Faster, Cheaper iPhone to Draw Crowds Around GlobeBy Reuters - | Posted 2008-07-10 Print
The much-anticipated iPhone has faster Web links than the first iPhone, supports third-party software like games, and is being heavily subsidized by many phone carriers, with some even giving it away to attract new subscribers.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The new iPhone is expected to attract hordes of buyers when it goes on sale on Friday in more than 20 countries, helping Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) handily beat its target to sell 10 million of them by the end of 2008.
The much-anticipated smartphone has faster Web links than the first iPhone, supports third-party software like games, and is being heavily subsidized by many phone carriers, with some even giving it away to attract new subscribers.
Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said Apple may sell more than a million new iPhones in the first weekend, partly because it is selling in so many more countries than the first one, which was only available in six.
Some 270,000 people bought the first iPhone in the few days after its launch in late June 2007, after many U.S. customers had lined up for days outside its stores. AT&T (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the sole U.S. carrier, will shoulder much of the cost for the latest phone to halve the price.
"They're going to bring users in droves to this product," Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said. He sees Apple burying its own 10 million sales target by selling about 10.5 million of the new high-speed iPhones this year, having already sold more than 6 million of the first one to date.
Whitmore said price and distribution were two key reasons why the new device, which plays music and supports corporate e-mails, would outsell its predecessor.
While some analysts expect the new phone to sell best in the United States and Western Europe, consumer excitement in new markets such as Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand appeared to foretell strong demand in other markets too.
"The key is less likely to be demand and more likely to be supply," said Atlantic Equities' Cordwell.
In Hong Kong, Hutchison Telecommunications (2332.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) was flooded with 60,000 online applications over the weekend from consumers hoping to buy the 500 phones on sale there.
In New Zealand, which will be the first country to sell the phone due to its time zone, people started lining up outside a Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) store on Tuesday, according to a local paper.
02, the UK arm of Telefonica (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said its website was overwhelmed with early orders on Monday after being hit with 13,000 orders per second during the peak, according to a spokesman who said it had sold out in a few hours.
The carrier, which is giving the phone away to customers who commit to specific data service packages, said it has stock left to sell in stores Friday and expects more deliveries.
Carphone Warehouse Plc (CPW.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a UK phone retailer, said interest for the latest iPhone is 10 times higher than for the first device. Neither company gave specific sales figures.
T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said it has received orders for several thousand iPhones in Germany alone, where the cheapest iPhone will sell for 1 euro. It also plans to offer it in the Netherlands and Austria starting on Friday.
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