O2s' iPhone: Best. Launch. Ever

Though neither O2 nor Carphone Warehouse have disclosed sales numbers beyond hundreds tens of thousands, O2 CEO Peter Erskine pronounced the iPhone their fastest-selling device ever. EVAR. On top of that, a full two-thirds of the iPhone customers came from other carriers, compared to 40% for AT&T in the U.S.

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O2s' iPhone: Best. Launch. Ever


O2 chief dampens iPhone hypeAlways look on the bright side of life...
Published Tuesday 13th November 2007 12:04 GMT
Peter Erskine, CEO of UK operator O2 said it's "early days" for the iPhone in the UK - and shot down some of the larger sales numbers being touted for the device.
iPhone sales were below tabloid guesstimates of 100,000 (The Sun & The Guardian) and 70,000 (The Mirror) - Erskine said the number was in the "tens of thousands".
Nevertheless, he said he was happy that people were coming into the stores, if only to play with the gizmo.
"It's the old story in retail, if you can get them in you can sell them something," he said. "What I don't know yet... is how much extra we are selling as a result of all the extra footfall."
That's probably not what O2 was thinking when it hired 1,400 extra staff ahead of the launch to cope with "unprecedented" demand. Apple's retail partners even shut up shop ahead of the launch on Friday afternoon to prepare for the crush.
So how well did the iPhone really do at the weekend?
Carphone Warehouse, with over 1,000 stores in the UK, did most of the heavy lifting. O2 has 300 high street shops here and Apple just 12. A channel source tells us that Carphone took stock of 50,000 but only shifted around 11,000.
In the much larger German market, T-Mobile shifted about 10,000 iPhones. So Erskine's "tens of thousands" claim is defensible. Just. But the Europeans appear to be far more circumspect about the wonderphone than Americans. Apple says it sold one million iPhones in the first 74 days in the US.http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/13/iphone_aftermath_some_numbers/