Bar a handful of Apple geeks waiting in line outside Apple’s Regent Street store who seemed overly keen to get their faces on the TV, most O2, Apple, and Carphone stores were reported to be quiet. Not the mass hysteria we’d assumed if the advertising was to be believed.
Most customers who did purchase the iPhone simply walked straight in completed the transaction and walked out, in the space of 5 minutes.
With guesstimates of up to 100,000 units being sold over the weekend it would appear that nothing like this figure was sold.
Peter Erskine, O2 CEO, has been very coy about releasing actual sales figures, whilst claiming that it’s in the "tens of thousands". Not the amount O2 were expecting after hiring 1400 extra staff.
Carphone Warehouse suffered problems at point of sale. The central server cold cope with all of Carphone’s 1000+ stores logging back on to the network at the same time. The result being that their Chip & Pin payment system collapsed. The situation was supposedly resolved quickly and caused minimal problems.
Erskine did admit that it was "early days" for the iPhone, but "the initial feedback is we are in-line with our expectations".
With European customers well aware of the furore across the pond where customers lined up only to find stock levels were healthy for weeks after, we can expect sales of the iPhone to pick up quickly in the lead up to christmas.
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