Apple iPhone 2.0: Flying off the shelves in July?

Last night I took the temperature of a lot of people around the industry on the latest iPhone news. Whilst everybody wanted to sit back and digest a lot of the announcements, everybody was explicit on the cost issue.

I suspect that there is massive, massive pent-up demand for the iPhone. One of my biggest frustrations about the iPhone 1.0 was that it was priced for the normob (“normal mobile user”) to aspire to. It was rather frustrating seeing people opt for a lower spec, comparatively rubbish Sony Ericsson instead of the iPhone because of the upfront cost. It was even more frustrating talking to normobs who openly admitted they’d be delighted to upgrade their iPod to an iPhone and swap to o2. Just… the price wasn’t right (“Apple iPhone will only ever be a bit player“).

So it’s ‘right’ now.

Or, ‘righter’. In the UK, you can pick up an 8GB device for zero up-front cost if you take a 45 pounds per month contract (18 months). This is a boon. Or, at least, to me, it looks like a boon.

Our contributor, Mr Operator, reckoned that making the device around 100 pounds (or subsidising it) will result in ‘every chav wanting one’.

Charles Dunstone, CEO, The Carphone Warehouse Plc, said: “The iPhone 3G is a massive step forward for mobile internet. The iPhone continues to lead the pack and now customers will have fast, simple access to true internet on the move. It’s rare for a mobile phone to cause global excitement but iPhone sets the standard for others to follow. I’m delighted that we’ll be offering the new iPhone 3G for free on a contract. We’re expecting a huge demand when it goes on sale across our 800 stores on 11 July and there are some great upgrade offers for those that have previously bought an iPhone on the O2 network.”

An iPhone on Pay As You Go? Without the 18 month contract? Aye. That’s reportedly coming too.

Watch this space. I think it’s about to get interesting. It all depends on how the public here in the UK react to the device. I’m sure there’s demand for the simplicity of it, the status of owning one and the beautiful UI — the pricing model looks right — and if they sell anything like 2 UK operators were predicting last year (“Operators predict 500,000 iPhone sales in 6 months“), well, it’s gonna be fun to watch.

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