia’s closest model is only more expensive if you’re comparing Nokia’s unlocked and unbranded version to Apple’s subsidised and/or locked iPhone. If you’re comparing on contract prices then the iPhone is at least as expensive everywhere in Europe. Even off contract, the Nokia E71 costs £350 unlocked/unbranded compared to O2 UK’s price of £369 for the pre-pay version of the iPhone.

    And the latest Nokia phones have real Xenon flashes on them. Take a look at the N82 pictures on Flickr if you want to see what it’s capable of.

    I think both sides of the iPhone debate should stop the name calling. Wishful thinking, eh?

  • jodyfanning

    How come I haven’t see any comments on any of the mac sites about the fact that the 2.0 firmware is completely full of bugs and most of the new apps crash regularly.

    Everyone was trashing other phone companies over things like this and that Apple was going to rescue the user from the depths of hell.

    I have even seen people wanting to go back to 1.1.4 firmware.


  • Joel

    Probably because there aren’t. I’ve found there’s always a vocal minority who complain about any upgrade. PPC -> Intel, Tiger -> Leopard, and now 1.x to 2.x. Why does this happen…? Because people get attached to the old way of doing things. I’ve also found that if one expects to see bugs in a new release one does bugs. But if you investigate them its more to do with perceptions than reality…