Apple Faces Mixed iPhone Reception in Europe

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Americans waited for hours – and even days – to get a first-run iPhone.

But in Europe, the reception was less enthusiastic.  The iPhone debuted on Friday in both the UK and Germany, though interest fell short of expectations.  “The days preceding the launch had been filled with pages of coverage from posh papers and broadsheets alike,” declared Andrew Orlowski of the UK-based Register.  “But now it looks as if a tight-knit group of media and PR people got caught in a feedback loop.”

British early-adopters aggregated most heavily around Apple stores, leaving spotty traffic for Carphone Warehouse and O2 outlets.  “There was a security guard and a guy at the door handing out numbers for the queue,” said buyer “Steve” in comments to mobile blog dialaphone.co.uk, describing an 02 location.  “Both looked bored to tears.”  The iPhone was released in Britain at 6:02 pm GMT, a clever timing pushed by exclusive partner O2.

In Germany, the story was also mixed.  Exclusive carrier T-Mobile offered an initial sales tally of 10,000, and like its British counterpart, consumer interest varied greatly store-to-store.  Reuters reported a “throng” outside a Deutsche Telekom store in Cologne, but almost total indifference in Frankfurt.