iphone_droid_ufc

Orange UK sold 30,000 iPhones on release day, despite their dodgy unlimited data = 750MB, and despite the iPhone already being available on rival O2 UK since 2007. By contrast, Verizon launched the much-hyped, geek-liked Droid for the first time on any network, anywhere, ever, and sold -- according to Bloomberg -- 100,000 over the weeked. Three and a bit times as much sounds almost as good as their "5x the 3G coverage of AT&T" commercials. But then the US is a much bigger market and Verizon a much bigger carrier, and Orange has only a day, not a weekend, but whatev...

The iPhone 3GS, as a third data point, sold over 1,000,000 it's first weekend out the gate. Sure, that was international, but then the iPhone 3GS was available internationally, all under the same brand, in several countries at the same time. Verizon licensed the Droid trademark, so even when the same device rolls out in Canada and Europe, it won't be the Droid but the Milestone, which is 5x less the geek name sex-appeal.

What does this all mean? iPhone mindshare is still huge and demand in countries that were exclusive to one carrier is still high. In part, this may be because there's a single, global iPhone brand (and feature set) for consumers to identify with, and rather than controlled by a carrier (like Droid), it's controlled only to Apple -- so it might just appear on your favorite carrier one day as well, be it Bell/Telus, Orange/Vodafone, or Verizon...