Why has iPhone 4G sold 1.5m in first day?

Posted on June 28, 2010 by


Happy iPhone 4G Consumer

There are many stats and figures all over the web attempting to gauge the success of the iPhone 4G. These seem to range from 600,000 to 1.5m unit sales on day one, even UK Retailer PC World is reporting it http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/199885/looking_behind_the_iphone_4_launch_stats.html.

I have no idea how many were sold, other than following such articles. I can say that in Peterborough which is not particularly a Techy place there are 2 O2 shops; both had large queues from 7am and both were sold out as fast as they could sell the product! The Orange Shop, the Vodaphone Shop and Carphone Warehouse were all sold out by 12 noon. Maybe this is due to small stock levels? But that would not have attracted a queue that early in the morning.

We spoke to customers about their purchasing choice and discussed Mobile Recruiting with the lines. The consumer had no stereotype; it was not all geeks or designer types, there were old, young, men, women, managers, shop floor – the iPhone is mainstream.

The iPhone has changed the relationship with the consumer and the mobile phone. Never before has there been a mobile that the consumer demands so much with such levels of dedication to buy. Now before I get accused of being a Fan Boy etc, etc, I follow all mobile development. I am very excited about Windows Phone 7 and we are writing software now for Google’s Android. But which other phone gets a new release and generates such consumer attention? Maybe the next Motorola Droid will in the US – in the UK no one knows what it is yet (and it is renamed Milestone).

The mobile industry 5 years ago was controlled by the network carriers (O2, Vodaphone, Orange and T-Mobile), marketing was controlled by the carriers, retail outlets or independent retailers such as Carphone Warehouse. The relationship was between the carrier and the consumer with a retailer sometimes squeezed in the middle. Apple has turned this around. The consumer now has a relationship with the manufacturer. The consumer buys add ons (apps) from Apple, not the network. The manufacturer controls the marketing. This redistribution of power mixed with Apple’s knack of marketing is why the iPhone 4G has done so well.

I helped out BBC Cambridgeshire on the day after launch and popped into the studio to chat about iPhone on the breakfast show. The key question – should I upgrade? Well 1.5m people seem to think so. Comparing the new phone to a 3GS with iPhone 4.0 OS; the difference does not immediately feel huge, taking a deeper look the upgrade to the new screen is fantastic, the battery lasts longer, the camera is better, HD video recording, front facing cam for video calls, new gyroscope, faster CPU etc etc. But the apps are not there just yet to show off the new hardware, when they are, assuming they interest you – then upgrade. Unless you are like me and need a better battery and cannot wait for Skype to release an app with video call support.

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