Orange sets new UK sales record: 30,000 Apple iPhones on first day

Apple Online Store “Orange sold more than 30,000 iPhones within hours of becoming the first network to break O2’s two-year exclusive grip on the Apple handset in the UK,” Richard Wray reports for The Guardian.

“The mobile phone company, which lost out to O2 on the original deal at the last minute, reckons the level of sales reached by 4pm is a new first-day record for a British mobile phone launch,” Wray reports.

“Rather than focus on price Orange is basing its attempt to lure customers onto its network on the promise that it has better coverage than any of its rivals. In fact there is hardly any difference between the cost of the iPhone on Orange and the existing cost of the device with O2,” Wray reports.

“Vodafone will also be selling the device in the UK, but not until the start of next year. Speaking after the company’s first-half results on Tuesday, however, Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao refused to say whether the business will undercut its rivals in the race to attract British iPhone users,” Wray reports. “‘You don’t expect me to tell you two months in advance what we will do in the UK,’ he said. ‘The only thing I can tell you is if Orange customers are unhappy they can go into red shops.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dominic” and “James W.” for the heads up.]

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “—” for the heads up.]


  1. lets see . . .
    droid – 100,000 sold over an entire weekend with no other providers to compete against in the US with a huge ad blitz.

    iPhone – 30,000 sold in one day with competition from another provider for the iphone in a country with 1/5 the population of the US.

  2. PhxDoc – good point! I would only add that iPhone was already available in UK for 2+ years, so the 30K number is even more impressive.

    That said, Apple really need to go through multiple providers in US. Adding T-mobile, Sprint, etc would result in significant sales

  3. Are you watching this Veiizon?

    If Verizon does get the iPhone, they should be charged an extra $10 subsidy per phone just for running that Xmas ad.

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. …”Apple really need to go through multiple providers in US. Adding T-mobile, Sprint, etc”

    You do realise, of course, that (assuming exclusive deal with AT&T ends) if Apple does go multiple providers, retail (up-front) price of the iPhone will immediately jump to $400?

    AT&T is paying Apple massive subsidy for the iPhone, because even after the two-year customer contract expires, that iPhone has nowhere to go but stay on AT&T, continuing to recover that subsidy through $70+ monthly plan. The moment you introduce iPhone on another carrier, people will begin jumping from carrier to carrier. Once they leave AT&T, they no longer care for the old iPhone, which in many cases may end up doing duty as an iPod (or unlocked on a foreign network). So, AT&T loses that subsidy.

    Nominal smartphone subsidy in the US is around $250, which carriers usually recover in 18-20 months. AT&T needs at least 30 months to recover the $450 subsidy for the iPhone. If they lose exclusivity, the subsidy will go down to $250 right away, and the retail price will go to $400.

    How many people would want an iPhone (or any phone) for $400, FULLY subsidised? (and this isn’t the first year after launch, when the early adopters were willing to swallow $400 in order to be first)

  5. All those silly posters claiming that those who want an iPhone in the U.S. have gotten one on ATT are now exposed. Brits are not that different from Yanks on this issue. There is clearly HUGE pent up demand for the iPhone by those who will not, or cannot, change carriers. Apple should be more than happy to accept a moderate reduction in their U.S. carrier iPhone subsidy in exchange for a massive increase in sales. In this case, unlike Macs, they really can make it up in volume. This is not to say that Apple won’t continue to make a healthy profit on each iPhone–they will still do so.
    P.S. I am happy with ATT and have no plans on switching, but it is obvious that ATT is a deal breaker for many potential iPhone customers.

  6. @predrag.

    Your numbers are all outta wack. 20 months to make back subsidies? Looney. They make the money back in te first 6 to 9 months. And btw. Even if iPhone user has no where to go in 24 months. The are out of contract. Can sign a new contract and get a new iPhone and keep the old one.

    You sir are on crack?

  7. Adding my experience, I was an Orange UK client until the iPhone arrived through O2. I ported my Orange UK number to O2 UK and became a happy iPhone user.

    Orange UK hasn’t bad at all, but I will not be switiching back. O2’s coverage is excelent, I get 3G almost everywhere, the customer support was always great, visual voicemail never failed on me… no complainst whatsoever.

    It’s good to see other carriers selling the iPhone. O2 shouldn’t be worried, their service has always been great, I don’t believe they will loose clients to Orange or Vodafone, prices being the same.

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