“On Wednesday night, following a now-familiar ritual, French consumers lined up outside shops to snap up Apple’s sleek iPhone handsets as soon as they hit shelves. Orange, France Telecom’s mobile subsidiary, which was tapped by Apple to be the phone’s exclusive operator in France, kept its Parisian flagship store open until 2:30 a.m. to handle the traffic,” Elizabeth Woyke reports for Frorbes.
“France Telecom, which has priced the phones at $589 with a two-year contract and $1,106 without a contract, expects to sell 100,000 by the end of the year and 400,000 to 500,000 by the end of 2008,” Woyke reports. “The French launch has left iPhone enthusiasts wondering where the sleek handset is likely to pop up next.”
“So far, Apple has kept quiet about the phone’s next destination, other than noting that it wants to start selling in Asia some time next year,” Woyke reports. “The lack of news has left fans, analysts and media outlets devising their own theories. With the three largest European markets already taken care of, the rest of the globe appears wide open.”
Apple’s “aggressive sales goal point to big markets, say, China and India, the world’s largest and fastest-growing cellphone markets, respectively,” Woyke reports. “World domination isn’t here yet. But Apple’s persistence and marketing muscle mean the sun may never set on the iPhone–some day soon.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: For what it’s worth — and it might give some indication of where Apple’s initial interests lie — After the U.S., Apple launched their iTunes Store in Europe in the UK, France and Germany in June 2004. Four months later, in October 2004, Apple launched iTunes Store in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (Canada followed two months later in December 2004). Five months after that, in May 2005, came Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland (Japan followed in August and Australia in October 2005 and New Zealand in December 2006). Of course, keep in mind that music licensing agreements affected and/or dictated the iTunes Store launch dates.