Vive les iPhone Price Drops! Le Prep for 3G?

iPhone_CrystalBall_3g.jpg

Ars Technica (via Market Watch, via Les Echos) reports that French iPhone carrier Orange may be the third European country (after Germany and the UK) to begin discounting the 8GB iPhone.

Unlike the previously mentioned Germany and UK, these price cuts are said to come on the heels of what's considered disappointing sales for Apple's phone debut in the land of brie and champagne.

Having moved 100,000 units in 4 months, at an averaged rate of 325 a day according to Apple Insider, Orange executives appear to be denying any disappointment, while the 3G rumor mill continues to push any discount in Europe as the clearing of stock in advance of the next generation release.

Did European execs over-order in face of the US success? Does the buzz and the high percentage of users who switched carriers just to get the coveted iPhone offset mere unit sales? Was 2.5G doomed in Europe from the start? Or are the 3G-Files right and this is just the next step towards next gen? What do you think?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

surur says:

Unlike the previously mentioned Germany and UK, these price cuts are said to come on the heels of what's considered disappointing sales for Apple's phone debut in the land of brie and champagne.
With Orange, which won the contract in France, the three (O2 UK, T-Mobie Germany and Orage France) sold 330,000 units to the end of December, but industry sources say that European sales of the iPhone were forecast to be between 500,000 and 600,000.iPhone sellers braced for hit on unsold handsets
Population UK+France+Germany 61+64+82 million=207 million.
USA= 303 million
If the iPhone was selling as slowly in USA as in Europe, they would have sold only 480 thousand in the same time period. The pent-up demand was obviously a lot less in the whole of Europe, not just France.
Surur

Rene Ritchie says:

Sure seems that way. Lack of 3G? Different market entirely?
And yet, depending on estimates, millions of unlocked iPhones are happily at play in the wild around the globe.
Very interesting situation.

surur says:

Sure seems that way. Lack of 3G? Different market entirely?
And yet, depending on estimates, millions of unlocked iPhones are happily at play in the wild around the globe.
Very interesting situation.
Apple's a strong brand for poseurs, and there's 6 billion people in the world. Do the maths.
Surur

marcol says:

Sure seems that way. Lack of 3G? Different market entirely?
Cost mostly (upfront and of contract) but also lack of 3G would be my guesses. 3G in phones is a bit like air con in your car. Most people might not use it a whole lot (I'm thinking UK weather here), but they want it anyway.
I'd guess 3G and a £20 pcm contract would shift a bunch of units.
And yet, depending on estimates, millions of unlocked iPhones are happily at play in the wild around the globe.
Including I'd guess (just on anecdotal evidence) in the European countries where they can be also bought 'legitimately'. Can't really blame people for wanting to avoid those expensive contracts.

marcol says:

Apple's a strong brand for poseurs, and there's 6 billion people in the world. Do the maths.
Counter evidence below :)

surur says:

Counter evidence below :)
I dont believe he's too happy about how the turtle-necked one and his emphasis of style over function is running the company.
Surur

marcol says:

Probably why he joined Danger, a company so unstylish that Microsoft were attracted enough to buy it :)