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UK iPhone sales 'miss' 200,000 target

Apple dismisses Financial Times figures

Apple's iPhone has failed to hit its sales target, according to the Financial Times. The FT said Apple's UK iPhone partner O2 sold 190,000 of the handsets in its first eight weeks on sale, quoting "people familiar with the situation".

When the iPhone was launched in the UK on 9 November, O2 said that it expected to sell 200,000 of the devices, a figure regarded by analysts as a conservative estimate.

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"Those figures did not come from us," an O2 spokesman told PC Advisor's sister title Techworld. "We continue however to be delighted with the device, which is fastest-selling device we have ever had."

A spokeswoman for The Carphone Warehouse, which sells the handsets, refused to comment on the figures.

Yet it seems the high cost of the device and the long contract could be putting off potential customers. In the UK the iPhone retails for £269, but customers must take out an 18-month contract with O2, starting at £35 a month. This means that a minimum outlay for the device is a staggering £899, in a market where consumers are used to either free, or heavily subsidised handsets from network operators.

Steve Jobs said during his Macworld's keynote address last week that Apple had shifted 4 million iPhones worldwide since its launch last June.

And it seems that the iPhone is proving to be a popular device for accessing the internet. Last week, The New York Times reported a surge in traffic to Google from iPhones, surpassing incoming traffic from any other type of mobile device. This was despite Apple owning only 2 percent of the smart-phone market, and less than 1 percent of the overall mobile-phone market.


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