updated 08:45 am EST, Fri November 23, 2007
Survey on UK iPhone Price
Apple's decision to price the iPhone for UK residents at £269 may have reflected a serious misjudgment of the local cellphone market, according to a new survey of Christmas buyers conducted by the analyst group GfK NOP. Of the respondents, 46 percent simply refuse to consider the phone at its existing price; just over a quarter at 26 percent are interested in the phone but cannot justify the cost, the researchers say. This leaves only 2 percent actively considering the iPhone for the holidays; 5 percent are willing to consider other phones while 8 percent actively dislike the device. About 12 percent of the surveyed population does not even know the iPhone exists, GfK NOP says.
Much of this hesitation can be attributed to British cellphone culture, which unlike the US frequently subsidizes even premium phones below the £200 ($412) mark. In some cases, smartphones such as the Nokia N95 are available for free with better calling plans. The high cost of Apple's first cellphone stands out as a central issue for most prospective UK buyers, says GfK NOP's Richard Jameson.
"This is a highly competitive market and the mobile phone manufacturers have very strong brand loyalty," he adds. "Apple needs more than cutting-edge design to penetrate this market and will have to work much harder in the UK than it did in the US."
In spite of the poor standing among actual buyers, however, the iPhone is still associated most with special features on phones than other brands. The handset defines music phones for 78 percent of all respondents to the survey, while 65 percent think of it first when considering e-mail or web browsing.