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Never mind the weather, here’s the iPhone

There’s a mix bag of reports about how well the European launch of the iPhone went on Friday. With all the hype over the past few months, I think the telecoms media expected hordes of people to be queuing up outside Apple stores in the UK and Germany way ahead of the evening launch. But it looks like in most cases, potential punters were outnumbered by extra shop staff and security guards.

While the flagship Apple store on Regent Street, London had something of an image queue outside it all Friday, it seems to have been the only one. Most other O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores are reported to have been overstaffed and devoid of customers, the ones we walked past on Friday afternoon were definitely quiet. We might suggest it had something to do with the fact that it was the same weekend the Sex Pistols were playing their reunion gigs [I went to that instead on Friday – it rocked – and unlike the Apple shop, it was sold out].

The Guardian agrees that there were no real queues, although the Newcastle Journal is reporting that literally “scores of people” were queuing. The Telegraph seems to think there was a big demand, and Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg seems to have an inside track on thousands been sold, as does Pocket-lint.

I just dropped O2 a line to see how things went and was told, “to have queues of people from Aberdeen in Scotland down to Brighton has been amazing.”

Apparently, the iPhone is the fastest selling handset O2 UK has ever seen and, “sales are bang on expectations. Footfall intoour stores over the weekend was three times higher than normal. On Friday night, we had more than 50% more traffic to our website than normal”. The operator also revealed that two thirds of iPhone activations are new customers.

I’m not disputing O2’s claims, but I just have to point out this wonderful collection of pics on the Dialaphone site. Obviously, Dialaphone isn’t selling the iPhone so it might just be sour grapes but I think there’s some fair comment here.

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