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UPDATED: Preliminary UK iPhone Launch Figures In

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So, it was a bust, wasn't it...?

Well, contrary to the lack of queues, apparent scepticism and consumer apathy being reported by the press today, preliminary figures are suggesting this isn't actually the case.
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Arstechnica has managed to nab a source which it claims is 'deep within the belly of O2' that reports more than 8,000 activations were recorded by midnight on Friday. It had predicted just 3,000 activations on day one.

Now while these figures may not seem staggeringly high, stores only began selling the handset at 6.02pm (T-Mobile Germany reported 10,000 over a full working day) and - despite our global fame as good queuers - with plentiful stock reported, many were expected to wait until the weekend to pick them up.

In sum then this bodes rather well for both Apple and O2 - especially considering UK punters aren't used to paying for handsets, are notoriously gun-shy of long contracts and were faced by particularly cold and rainy weather that day.

Of course we won't get a fuller picture for a few weeks, but I don't suspect anything iPod related is likely to be a failure at the present time.

In related news, the first 1.1.2 hacks are already appearing online but there is conflicting information about who sourced what - so best hold off for a few days to let things settle.

In still more related news, the Inquirer is reporting that Vodafone stemmed the potential tide of fleeing customers by closing its porting department all weekend. An automated message told frustrated customers that it was experiencing technical difficulties. I suspect they were called 'iPhone'.

Finally, Pocket Lint claims Vodafone is rolling out an EDGE network on the QT. Sadly this isn't as interesting as it sounds since the service is simply there to replace the existing 2G base stations when they eventually give up the ghost. A slow nationwide upgrade is ongoing and by the time it is unleashed we'll all be using 3G - probably even on Apple handsets...

Update: Again not official, but widespread reports are now stating the number of iPhones shipped in the UK over the weekend is in excess of 70,000 - already making it O2's most successful handset ever. Hardly a flop then...

Update 2: To save on yet another iPhone story it is worth tacking on the end here that O2 has said opening weekend UK sales are in fact closer to 40,000 than 70,000 but still fall well within its expectations tripling its business compared to the same period last year. It hopes to ship more than 200,000 before 2008.

In addition, Apple is introducing an iPhone battery replacement scheme for handsets outside of warranty. £55 will get you a new battery and that old zing back. Guess a removable one still remains out of the question though...

Link:
Arstechnica
Inquirer Vodafone Story
Pocket Lint EDGE Report

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